Guns & Roses

Guns And Roses


One of the first lessons a young man is taught is not to be a sissy. “Don’t cry, nobody cares what you feel.” When a man begins a sentence with “I think,” men listen. When a man begins a sentence with “I feel,” men are suspicious and doubt his authority.


Being a man is not just about gender. Being a man in today’s world means being first at everything. Being a man means acting strong when you feel weak. Knowing how to argue, handle a hammer, pound nails, people, and anything that gets in your way.


Interestingly, what I have learned in my lifetime is that being a man does not mean having to be right. Being a man means knowing how dangerous and costly it is to be wrong. Being a man means having a clear function, something you can do that others can depend on, count on, look up to and admire. A man’s purpose or function may not be of his choosing. Many men learn to live with hating what they do. In recent years some very intelligent people have told men they are human beings not a human doings. The problem with this thinking is that the most powerful men in the world, with the most toys and highest income have dedicated most, if not all of their lives to doing not being. Being is a luxury most men have come to believe they cannot afford.


Men are currently running the world. What men have been taught about being a man is reflected in the way the world works and doesn’t work. When a young man tells his parents he wants to go to art or music school, or study the humanities, his parents worry and challenge him to do something that will provide him with a real income and a future. Parents worry much less if their son wants to become a lawyer, go to business school, trade school or become an athlete. What is the message? Most of the world views the humanities, arts, music and even much of medicine as soft, weak, and not very masculine.


For generations men have been taught to prefer a gun to a musical instrument.  Prime time TV has featured guns over roses since its inception. The reason we live in a world loaded with guns is because they symbolize the current state of manhood. Men have been taught how to shoot to kill, even in play. I wonder what would happen if every gun were replaced with a musical instrument that former gun owners were able to play? I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where a chamber is a place to house an orchestra instead of a bullet. As long as nations spend more money on weapons and wars than on anything else there will be lots more wars and too many men will be relegated to the position of warriors in training.



© Robert Luckin

9 April 2013