Sunday August 7 2016

Distinguishing a man from a male

By Dennis D. Muhumuza

Did you know that not all males are men? There’s a huge gulf between the two, as I learned at a recent Men’s Conference facilitated by Eric Ssetuba, head of Men’s Ministry Makerere Full Gospel Church. Accordingly, a male is created but a man is made. When a child is born with a penis, he is male but it takes years of training and upbringing and a track record of application for him to be considered a man.

What a male does
A normal male above 18 years or even less can make a woman pregnant but it takes a man to make a father. A male panics and disowns the pregnancy but a man takes responsibility and cares, after birth he raises his child until maturity and independence. He is involved in all the circles of growth of his children and knows how to discipline his sons into manhood, whereas a male leaves all decisions to his wife and when the wife is not there his maid takes her place, including bedroom matters. These are the kind of males who have no self-control so they could rape and defile to satisfy their carnal appetites.

A saying goes, no matter how tall your father is, you must do your own growing. Males grow only in bodies and not in character. What women call the “mama’s boy” falls in this category.

He is a cry-baby who does not know how to assert himself or make manly plans. He runs to his mother for solutions and cries when pushed to the wall by circumstances. A man has the ability to stay calm when the going is tough. He is the problem-solver who keeps his family afloat amid the storms of life. He is the leader and provider and all his moves factor in the wellbeing of his family and dependants. He also prepares for his exit through savings and investments so that when he is gone his family will not suffer.

You have heard of “absentee fathers”. Those are males, not men while a real man creates bonding time for his family no matter how busy he is. He does not bring office work to his home because it is family time. This is when he helps his children to do homework, prays with them and listens to them. He remembers their birthdays and attends school visitations. A male thinks buying toys for his children is enough. Consequently, cartoon characters become the role models of his children and they grow up weak like reeds that are tossed about by the wind.

Make family time
A man does not only work hard but also teaches his children early to embrace hard work and a saving culture. He involves them in budgeting for the family so that they can learn how to spend responsibly. A male on the other hand provides everything children ask for without question. He is the kind who buys a smartphone for his six-year-old son with limitless Internet without activating parental controls. It is also this type of male that forbids his sons from working; everything is done by the maids. In future these children fail to adapt to the hard and often harsh realities of life and turn to drugs and become, in hip-hop parlance, “messed-up hommies.”

Work for survival
Before dawn when the real men are throwing away blankets to go and hustle, that is when the male snuggles further in and snores. When he finally wakes up, his “proggie” is all about going to the nearest sports betting centre hoping for a quick kill and thrill. Such often sponges off his sisters or rich mother to keep going. A man, even when he is not employed starts something or volunteers somewhere because he must earn his bread and be useful in society. Are you a man or merely male? If you are male, start on a new journey to manhood. Bravo to real men!

A man also sets goals and runs after their fulfillment resolutely. Goals about his health, finances, spirituality, morality and security. He knows it is in the fulfillment of these goals that he can contribute to his society because he knows life does not revolve around him alone, so he tries to impact the world in everything he does. Thus he acquires new skills to retain his cutting edge, and surrounds himself with people that bring out the best in him. Males don’t care about legacy; they are the heavy drinkers, chainsmokers and squander their time with loafers and comfort themselves singing the Solomonic song which they sadly get out of context, “enjoy today, for tomorrow you die!” Alas they die with inner regrets, having left no legacy at all except a legacy of careless living.