If you were to describe what it means to be a man in one word, what would it be and why?
"When I think of one word that describes what it means to be a man, I see a wall. It's more of a picture than just a word and it's not just any wall, either, the bulwark, almost fortress-like not some sheetrock and 2x4 studs. The idea behind the picture in my mind is that a man guards and protects all that he has within his sphere of influence, the people and things that were put in his care. There is a duality to the idea, though, a man is a strong and formidable obstacle to any force outside of those whom he defends and protects. When he is in good condition, he is not easily overcome by the threat of those outside forces. At the same time, though, he is a protective force for those people on the inside of his care. Often, those cared for will at some point test the limits of his protection and defense and want to go beyond what they are capable of properly handling or should even attempt to handle. In this case, this wall is now a protection for the people in its care, from themselves. I think of things like a young teenage daughter who wants to be romantically involved with a man or an extremely angry and emotional friend who is about to commit the destructive act they would regret once they regain their senses. A wall like this is a formidable obstacle to those within its influence. Running into the wall a couple times and having it not move may possibly delay somebody long enough to help them think through the cost of their decisions. A man like this essentially says to those on the inside and outside of his care, "If you're going to get to XYZ, you've got to go through me first!" I know it's a bit strange, but that's what I see. "
Who is the manliest person you know and why?
"Well, no disrespect to her, and in fact, it's actually the opposite. The manliest person I know, especially regarding my own one-word description, would have to be my older sister. She has always been that protective barrier from the outside threats and that "check-yo-self before you wreck-yo-self" influence, not just to me but to numerous people throughout my life. There was never any man in my life who acted as that force until years later, but my sister has almost always been it. Probably even before I can remember. I'm thankful, though, for her sake now, because she can let that down more and my brother-in-law can help out. Although it wasn't necessarily her role to play, she did it well and I highly respect and love her for it. "
Occupation: Entrepreneur/Business Development
From: Kansas City, MO