12 Good Quotes from 12 Great Men

Welcome to #menofstrengthmonday ! Today I have selected for you some pretty good quotes from some pretty great men. It’s hard to define “greatness”. Some men are esteemed because of their physical strength, some for their mental smarts, and others for their integrity. Below, you’ll find a mix of each.

men - 12 good quotes

Obviously, we begin with Chuck Norristhe ultimate man. He can stare down wolves and make them cower in fear. He can jump out of helicopters and land on his feet. It has been said that there are no weapons of mass destruction – just Chuck Norris. A weapon made out of steel.

Men - Chuck Norris

How about the ultimate rugby player? Richie McCaw is world famous, known both for being one of the best players the sport has known and for being a great leader, captaining the New Zealand All-Blacks through two world cup victories. McCaw is most capped test rugby player in the history of ever, and in his retired life, he’s come out with a book and a movie. In talking about doing the movie about himself, the legend said:

Men - Richie McCaw quote

I have to include another of the best male leaders in NBA history here. David Robinson played for the San Antonio Spurs for 14 years before retiring after his second NBA title. He is committed to helping inner city kids in San Antonio, founding a school called Carver Academy, and aiding students so they can attend college. This is what he said after his last game:

Men - David Robinson

How can we not mention George Washington? I mean, don’t you automatically think of that painting where he’s standing, tall and strong and brave, in a small boat crossing the Delaware River? Amazing. You have to be a great man to stand in a moving boat like that…

Men - George Washington

Theodore Roosevelt was president of the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. He was everything a tough man could be – a frontiersman, a war hero straight out of the Spanish-American War, and an outdoorsman who set the national parks in motion.

Men - Theodore Roosevelt quote

You don’t have to get out the front door much to know the last president on the list – Honest Abe. Abraham Lincoln was known for his integrity, his honesty, and his great Gettysburg Address. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t consider him one of the greatest men in history. Here is a powerful quote:

Men - Abraham Lincoln quote

Cross the ocean to the UK and let’s talk about the great Winston Churchill. He was prime minister through the entirety of World War II. Not easy. I like what he says here:

Men - Winston Churchill

Let’s head over to France. Napoleon Bonaparte didn’t have quite the same values or priorities as Abraham Lincoln, but he did conquer a whole bunch of land and made himself emperor of it. This quote gives me chills.

Men - Napoleon Bonaparte quote

Rewind 2500 years and dig a tunnel straight to China. Confucius is the founder of “The Golden Rule” and Confucianism. His writings on morality have guided the east for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Men - Confucius quote

Mahatma Gandhi was a civil rights activist in India during British reign. A prolific writer, he brought down the British empire with idealistic nonviolence. He is well known as one of the most influential people in all of history. Here he speaks to masculinity:

Men - mahatma Gandhi

Coming to the end of our list, let’s look at another civil rights activist who believed in the power of nonviolence – Martin Luther King, Jr. He was so amazing that he has an entire national holiday named after him in the States. His writings are beautiful and his speeches were the stuff of “dreams”.

men - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our final manly man is, of course, Nelson Mandela. The good quotes from the great man who ended apartheid in South Africa are nearly endless. After 27 years in prison, he became president and is affectionately called the “Father of the Nation”. He knew a little something about courage when he wrote like this:

Men -Nelson Mandela

These are just a few good men. Haha, get it? But, seriously. It’s worth it to take a look at the lives of those people we call great. It’s worth it to try and imitate the things that are great about them, whether we are men or women, weak or strong, Chuck Norrises or Nelson Mandelas. Okay, let’s be honest. No one is Chuck Norris. Or Nelson Mandela. But, hey. We can all have a dream….

 

Defining Masculinity: The Measure of a Man

The Measure of a Man

What do you think of when you think of a masculine man, a man’s man, a bloke? If you had to give a picture of masculinity, what would you draw?

I’d imagine that big, giant muscles are part of that picture. Maybe a body builder. In your mind, you probably even see him flexing. He’s probably a little sweaty because, well, if he has muscles, he probably works out a lot. He’s probably even lifting weights as we imagine him.

A picture might pop into your head of a successful businessman. Definitely the broad-shouldered kind. He works hard, so he is carrying a suitcase as you imagine him, probably in a hurry because there is just so work to be done. He is a hard worker and that is why he is successful. A real man.

Do you maybe think of a farmer? He has red skin and beads of sweat hanging on his forehead underneath his hat. He works from sun up to sun down, taking care of his crop. He lives a simple life and he lives off of the earth. That is a man worth admiring.

We see a lot of different pictures when we think of what it means to be a man. When we think of masculinity, there is quite a bit that springs to mind. And that picture changes a little bit depending on where we live and what we think is important in life.

History and culture tell us a lot about masculinity. But, what do we tell ourselves about it?

Here are some questions to consider: Post-feminism, is there a re-defining of man that needs to take place? If women are different and powerful, then what are men? Is duality even necessary apart from body parts? Or do we still need to have polarity between what it means to be male/female simply because we are human and like to categorize things?

I don’t want to answer these because I don’t know the answer. But, when I think of a masculine man, I think of my husband – not because he climbs trees and can shoot a turkey, though those things contribute to it. He is a man because he is loyal and compassionate. He cares about people and he cares about nature. He is the best kind of man.

I think about my Papa, my dad, my brother, my uncles, and even my cousins. They can smoke a mean brisket, run marathons, and lead churches. But when life has not gone their way, I have seen integrity and humility flow out of them, gently paced. The same way my dad and brother run marathons is the same way they live their lives. All the men in my family are genuine “real” men in my mind.

So back to the first question: What comes to mind when you think of a real man?

And a second question: What really makes a man?

If you are male and reading this, what kind of man are you? What kind of man do you want to become?

See y’all on Monday as we look at what some of the greatest men in history had to say about masculinity. Have a great weekend!

March Man-Ness: The Month for Men

James & CatherineHere at A Little Sanctuary, we tend to focus on women and the feminine. This isn’t really for any one particular reason other than, well, I am a girl. So my experience is quite limited. I mean, I really like to help everyone. One of my greatest fears in life is that I will make someone feel left out. This goes all the way back to my kindergarten years when I invited all my little classmates to my birthday party when I was only allowed to bring about three and then I had to un-invite them all and it was very sad. I digress. We want to be a refuge for everyone, men and women. And hopefully everyone can benefit from our posts. But this month, it’s all about men.

This is your time.

We will have some male guest writers as well as some quotes from the world’s greatest men. We’ll tackle real masculinity and we’ll talk about what it looks like to be a good father, husband, brother, and friend.

What makes a good man? What does a good man look like?

Because Charlie Brown isn’t the only good man in this world. You’re probably a good man, too.

Stay tuned here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this month! We’ll see you soon.