“Clothes maketh the (good) man…?” or does it.
The quintessential ‘good man’… he is the embodiment of masculinity, holds his head high (stomach in, chest out, not stomach out, chest in, right Bheki?), he rescues kittens stuck in trees, lets ladies walk across puddles with dry feet as he lays down his coat on the ground... which brings me to my initial question. Is there more to being a good man, than just, well, having great taste in clothes? And, more importantly, where do we find him?
Luckily, we don’t have to venture too far. A quick look at a few good men in our own country is all it takes. And, there seems to be commonality that runs throughout. Take Siya Kolisi for example. Growing up, surrounded by negative influencers such as gangsters, drug lords, and his parents who abandoned him. He didn’t know where his next plate of food was coming from. Yet, against all odds, he rose to the very top, to become SA’s winning rugby captain. His driving force? He wanted to excel at rugby, his passion.
Let’s take a look at another South African, in the tech field. Elon Musk. Elon came from a middle-class family and rose to become one of the most recognised and respected entrepreneurs in the world when he developed a secure online payment system that we all use today: PayPal. In other news, Musk also recently unveiled Tesla's first electric pickup truck, known as Cybertruck, impressive right. When asked what his driving force was… his answer was simple. “I never give up.”
Another still? The Father of the Rainbow Nation, our very own Nelson Mandela. A man imprisoned for 27 years, who walked out of prison to become the leader of a nation. His warm, kind heart, embodied the spirit of reconciliation and healing – just what our nation needed coming out of the Apartheid era. We all know his story so very well.
The common thread in all of this? The conscious decision to do the right thing, against all odds and never giving up in the face of opposition. Wholesome values of truth, integrity, and forgiveness, with a healthy dose of passion, determination, love, and kindness.
A final word before we go.
As we celebrated International Men’s Day on 19 November, we look to these great men as the typical template to follow, as guidance on what defines a ‘good’ man. Of course, great clothes also go a long way to refining the picture. But, one thing in all of this is crystal clear… as a man thinks, so is he. What do you think about that?