A Few Good Men

a few good men

Movie previews vie for prominence in IMAX theatres as summer calls. The themes are the same though special effects vary. Whether resetting the day to secure a better future in Edge of Tomorrow or fighting for the survival of the species in X-Men: Days of Future Past, the protagonists are ‘ordinary’ men and women juxtaposed in extraordinary circumstances. They earn their place on the wall of fame in our hearts by navigating tough choices and taking the ‘high road’.

They may fall on the way eliciting groans from us or run with injured limbs drawing encouragement from us, but in the end, we discard popcorn cartons and nod to the beat of the song that accompanies the credits. We are looking for heroes and don’t even realise it. Year after year, Hollywood sells us this basic story of redemption, and we say, “Oh yes!” with our Dollars.

The big screen that typifies courage, honour, and integrity is a macrocosm of what a woman’s heart longs for. Sometimes political correctness, feminism, gender equality, etc., educate me to the point that when I place my hands on my chest, I no longer feel my heartbeat. Nevertheless, when darkness causes me to trip, I see clearly.

At nineteen, I chose love that devalued me. Dark alleys and groping hands crumble truth and leave broken hearts. I love you, should be said in daylight so the heat of the sun can scrutinize the lips from which the words pour. Then I met a man who did not kiss the girl and make her cry, although I was ripe for the picking. He said, “You mustn’t fall in love with me, you must reach for your dreams.” A man’s heart can be a safe place for your dreams, because if he believes in you, he will walk beside you and invest in your future.

If women declare unequivocally, “I want a man who will fight for my honour, yes, a knight in shining armour and baby, I’m no pushover, I can certainly hold my own,” then perhaps men will rush to borrow Superman’s cape! Heroism isn’t always glamorous. Countless choices refine what it means to be a hero. Every choice is a ripple in the river of time. Enough ripples, and you can change the tide for the future is never truly set.

Some men look at the dizzy neon lights of the casinos of life and remember that although they once hit jackpot at the slot machines, the house advantage in a game of roulette sets them up for long-term disappointment. They walk past so they can arrive home at six to ruffle Peter’s hair and read Anna a bedtime story; to watch reruns snuggled next to Mary.

They shove their hands into deep pockets when voices rise and tempers boil and even wave a white flag when it is their right to hoist a red one. They let the door click in place because a slam reverberates through the house instilling fear that clings to the occupants in its wake.

Others nurse battle wounds and walk with a limp, a gait at once laudable and laughable, but pay child support like clockwork. They embrace the dawn to polish their dull swords knowing that sheen comes from consistent practice and that just because someone loses his way, it doesn’t mean he’s lost forever.

Fathers, grandfathers, husbands, brothers, friends, sons, nephews, uncles, and cousins, although we do not see you featured in 3D saving the world, we need you to hope again. The curtain is lifted and the spotlight is on you. Don’t be a dying breed.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

 

p.s. Ayonfe okon mi, olowo o rimi, this one is especially for you.

 

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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50 thoughts on “A Few Good Men

  1. “that just because someone loses his way, it doesn’t mean he’s lost forever.” I see the Professor got to you too 🙂
    Awesome post, I’m trying to catch up.

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    1. He certainly did. Did you notice the other quote from the movie?
      “Every choice is a ripple in the river of time. Enough ripples, and you can change the tide for the future is never truly set.”

      I can’t help but notice the hero or saviour or deliverer theme in these movies. How we long for heroism, but sometimes aren’t willing to step up.

      Thanks Uju.

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  2. I could hear the song “To Be a Man,” echoing in a corner of my head as I read your post. I agree that every home needs a man who is a father in every sense of the word. He may not have the millions or be the most educated. His presence and character should endear him to his wife and kids. Unfortunately this model is not the case in every home. Several factors are responsible and one of them is parenting. You can’t give what you don’t have, they say.

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    1. True @You can’t give what you don’t have. Bad parenting is unfortunate, but someone has to assume responsibility for change so the cycle can be broken.

      To Be a Man is not a days job, but very worth it in my view. Thanks Uzoma for helping us see another side of the coin.

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  3. Brilliant read, Tim. There are tons of good men out there. men that do what they must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures..

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    1. Thank you Emeka. I like the ring of this: “men that do what they must” It brings to mind words like honour and courage.
      @tons of good men, I’m looking forward to meeting more 🙂

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  4. This pulls me in so many directions Timi… great write up as always… Let me pick one direction though.

    The real life Heroes are truly those who recognize their place in the scheme of things and are not unaware of the effects of their (in)actions. The ones who are responsible. Responsible for more than themselves… in fairness, these people are not every where you look but wherever they are found, they almost always rise up to the occasion. The prayer is that the corruption that seems to be the Achilles heel of this generation doesn’t cross to the next. Else.. the future would be bleak

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    1. “The real life Heroes are truly those who recognize their place in the scheme of things and are not unaware of the effects of their (in)actions. The ones who are responsible. Responsible for more than themselves… ”

      I raise the bar for the men in my life. I hope it provokes them to be responsible for more than themselves. Thank you for your comment, it speaks so powerfully to me. I’ve got to get my act together!

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  5. This was a great way to explain that women and children like to have sensitive, caring and involved men in our lives. We consider those gentle souls, heroes! We need more peaceful men and also, ones who share rather than lead! I was inspired by your words, will keep my eyes open for this type of man. If I don’t find him, then maybe he will find me! If not, my life is full of joy, just would like to share this with someone… Smiles, Robin
    Thank you for all the lovely comments, Timi, on my stories! Hugs!

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    1. “If I don’t find him, then maybe he will find me! If not, my life is full of joy, just would like to share this with someone…”
      You are so open and your life so full, Robin. Happy is the hero that finds you! 🙂

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  6. In a world of machismo and the new wave to replace it with weak-willed boys, it’s always refreshing to see an acknowledgement of the man who understands the place of his strength and is good enough to relinquish that strength for his loved ones.

    I think they are already a dying breed, and the prayer now is to hope there are enough of them left to start a restoration of the breed. Beautiful writing–as always.

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    1. “. . . the man who understands the place of his strength and is good enough to relinquish that strength for his loved ones.” I’m with you on this one, meekness is great strength.

      @dying breed, yes, just because someone loses his way, it doesn’t mean he’s lost forever. We dare to hope . . .
      Thank you Ife.

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  7. After reading dis piece, I cudnt help but cry cos u put my father in view unfortunately I lost my Hero, last year. I still miss him a lot.
    My Ayanfe, is wearing d crown real good.
    Timi, thanks for celebrating d few good men. Look forward to ur post always. Have a great week.

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    1. I’m sorry to hear about your father. I hope memories of your hero and the knowledge that he’s wearing the crown real good, make you smile through your tears.
      Thanks for helping me celebrate our men. Thanks for reading always, and have a wonderful week. 🙂

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  8. In many ways I’ve lived this post (and no, I don’t care to elaborate) :). Your prose is powerful and intoxicating, and if, according to you, you wish you could have put more ‘heart’ into it, I can hardly imagine how much more powerful it could have been if you had. Thanks for your vulnerability. If only we all had the courage to be that transparent….

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    1. Thank you Joseph for your kind words. When we watch movies, we have special effects and music (especially music), to set the mood. When we write, we have just words. We can be clever in our use of literary devices and make words create special effects. I like to think that if we want to do more than tickle, we have to peel some layers. Vulnerability is risky though.

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  9. Aww Timi! That superman that we imagine is real, as real as water is to garri. Our heroes are imperfect but we need them to “dare” to step forward. They need not be the solution to every problem; I want them to know that even if that rock seems immovable, the glistening sweat on their forearms = win.

    P.S. Your “ayanfe okan mi” has yet to feature on livelytwist. I don’t know whether to believe you on this one or it’s me reading too much into this. Lol 😀

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    1. “Our heroes are imperfect but we need them to “dare” to step forward. They need not be the solution to every problem;” I love this and I love the imagery that accompanies, “glistening sweat on their forearms” 🙂

      @“ayanfe okan mi” Many people work behind the scenes to enable me do what I do. They don’t need to be featured; they don’t want to be featured, and we like it that way. 🙂
      So how is your Superman? I’m celebrating him today!

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  10. it’s really worth celebrating! A little sad that of the ocean of men in the world barely one full cup is drinkable. The amazing thing is that every drop of man in that cup (the few good ones) wouldn’t even compliment themselves, because as much as they dedicate themselves to giving a worthy life to their loved ones, they always aspire to do more. …………..they truly are worth celebrating.

    If “they can shove their hands into deep pockets when voices rise and tempers boil and even wave a white flag when it is their right to hoist a red one” they are the world’s true MEN.

    Happy fathers day to all such men…

    p.s. I also know a few. 🙂

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    1. Good men who pursue excellence rarely rest on their laurels and I am guilty of not celebrating them enough. Like you, I admire self-control in a man or woman for that matter. My definition of good men include not only those who have got it together (indeed, who has really?), but also those who are on their way. A big hup hup hup to them 🙂
      Thanks Busola for joining the conversation.

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  11. “Good men are worth celebrating everyday.” As are good women, Timi. Strong couples support and nurture each other through good and bad times. Sadly, we often have to get beyond the stereotypes of our cultures (speaking here more for men, but not totally) to reach that point. Your blog is beautifully written. I hope lots of guys read it. –Curt

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    1. Lol@ The bad ones are more camera ready 🙂

      I wanted to write a post to celebrate the good guys but didn’t want it to be mushy. I struggled to find ‘my’ voice, to write what I felt inside my soul without giving too much away. Many edits later, I remained unsatisfied, but knew the post was ‘good enough’ to publish. So, saying I speak with elegance today means a lot. I wish I could have put more ‘heart’ in it. Thank you Eric.

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      1. It’s the tough part of blogging. You don’t know what’s going to resonate and what won’t. I’ve gone back to read old posts of mine and thought, “Hey, that’s not bad.” Other times, I’ve been tempted to delete them.

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        1. You do that too? 🙂
          Seriously, I haven’t wanted to delete anything, but I correct grammatical and spelling errors.
          @tough part of blogging, it’s the old write what’s on your heart or write what’s popular debate.

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          1. I tend to leave things as they are, because, honestly, no one remembers whether I could have chosen a better word here or used a more refined construction there. It’s like that time you slipped or spilled whatever on your shirt. You’re the only one who cares or remembers.

            On eof the harder things to convey is the level of seriousness. Whenever I post about a TV show, I’m suddenly “That guy who is really into television.” Outside of certain sporting events, I watch between 1 – 3 hours of TV a week. That’s practically not watching TV at all. I blog about popular entertainment for a reason that should be obvious to anyone who has a blog: Clicks! I diversify my content to expand my readership. That way, when I have a novel or album to sell, more people know who I am.

            Same thing when I obit a singer or actor who dies. I’m not personally depressed because some celebrity is dead. I honoring the art of someone I respect or whose performance entertained me at a point in my life.

            I think I’m talking myself into a post here.

            Hmmm. Stay tuned.

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            1. “. . . diversify my content to expand my readership. That way, when I have a novel or album to sell, more people know who I am.”
              Smart move. I’ve had my fair share of nudges to write about entertainment or other trending topics. Maybe if I listen, I’d grow my blog by leaps and bounds.

              So about that post, I’m waiting to read it . . .

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  12. This is really beautiful. Made me reflect on all the tough yet wise choices my father had to make for us all, and how we didn’t understand them until we grew older. Sometimes, we think the hero is the villain, and it is not until they jump in front of us to take a bullet through the chest, in our stead, that the veil falls off our eyes. Some things you said about love made me cry, but above all they made me realise the truths in my past that I cringe to acknowledge. Happy Fathers’ Day. And thank you, Timi. 🙂

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    1. “Sometimes, we think the hero is the villain, and it is not until they jump in front of us to take a bullet through the chest, in our stead, that the veil falls off our eyes.” Dunni, you hit the nail on the head here.

      @Love . . . hmmm. I sat with my 19-year-old friend to edit this post. We laughed at the absurdity of some of my prose as we copied, pasted, cut, and deleted. I told her that I felt uncomfortable about the paragraph on love, about being vulnerable on my blog. She said, “Tell me about him,” and I did. Then she said, “I think you shouldn’t delete it. It may inspire some 19-year-old girl.” 😉

      Thank you Dunni, you make writing this stuff worthwhile. Happy Father’s Day to your terrific dad for raising a wonderful woman like you!

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    1. I’m glad you do. Hollywood can give us glimpses of heroism, but can’t always give us the strength to live it out moment by moment, choice by choice. Inspiration, may not be a bad place to start though . . .

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  13. A man’s heart can be a safe place for your dreams cause if he believes in you he will walk besides you and invest in your future. Nice words very well said. Every woman deserves to have meet at least one of such men in their life time. Happy father’s day to all fathers!

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    1. A woman can assess her would-be knight by how far, how long, how high, how wide, how much he is willing to invest in her future. ‘Dare below assured me that there are more than a ‘few’ good good men 🙂
      Thanks and Happy Father’s Day to all fathers!

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    1. Lol, I have only met a few. But I’m encouraged to hear there are many more 🙂
      Seriously though, ” . . . just because someone loses his way, it doesn’t mean he’s lost forever.” Many stories are still being written . . .

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  14. The world has become a place where most men play the villain and most women play victims..and over the centuries we are beginning to forget that our men are capable of love, and compassion, and kindness and so much more..so thanks Timi for reminding us that our brothers, husbands, friends, cousins, uncles and grandfathers play the heroes in our lives every single day but i guess we miss all of that because its not in 3D..lool

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    1. Prissy, you said it so well, “. . . over the centuries we are beginning to forget that our men are capable of love, and compassion, and kindness and so much more..” They shouldn’t be a dying breed.

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  15. Yes we should celebrate the heroes around us because they do not feature in 3D but play great roles in our own script. Lovely piece, and regards to your “Ayanfe okan mi” 😉

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