Vulnerability

As a kid growing up in the Projects to be vulnerable meant to be weak, and weakness did not fit our self image any more than a dress or a pair of high heeled shoes would have. Sissies were vulnerable, chicken shits were vulnerable. . . . tough guys like us were born into this world in a defensive position. We laughed at vulnerability.

I remember being on the playground with my friends one day watching my beloved Fritzy run into the highway and get hit by a car. I remember the whole thing, though it was 65 years ago, as if it were yesterday. I remember cursing the dog for being so stupid. I remember leaving my friends, walking back to the apartment, stepping into a closet, closing the door behind me . . . and crying my eyes out.

I loved that damn dog, but tears were not shed in the projects. I never cried in public . . . never. I still have a problem with the vulnerability of crying. I will run out of my fortress to save, to heal, to help, to even get injured or killed . . . but never to reveal my weakness.

At 71 years old I still maintain the attitude, and work out to the best of my ability in order to keep my body strong with the ability to defy and defend. Today at 71 I still fear vulnerability more than I fear the pain of death. . . . wow man, how fucked up is that?

Now if I were the only one I would just keep my mouth shut and go about my business. But as Bene Brown proves in her video, I am not the only one. In fact I am the majority. I am legion.

So I want to talk about this vulnerability a bit, especially when it comes to men, because I feel it is a primary reason why we destroy so easily and heal so reluctantly. Why we save face more than dispense grace, and most of all, why our environment is in such chaos.

In the early sixties when Rachel Carson wrote her “Silent Spring” this country was in Asia blowing the shit out of vast portions of the earth’s real estate without a thought and already spreading the deadly Agent Orange . . . .

I think of those days of wanton destruction and all that has taken place since and it makes me want to close myself up in my crying closet once again . . . and sometimes I do.

Nobody wants to be the bad guy, but in all this warfare and blatant destruction of our environment, at least since WW2 we really are the bad guys. Why?

I have no idea what the power elite had in mind, we never do. But the reason so many of us bought into their bullshit and carried weapons to kill for their cause is directly related to our fear of being vulnerable and our lack of understanding as to just what this ‘vulnerable’ thing is all about . . .

We men desire the ways of manhood. we want to preserve and protect. It is built into our gene pool. The women is a nurturer, the man is the protector, that’s the way it is. All this is done for the propagation of the race and the needs of our children, but we are not doing so good. In fact because of our fear and our desire for security we are doing horribly, even to the point of ruining our planet.

There are many more reasons as well, such as greed and lust for power, but basically fear and insecurity are leading the charge.

The entire earth is crying out in pain. Some of us are crying out in pain. But alas, the vast majority remain cluelessly praising the Lord and passing the Agent Orange.

Today’s men remind me of the old British fops . . . (fop: a man who is concerned with his clothes and appearance in an affected and excessive way; a dandy.) Men certainly have changed since my day, but not to the better, more like what we project kids would call sissies.

I wrote an essay once called the ‘Pussyfication of the American Male.” It was about how silly and vulnerable men in this country had become. I never realized how arrogant that article was until I began to better see my own self in a mirror.

A hoodlum or a fop. What’s the difference? . . . they both miss the mark by a large degree, but then what IS the mark?

As you read this replace the word Love with  . . .A Man.. . .  this will at least get you (we) on the right path . . .

Love ( a man)is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

Love (a man)is patient and kind.

Love (a man) does not demand its own way.

Love (a man) is not irritable, and it (he) keeps no record of being wronged.

Love (a man) does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love (a man) never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance …

Love will last forever! . . . and so will man if he quits wandering in the darkness, accepts his vulnerability, and gets on with being the caretaker he was always meant to be.

I am a firm believer that as we change, nature will follow suit . . . we don’t change, nature will always mimic our lead.

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