by Joseph Lowe
If Flannery O’Connor and Sex and the City have taught us anything, it’s that a good man is hard to find. Men are like chocolate, am I right, ladies? They’re sweet, smooth and usually head right for your hips! Jokes aside, as silly as comparisons like this may appear to anyone with an appropriately spirited sense of humor, many aspects of the modern man have fallen under attack: allegations calling to light an apparent naiveté and emotional deficiency have men rattled. However, the question remains, do men actually deserve such sweeping generalizations?
What remains indisputably true is that in an alcohol induced environment such as Sewanee, the moral fiber of an individual is from time to time stretched to its breaking point, and the most seemingly resolute of men make disconcerting decisions. This is the time in their lives where they decide what kind of man they truly desire to be and start to realize the impact their decisions have on themselves and others.
Sewanee’s Good Man Initiative is a step towards the production of a better Sewanee man, and holds monthly gatherings for all who attend to discuss how they can reach such a standard of excellence.
Touching on matters other than just how to conduct themselves appropriately in a situation concerning alcohol, The Good Man Initiative aims to inform Sewanee’s male demographic of the importance that lies in the decisions they make on a day to day basis and how developing a sturdy character is of the utmost importance as they travel down the rocky road of life, which will be riddled with temptations of booze, lust and monster truck rally streaking.
Barely breaching the majestic realm of having to maintain facial hair, it is difficult to label oneself as a man, let alone a “good” one, but at some point a male college student has to recognize that there is no definite line between a certain age and the need to act like a decent human being. Whether it be a sporadic act of kindness or the decision to not hit a someone across the head with a pool stick for stealing one of their tater-tots in the pub, males hold a certain innate responsibility to adhere to a moral code of “doing what’s right” and restricting themselves from looking like blithering nincompoops.
Due to a rather bewildering sense of ambiguity surrounding this concept of a “good man” and my lack of expertise (just kidding, I’m perfect) this reporter took to the streets to get some fresh perspectives from the Sewanee community on what exactly being a good man entails:
Connor Anderson, (C‘14) says “being a good man means always turning the other cheek, never looking down on others and constantly fulfilling the needs of your fellow man.” Powerful words. Thanks, Connor. Good to know you’ll always be there.
Charlie Hughes, (C’14)believes that “good men have a distinguishing perspective. To be a good man is to default to giving people the benefit of the doubt, rather than defaulting to judgment,” and I suggest men heed his words prudently, because he makes the common man look like a fat street rat.
In closing, be cool, muchachos. Having an outlandish time in college is completely understandable if not necessary for your development as an adult, but the fact of the matter is there are lines of appropriateness and men need to learn not only how to keep from violating these existing boundaries, but to also expand from their comfortable realm of negligence and drive themselves towards improvement.
I hope all males attended Joe Wiegand speak as Teddy Roosevelt (he looks more like him than the real thing) on this notion of a good man in Convocation Hall, Feb. 26. In the spirit of Theo, I’ll leave you with some of his words that are definitely worth your time: “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”