I texted my dad a while back when it was Father’s Day here in Spain because I think he deserves to be celebrated twice – once for Father’s Day in Spain and again for Father’s Day in the United States. Not only because he is my daddy, but also because he’s one of the men who has made me who I am, and I am grateful for him and all the other good men who have shaped me as a woman.
Sometimes (all the time) we just need to say the nice and true things because we all need to hear them. So today, cheers to the good men. I am a better woman because of the good men who have been in my life. I hope men know that they are necessary and valuable to us, just as every human is. Men are distinct. They are important. They are world-changers. As I acknowledge and claim my own beauty as a woman, may I never roll over other humans in the process. In the claiming of my own personal rights, may I never take the rights of others. In the assertion of my own value, may I never devalue anyone else. May my confidence never be based in bringing someone else down. My strength lies not in loudly showing it off – my strength lies in loving and serving and building others up, and I will build men up until the day I die.
And yes, there are men in the world who do the opposite of good. I have known them and met them. I’ve seen the effects of their abuse. I’ve seen their ghost when the only evidence of their existence is the damage they caused to children I love. But the fix for a good thing that has gone bad isn’t to discredit, disregard, and discard the thing entirely. And my strength is not in hard toughness, but instead a soft resilience – it’s in being wise, careful, and resilient, amid a softness of not allowing my heart to become hard, untrusting, or unmoved by goodness and beauty. So I will keep thanking and encouraging and cheering on the good men.
I am better with good men in my life. And in some mysterious and wonderful dance, men bring out a different good and beauty in me that the other women in my life (who I also desperately love and need) simply cannot. So here’s to the men who daily respect and love their women. Here’s to the men who support and encourage, who help, who laugh, who lead with gentle strength, who defend others, who bring diversity, who protect, who discuss, who listen, who think, who fight against evil, who humbly sacrifice, who celebrate the brains, beauty, and strength of their women. Here’s to the men in my life who make me a better woman. Just as I complement you, I am a stronger and better woman with good men behind me, beside me, and for me. Be it brother, husband, boyfriend, dad, coworker, friend, mentor.. I am a better woman because of you, the good man.