In this morning’s paper there was an opinion piece by Mr. Stan Simpson. In the article Mr. Simpson wrote about the troubled life of Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots’ football player accused of murder. The major thrust of the article was about the difficulty that Mr. Hernandez had because his father died when he was a teenager. Mr. Simpson used that case as a lead in to discuss “the crisis in masculinity.” In his discussion, he quoted a minister and former football player who said that “Forty percent of all children go to bed without their biological dads in the house.” Such a statistic is tragic. We all have images in our minds of daddy coming home from work and greeting the children, taking them fishing or helping them learn something such as car repair, carpentry or even math.
Journalists are fond of bringing up such statistics without thinking logically about what the full scope of the issue entails. The foundation of the whole issue presupposes a traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Our society is in the process of eliminating support of traditional marriages and yet authorities in that society decry the problems that are created by eliminating traditional marriage. These days if you support traditional marriages, you find yourself on the firing line. I find that audaciously hypocritical.
Stable traditional marriages between a man and a woman are known to produce stable and responsible children. Troubled marriages, single parenthood and other difficult situations statistically bring about greater numbers of troubled children who become troubled adults. Our society is disintegrating from its core, which ought to be stable traditional marriages. You can’t trash marriage and then complain when the results of trashing it show up in society.
By the way, I don’t think that the Hernandez case is a good example to use as a lead in to this topic. He and his brother went to school with my children. A lot of people have a lot of different opinions of what went wrong in Mr. Hernandez’ life. In the end, only he and God and maybe a few close associates know what really went on. It would be better to simply leave it alone and let the courts work it out at this point.
A MAN’S FOCUS
About a month ago, my husband asked me to drop some tool off at his job. He is a contractor and works outdoors most of the year. I got the tool and headed over to the house where he was working at the time. When I arrived, for some reason I just didn’t feel like getting out of the car and so I parked right in front of the house where he could see me. The front yard was small and he was working about thirty feet or less from where I was. He seemed intent on his work, but shortly he looked up and looked towards the car. I thought he had seen me, but immediately his head turned back towards his work. A few seconds later, he again turned his head towards my car and then began to come down the ladder. I assumed that he had seen me, but when he reached the bottom of the ladder he walked across the front yard, not fifteen feet from the car, to the other side of the house where his helper was working and he began to do something else. Finally, in frustration, I dialed his cell number. I watched as he fumbled around trying to get the phone out of his pocket while still wearing his gloves. He still had no clue concerning my presence even though I was sitting in the car fifteen feet away from him. “Hi honey, I’m right here in front of the house.” “Where?” He finally looked up and saw the car.
Even though I teased him about not seeing me, it caught my attention and for several days brought about deep wonderment and meditations about how focused he was on his work that he did not even see me just a few short feet away from him. As he worked, I could see his mind calculating every necessary movement and piece of material to complete the required task.
Later that same week, he and I were sitting down after a hard day of work, enjoying the evening news. I know that it was a Thursday night because on Thursdays the reporter for sports on our favorite channel always has a short report that he calls ‘Kevin’s 7.” In it he shows clips of the best and worst moments in sports for the week. As I watched men hurdling their contorted bodies straight into a crowd in order to grab a basketball away from their opponent or football players leaping over other players and plowing through heavily muscled blockers in order to reach the end zone, I realized what it is that makes men so good at what they do.
Women pride themselves in being multi-taskers. Some men might do the same. However, the strength of men is in their ability to focus completely on what they are doing. In sports, it shows up as a total focus on that ball and whatever it is that they have to do with it. The basketball player focuses his whole being on getting that ball into the basket. The baseball pitcher focuses everything that he is on getting that ball over the plate in just the right spot to get a strike. In work men are able to excel at whatever they do because their whole mind, and as a result their whole body, is in sync with what they are doing. Women sometimes act as if they are superior to men because they are good at doing many things at once. Maybe some men feel bad about that. Doing many things at once is a necessity for a woman because of the kind of life she has, but thank God for a man who can channel all of his energy, thoughts and actions into what he is doing at any given moment and because of that ability can bring great things to pass.