A Manifesto for Real Men.


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We are men faced with a challenging moment in time, but men have always faced challenging moments throughout time—with courage, with clarity, and with conviction.

Now is no different.

We are men of the moment. 

I am not concerned with the colour of your skin, with your politics, or your religion. I am not concerned with your nationality, your preferences, or your sexuality.

My concern is that you are a good man, a real man. My concern is for my brother.

We face an adversary that we cannot fight with force of arms, or violence of any kind. Despite common character assassinations, despite provocations and the perpetration of verbal, legal, and social violences against us, we must be men of peace and fierce passions, and yet still remain brothers in arms.

It is no irony that Mother Nature has made you strong, that she has made you the salt of the earth, unshakeable, unbreakable, and bold. It is no accident that she has made you a man. 

My brother, listen carefully. Masculinity is not made malignant inherently. You are not to blame for all the ills of this world. You are not by nature destructive, aggressive, or evil.

You are noble in reason, infinite in faculty; in action you are beautiful. In movement and form how much like an angel, in apprehension how like a god. What a piece of work man is.

The men at work in danger and dirt receive little recognition or praise. We thank the miners, the loggers, and the steelworkers. We thank the farmers, the fishermen, and the home builders. It is little wonder in such professions there are no gender parity quotas.

Ninety-three percent of deaths that occur in the workplace are men.

The other dirty work of men is war. It has always been so. A man at war is supported by his mother, his wife, his lover. When a man fights a just war he fights to protect his way of life, his culture, his country, his children. He fights to protect his women.

These are the women who kiss him goodbye, the women who pray that he does not have to go, and pray that he returns safely home. These are the women grateful for his sacrifice and his protection.

But they are not alone. Our military and security services have many proud and patriotic women. The wars and conflicts of the world clearly are not solely the cause and consequence of men, as we are dishonestly told, over and again.

War and peace are the responsibility of us all, both men and women.

Domestic peace is the responsibility of us all, both men and women.

My brother, you are not part of a corrupted patriarchy simply because you have a penis. Do not carry the burden of guilt for generations past. Do not cower, do not bow, do not submit to angry blamers, shamers, and man-haters.

You are not a rapist, you are not a bigot, you are not a sexist. If today you are labelled with these throwaway names and then tomorrow asked to support or save the name-callers, think carefully on who and how you spend your time and energy.

Does name-calling win your understanding, your empathy, or your help? Brother, value your self. 

Know this well, your good reputation can be destroyed with no more than an allegation. 

No means no, in every circumstance.

If no really means maybe or actually yes, then walk away. You cannot afford to play that power game. Do not doubt the reality: a misunderstanding can land you in deep trouble. Know this well: a woman playing hard to get is simply not worth getting. 

Consider well if a woman is open to charm and chivalry; some women welcome it, yet others regard it as patronising and sexist. Judge carefully.

Look but do not touch. A well-meaning compliment, or a request for a date is not sexual harassment. Look but do not leer. By all means pay the dinner bill, but thereafter be sure to share. You are nobody’s meal ticket.

Protect your sovereignty, secure your assets, and beware the honey trap. Your wealth is your health, so be a rich man. Invest in your well-being; mentally, emotionally, and physically. And do not suffer abuse from angry social justice warriors. You are a warrior of peace. Educate yourself, expand your mind, and live free.

Do not play the Jealousy Game. Under no circumstance allow your self-confidence to be castrated. Be assertive, be respectful, and be positive.

A real man respects all women, and is above reproach. Yet, if you are reproached unjustly then every man will stand with you fearlessly. Due process of law is your human right; you are innocent until a court proves you guilty, not guilty until mob rule destroys your life and liberty.

Yet, if you are guilty, then we will not protect you from the letter of the law, but subject you to its just punishment, for the protection of all women and for the reputation of all good men.

Do not allow yourself to be the scapegoat for other men of lesser character. Do not let the grim reapers of guilt grind you down. But if you are downtrodden then rise up from the dust of despair. Stand up, and stand strong.

You are a good man.

Seventy-eight percent of worldwide suicides are committed by men.

My brother, be strong, be brave, be beautiful, and judge carefully with whom it is safe to be vulnerable. That is a trust that is well-earned.

Show up, man up, only when you see it is safe to do so—not by demand, by command, or just because you are told that’s what real men do.

Be gentle and generous in your strength. Do not allow yourself to be belittled, ridiculed, or shamed. Do not become apathetic, passive, or passive-aggressive.

Above all, do not fight man-haters with hate; an eye for an eye, in the end, will only make us all blind. Fight the good fight, my friend; be courageous but be kind.

Do not allow your language to be politically policed, to be censored and then prescribed. If you are forced to speak disagreeable words, then disagree devoutly and deny them. Compelled speech is not free speech.

Free speech is your human right.

Do not succumb to cynicism—it is a cancer to the brave heart of optimism. Rise up in your creativity and make yourself anew, and raise the world with you.

Real men are creators of life, of art and architecture, of love and literature, of music and dance.

Real men are builders of just laws and freedoms, of bridges of friendship and righteous roads. We are builders of better tomorrows, for our children, and for all good men and women.


A must-watch bonus video, for both men and (especially) women:

author: Arun Eden-Lewis

Image: Jakob Owens/Unsplash

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren


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Arun Eden-Lewis

Arun Eden-Lewis, known as Arunji to his friends has been teaching Yoga, Qigong and Tai Chi since 2001. His particular passion is bringing the authentic philosophies of these ancient practices into modern everyday life by helping his students develop accessible self practices that can be explored with integrity in their own time, even if it’s just five minutes.

Arun is also a qualified swimming coach, personal trainer and Natural Therapist. He hosts Yoga & Qigong retreats as well as Fit & Fat retreats, classes, workshops and seminars all over the world. His mission is to take the mystery out of the mystical, allowing anyone with the passion and commitment to find freedom, in body, mind, and spirit.

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Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 16, 2018 3:06pm

You don't see it because it's not part of my manifesto for real men. There are vast amounts of articles about the heriocs of women, this one is just for the boys and s not open to your suggested ammendments. https://youtu.be/ZBdnyrzq96s Blessings Arun

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Robyn Wallace Nov 15, 2018 7:08am

Might want to mention the woman who cleans up the mess when the man is broken by his own conviction. I don't see that here.

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Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 14, 2018 4:29pm

Hello Carla, yes this applies to men born biologically as men. I don't believe a woman born as as woman but identifies as a man is a man. They can be a trans man but not a man, their chromosomes prove that. However if a trans man wants to identify with this manifesto they are more than welcome. The article should demonastrate my resolve not be pressured into politically correct group think. Blessings Arun

Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 14, 2018 4:12pm

Thank you Eva, so pleased you enjoyed the article. Blessings Arun

Eva Es Nov 14, 2018 11:38am

Beautifully written! Love to hear a man's voice like this. Finally! ;) Thank you Arun.

Carla Caylor Nov 13, 2018 9:02pm

So this only applies if you have a Penis? I think to truly be a manifesto to ALL men it would be inclusive of and recognize ALL men that identify as male, with or without a penis.

Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 10, 2018 8:46pm

It is clearly a homage to one of my favourite writers, Camilla. In my previous article, How We Clean Up Toxic Masculinity, you will see a riff of Julius Ceasar, "I come to bury Ceasar, not praise him." "I come to bury the patriarch, not praise him." And you'll see much more from the great and the good who have inspired me throughout my articles. Did you miss the "eye for an eye" nod to Gandhi at the end? Homage: special honour or respect shown publicly. You have nothing of note to say about the very serious subjects raised in the article, suicide rates, work related deaths, mob rule, misandry? Blessings Arun

Camilla Sanderson Nov 10, 2018 8:21pm

From above: "You are noble in reason, infinite in faculty; in action you are beautiful. In movement and form how much like an angel, in apprehension how like a god. What a piece of work man is."

Camilla Sanderson Nov 10, 2018 8:20pm

You should probably credit Shakespeare when you borrow from him: "What a piece of work is a man. How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty. In form and moving how express and admirable. In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god. The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?" - Hamlet

Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 10, 2018 5:30pm

Thank you for your comments, Michael! Feel free to share the article. Let's hope we can help each other to realise our full potential for good. Blessings Arun

Michael Mitchell Nov 10, 2018 4:06pm

Refreshing! We have so many gifts and such potential for good. We are in Gods image and should live up to our inherent qualities of Love, Power, Wisdom, and Justice. Men and Women must learn these truths to be truly whole and human.

Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 10, 2018 3:44pm

You're welcome Marilyn. Thank you for your comments. Blessings Arun

Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 10, 2018 3:42pm

Hey Joe, thank you for sharing the article and the message, very much appreciated. You might enjoy my previous article, How We Clean Up Toxic Masculinity. Blessings Arun

Joe Cyr Nov 10, 2018 2:33pm

Well said brother. Your message will speak to many men in need of hearing that they are good, whole, and worthy of so much more than they hear from poisoned hearts. Men, young and old, are much in need of teaching and encouragement from authentic men like you. I will share this message on my blog and anywhere else I can. 🙏

Marilyn Schramm Nov 10, 2018 2:03pm

Awww, poor oppressed men, especially white men. They have no privilege, only burden. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 10, 2018 11:15am

Hi Claire, l agree! At least something along the lines of this manifesto we should all be aware of in our current cultural melee. So get sharing 😉 Blessings Arun

Elephant Journal Nov 10, 2018 8:51am

Here's Arun's writer's page on Elephant Journal: https://www.elephantjournal.com/author/arun-eden-lewis/ You'll find all his articles there. :-)

Claire Algar Nov 10, 2018 8:16am

Hi Arun Thanks for writing this. I feel this should be read out to every young boy and girl and man and woman. I would love to read more from you. We’re all fighting the same battle and we should acknowledge the beauty of our strengths and differences. This is a very beautiful balanced article so thank you.

Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 10, 2018 2:14am

Thank you Galina, l'm discovering a whole new world of female activists fighting for the rights of men, because men have been so demonised in our culture that many feel they can't speak up for themselves. Or if they do they are branded sexist or misogynist. One of the unhealthy responses to this demonisation is the likes of Trump and his very devout followers, both male and female. If we want to encourage a healthy response we have stop using the patriarchy as the habitual boogie man for our societal ills. Like many mammals human beings are naturally patriarchal, this must not be equated with an inherent tyranny, as has become the fashion in our culture - it's making men bitter and angry, and in a minority, radical and extreme - in the cases of mass shooters and pipe bombers. More articles to follow on these critical subjects for the wellbeing of our evolving society. Blessings Arun �

Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 10, 2018 1:47am

Hi Tom, l'm pleased the article resonated with you. Thank you for sharing it. Blessings Arun🙏🏽

Galina Singer Nov 9, 2018 7:53pm

Wow, Arun! This is so important and so necessary and the video at the end is a great addition. It has really put our conversation in perspective for me. Thank you for writing this.

Tom Edwards Nov 9, 2018 4:22pm

Arun, this is an excellent and rare and daring article. I loved it and will share it with others. Thank you!

Arun Eden-Lewis Nov 9, 2018 6:34am

Hi Swarupa, thank you for your comments and sharing the article, you really should smile and sigh and love again. Blessings Arun 🙏🏽