I love the scene in the movie Second Hand Lions where Robert Duvall tells the young thug who he is – “I’m a man who has won and lost a dozen fortunes, fought in several wars, killed many men, and loved only one woman with a passion that a punk like you could never understand.”
Since then I’ve often reflected on what constitutes a real man, and I think Mr. Duvall got most of it right. Dena came over last night in her father’s car, and as I was looking it over (because it was a Porsche) I noticed a sticker on his windshield that read: F4 Phantom Club. Dena said – “I don’t know what it is with you boys and your stickers.” When I first met Dena, she couldn’t tell me what aircraft her father flew over Vietnam, nor how many tours of duty, but to me that wasn’t just a sticker. And to every real man out there, that isn’t just a sticker. That sticker is a book, which speaks to her father’s life and character. Dena’s father, Colonel Magazzine flew 4 tours over Vietnam in the most prolific fighter jet in history – the F4 Phantom.
But you don’t have to be a war hero to be a real man. You don’t have to make a fortune. And it’s okay if you loved more than one woman. Actually, you can fail at everything you attempt, but if you are forthright in all of your dealings and have the conviction to be a hero, to succeed and love only one woman – in my book – that makes you a real man!