I’m breaking out “Nobody Does It Better” for this post, because the men we are about to meet truly are the best of the best, In my opinion. I already covered Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead, and I don’t want to repeat what I said about him, but since this IS the best of post, know that my perfect man is a combination of all of the men in this post and him. It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? What started out as a reaction to the frenzy over Fifty Shades of Grey and the dubious Mr. Grey himself has really turned into a celebration of the truly heroic male characters that populate big and small screens, books and comic books. As fictional as these men are, there are real, important lessons to be learned about what qualities we seek out – either in fantasy or in real life – when we are searching for a person to love.
This is how far we’ve come, so many men…. I bet you’re wondering how I’m going to top the choices we’ve had so far, but I’m going to do my best.
When I first read To Kill A Mockingbird in high school, I remember thinking that Atticus Finch was the kind of man I wished my father had been. (I have a wonderful stepfather, though) Reading the novel and watching the movie as an adult, I found myself half in love with him (or maybe completely in love, because I’m teary as I write this about him). Atticus Finch is the best father. He’s an honorable man, well respected in his community and the kind of man people look to when they have doubts about the world around them. Most of all, he loves his late wife and you can hear it in how he talks to his children about her. The goodness of Atticus Finch is evident in how he treats Tom Robinson, his client, and the entire Robinson family. He doesn’t brag about his accomplishments or complain about the problems laid at his feet.
Atticus Finch is just about the perfect man, in my opinion. Other than my grandpa, who truly was the best of men. 🙂
The first ‘heart-throb’ poster I had on my wall when I was young was of Superman. It was Christopher Reeve as Superman, but the Man of Steel has cast a very long shadow since those days. It’s a cliché that all superheroes have a secret identity, to protect themselves and the people they love from danger. On the surface, it seems like it’s Kal-El, the Kryptonian orphan who lives as Clark Kent, hiding in plain sight. The truth is, it’s Clark Kent that puts on the Superman suit to use the super powers he has to make the world he calls home a better place and to protect the other residents of Earth. This is an important distinction, especially where we are talking about superheroes. In the case of Batman, Bruce Wayne is the mask, the place where the Caped Crusader lives. The Batsuit is his uniform, not a disguise, where the Superman suit is definitely a garment designed distract from the man wearing it. There is nothing about Clark Kent that isn’t good, honest and best of all, optimistic. He believes the best of people without being naïve, in the same way Atticus Finch does. Clark Kent is a devoted son, a good friend and in love with his headstrong, determined, and loyal girlfriend, Lois Lane. That his god-like power is held in check by his wonderfully humble humanity is beyond amazing.
I love Clark Kent.
This series would not be complete without my talking even a little bit about George Bailey. George is also one of the best men ever – selfless, compassionate, community minded, loving, loyal and determined. Watching It’s A Wonderful Life, you watch him grow from a little boy who sacrifices his hearing to save his brother to a young man who gives up the future he’s dreamed for himself to save the family business, send his brother to school, marry the girl down the street, sacrifice his honeymoon to save the family business….you get the idea. George keeps his sense of humor all the way through, until finally it’s a situation where he KNOWS he would take the fall for his elderly uncle and lose everything he’s managed to build for himself while giving up his real dreams. It’s his love for his wife and children that wakes him up to the truth of his life – that it’s so worth living – something he’s always known. Once again, we have a man that is respected for his thoughtfulness, his dedication to his community and his unswerving loyalty to his family. It’s is easy to see why Mary adores him. We all should.
Well, that’s it. Seven day of better men than Mr. Grey. Now, it’s time for you to let me know what you think – who are your picks? What makes them good men? What makes anyone a good man?
Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!