I am very fortunate to have men in my life who taught me what it means to be a man and a good man at that. Here are some things that have always stuck with me.
Brother James,"Take life seriously, but not too seriously".
Dad, "If everyone is not laughing than the joke is not funny, a joke that singles someone out, hurts their feelings or makes them uncomfortable is never worth the laughs it might get from others".
Grandpa Hansen, "In life there is always a simple and easy answer to every question or problem. It is usually the wrong answer".
Gerald Griffin, "Never trust a blinker".
Dan Griffin, "Just keep strummin".
Jim Brannon, "You are fine just as you are, there is nothing wrong with you".
James again, "there is a million reasons not to do anything, so ask her out till she says no".
Couch Mccloud, "use your left foot to hook instead of your right".
Grandpa Max, "I am proud you are my grandson".
Craig Finn, "You have to dance with who you came to the dance with".
Seth white, Jason Birch, Josh Savage, Brandon Kelsey, all other ATA Lead Guides, "Row Hard!!!", "Don't hit that rock", "Ammo don't do that again".
Dad, "that is how you play a G chord".
Sam, "Your a very good guitarist".
Grandpa Hansen, "Grasshopper man is stronger than Superman, Ammon everyone knows that", "Ammon how are all your girlfriends"?, "Don't be afraid of the ball, step into the pitch, when you swing do what feels normal and right".
Mexican Farm Worker, "Here cute chubby boy, eat this burrito, I cooked it on the tractor engine".
Kyle the farmer, "it's the god damn government making it rain again".
Outlaw biker tatoo artist in Alaska, "Don't ever let another man shave your back after this one time".
Mr Spivey, "This is a home to you to hold in your heart that wherever you are there is your boggy family who love and care about you".
People have very weird views of what it means to be a man. I am very glad that I was not raised thinking that it is okay to be unkind, to fight, to mistreat women, to not think for myself, to follow the crowd, to be simple, not to think.
Instead I was taught To be caring, to love, to try to understand, to question everything, that it is okay to cry, that women and men are equal, that all people are equal, to love and cherish children, to respect everyone, to accept when you are wrong, fighting is not the answer... ever, to read, to study, to think things out, to listen to old wisdom, to give, to be a gracious winner, to accept your shortcomings.
I hope I have become a good man. I strive to be a better one. I hope I can help other younger men move forward and become a real man as well.