Elizabeth and I have gotten hooked on a show that I’m sure most everyone has at least heard of, if not seen. That show is Mad Men. For those who might not know the premise of this show, it is set in the 60’s and follows a group of high-powered advertising execs. The plot takes you through the life of these powerful men. They are rich, and they get what they want exactly when they want it. Women fall at their feet, and rum falls from the heavens. On paper, this seems like it would be the life every man would want.
This clip, though, is not unique in the grand movement of the show. Over and over again, you see these men who have it all, show that the one thing they lack is the one thing they desperately seek; happiness.
Pete Campbell, the man you see speaking in this clip, is a newly wed. Up to this clip, he was completely happy being the man his wife wanted him to be. This particular episode, he took back a “chip dip tray” that was give as a wedding present, and when he learned that he could not receive cash back for the gift, he opted to just buy a gun with the store credit instead. The next scene is his wife berating him as his head hangs low and his gun rests on his lap.
In this one scene he portrays what he really wants. His heart opens, the clouds part, the wall around his heart is brought low. You see that all he wants is to feel like the man that makes his wife proud. He wants to be the man that can be relied upon, and can provide.
Notice money is ironically absent. Actually, if you listen to the dream, you will hear him describe a rather simple life.
In American society, we are taught that money makes the man. If you aren’t pulling in “the benjamins” you aren’t a worthy man. But, when it comes down to it, money will never make us feel like a man. Masculinity is not what you make, but what you do. It is who you daily choose to be.
As a man, do I choose to do the hard work of leading by serving? Do I continue to pursue my wife? Do I reject apathy? Do I act as spiritual leader and am I willing to make a hard decision when it is asked of me? And am I willing to take on the ownership and criticism when that decision is unpopular, or even worse, wrong? Am I willing to be the one who does the hard work of hunting, or am I the man who just runs to the store to buy some pre-frozen beef patties?
A man goes all in. His family and his friends deserve this.