This is a cautionary advice piece for all men to accept the responsibility to love, be loved, and to honor the women in their lives
Not one to cry over spilled milk; I truly wished I had given her all I had. One of the better songs paying homage to a woman is depicted in the R&B singing group, The Dells in their original version of GIVE YOUR WOMAN A STANDING OVATION. You remember that one, don’t you? One of the themes of the song laments the fact that behind every great man is a woman. When was the last time you saluted your woman? I asked this question to several of my colleagues and was appalled and quite surprised at the answers I got. Surely they’d want to know that woman has always had our backs, as a matter of fact, they not only absorbed the brunt of the angst directed historically to Black men, but proved to be stronger in the long run dealing with it. Odes to Black women shouldn’t be foreign to any of us as we ascertain the worth of having someone dedicated to our cause. Suffice it to say, not many men will read this post in this setting, but rest assured the message will be carried forth as I reintroduce it when I publish my upcoming book of essays. This is a subject near and dear to me. I’ve loved and lost, and admit that if given chances to right wrongs and just do it all over again, a different set of colors, a new canvas, and a better backdrop would be par for the course. I will endeavor to be more caring, understanding, and most importantly, show more of a loving spirit to that significant other. Did I drop the ball? Without a doubt, and would admit fumbling when I had a chance to score big truly cost me big time.
My standing ovation is being rendered without an audience. Realizing my gaff, I’m not afforded the chance to say, hey I’m sorry. No, the door is closed and deaf ears are tuned elsewhere. Macho bearing has caused quite a few men to ultimately lose before winning at love. It’s the sentimentality in most cases that defined success or failure in relationships. But what about this thing we call love? Why is it so fleeting? All I know is that it’s a hurting thing sometime – Lou Rawls says it best in a song of the same nature. Lust, love, and infatuation are mighty trios often not distinguishable enough to truly define how a man should act save from doing what he SHOULD be doing for unmistakable intent. Giving her all you got will mean sacrifice, sanity, and subtle gestures of meaningful intent. We must do a better job of letting our women know that we care, and that we are with them for the long haul. I’ve made mistakes, yes. How will I correct them?
I will hark back to admonitions and adages that my Mom gave me when I first sought love. She told me that love is a gamble -- “ Never devastate yourself and make a woman wait too long to claim you as hers.” She said that the symptoms of loving are fraught with disappearing acts, be it mine or from forces that govern doing what’s right. I was to be a respecter of woman, and that chivalry would never die as long as I’m extending a hand. I’m prone to believe these sage assessments, and her belief that long distance love doesn’t work. It’s no wonder that in my opinion a woman is as complex as the greatest maze ever presented to man. I remember the scripture she used to always offer: “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly come to view with contempt.” Now hearing this, it got my attention. Love truly IS a gamble, and that if great waters cannot quell love’s manifestation in one’s life, then I am responsible for the way MY love is to be nurtured. Thus, if loving her is wrong then I need to make it right… I need to know when to hold the cards of love in my heart and when to fold them. I admit pangs of love are still with me, remembering the woman she exemplified, but find no fault in wanting favorable odds. To come clean, I will indeed, give her all I got. My brothers, make sure you do the same!