Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

For years, I have felt that men today are lost.  I have felt that we, as men, have forgotten what it is to be men. I don’t know when this happened, but it’s there. We don’t know how to fill our roles in the home, we don’t know how to fill our roles in society.  Many of us want to be manly, many of us want to be strong, capable, and respected, but how do we do that when we feel that we are constantly emasculated for being…men?  Terms like “toxic masculinity” are casually thrown around, and, I’ll be perfectly honest with you – I have no idea what that means. Sadly, I hear that term from both women and other men. 

The role of women in our society has changed greatly over the last century. Changed for the better, and society in general is greatly improved for their evolving and expanding capacity. But, I think that we as men, are largely confused about our roles in our homes, and assignments in society.  Unfortunately, the models we had for manliness and manhood are from another time, and another place, and parts of it are outdated, and badly in need of an upgrade: Manliness 2.0. Manhood+, if you will. Masculinity, redefined

But how do we do that? The internet, our primary research tool today, is rife with blogs and videos of how awful, how toxic, even, masculinity is. There’s no guide to this, is there?  Well, gentlemen, I have good news.

Photo by Zuriela Benitez on Unsplash

Enter The Paladin Code.

What Is a Paladin?

If you were to look up the word “Paladin,” you would find that it means any of the “12 peers of King Charlemagne’s court, of whom Count Palatine was the chief,” but that wouldn’t really tell you much. But, dig just a little deeper, and we see that it means a knight, renowned for chivalry and heroism.  The French word means “warrior,” according to one source.

Still not quite enough though, is it?

As time has gone on, the term Paladin has come to define any heroic or chivalrous person, especially one who champions a cause.  That’s where the term jumped off of the screen and embedded itself into my psyche. Not just because that was Richard Boone’s character on the 60’s TV show, “Have Gun – Will Travel, “ and not because the term has been adopted by gamers (“Paladins: Champions of the Realm”), and not because of the U.S. Army’s M109A6 tank, nicknamed, of course, “Paladin.”  It jumped off the page because of what it means: “A heroic or chivalrous person…One who champions a cause.”

That’s what men need today. We need to stand up, and champion our cause. We must stand firm in our values. We must stand firm in our ethics. We must be men living a mission-driven life. We are all seeking respect, are we not? Well, how can we expect to receive respect when we don’t act respectfully, and worse, we don’t even respect ourselves?  How can we answer the question that every man asks, deep down to his core: “Do I Have What It Takes?”

Values. Ethics. Morals. Mission-driven. Respect.

These are not new  values. These values have been around since the beginning. So why are we trying to treat them as if they are completely unattainable, simply because we are men?  We need to upgrade, but we are trying to discover some new hack to get us to an idealized position, because that is what we have been trained to do in today’s society.  We have been trained to think and live for others, live out the dreams of others, not to live for ourselves. We are created in God’s image, and God is perfect, right? When did we start buying into the notion that we are so much less?  If the word God triggers you, then insert the word you would like to use: Spirit, Universe, Supreme Being, etc., whatever that word is, I don’t really care. For me, it is, and always will be, God, that is the ultimate. 

Based on ancient, historical texts, the Paladin Code brings it all together for us as a set of rules and definitions for men to re-learn how to be men. We are here for an upgrade, and being a Paladino is how we will set ourselves apart and serve as the new role model for other men. Join me in this journey – the Hero’s Journey – and see if you can be the man that you are meant to be: Courageous, Powerful, Respected.