Knowing a Good Man

A good man isn’t perfect. But his behavior is aspirational, and he works hard to uphold a standard. The list below is by no means definitive, nor is it meant to be all-encompassing. But it’s surely a good start at characterizing the modern good man – isn’t it?

By Thomas G. Fiffer

1. A good man models respectful behavior. At home, at work, in social situations, even encounters with strangers, a good man always behaves respectfully, not only because it’s the right way to treat others, but also to show others the right way to treat people.

2. A good man honors his families—the one he grew up in and the one he forms—and considers them as one. If rancor arises within or between them, he quickly quells it, and he tolerates no divisiveness or sniping.

3. A good man is generous. He expands his life beyond home and work and gives what he can—his time, his expertise, his resources—to people who need and to causes he cares about.

4. A good man manages his emotions. He expresses his feelings but doesn’t wallow in them. He is spontaneous but not impulsive. And rage is not in his range of behavior.

5. A good man values his time. He completes his work and enjoys his leisure, but he doesn’t fritter hours away on meaningless activities or mindless entertainment. And those he loves come first on his calendar.


1. A good man doesn’t objectify women. He knows the difference between appreciating beauty and reducing a person to the sum of her parts. And he teaches it to his children, too.

2. A good man doesn’t glorify violence—he abhors it. He understands that fighting may be necessary—to protect the innocent or defend a nation at war. But he sees violence as a last resort that has no place in everyday life.

3. A good man doesn’t avoid responsibility or stay on the sidelines. If it’s his fault, he owns up. If it’s his job, he steps up. When the game’s on, he suits up. And if a person or principle he values is threatened, he stands up and steps in.

4. A good man doesn’t take foolish risks. He keeps what he earns, doesn’t gamble, spends smartly, and invests wisely. He wants to enjoy his future and therefore doesn’t jeopardize it.

5. A good man doesn’t use force or power to intimidate or control, because ultimately, his conduct is more important than the outcome.

This list could surely be expanded, but it’s offered as a start. After all, we’re having a conversation!

Original Post | GoodMenProject


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