The Making of a Man
Seinfeld gives such good pictures of our quest for fulfillment of the false self.
So, it is with that lens that I watched an episode the other night. George and Jerry sit as usual in the coffee shop.
Only this time they are discontent with the normal small talk. They are restless and the moment is summed up by Jerry’s question “what are we doing?”
Neither of them knows and they both come to the same conclusion – “we are not men”.
The solution to this problem seems simple enough to each of them; they must each commit to a woman. That will make them men. On this note the two misguided friends shake hands. A move that George thinks signifies a deal, but which Jerry reasons – “you stuck you hand out and I shook it.”
This is characteristic of the false self.
The false self is never content. It compares and demands. When it doesn’t get what it wants, it shames.
Our false self will not submit to the Creator for transformation, it seeks to make its own wholeness apart from God.
So we think we’ll be whole if we get a wife. Or if I just have a baby. Or get a bigger house. Or make more money. Or if I get/do (fill in the blank).
Yet, George finds out that having a fiancee does not cure the restlessness of his self.
Having a wife does not make a man, having a wife takes a man.
Issues of masculinity are not solved by using the questions what do I do?, what do I have?, and what do people think of me? to generate value. Roles, possessions, and relationships cannot bear the weight of identity. The deficit will remain – or be magnified.
How is a masculine voice developed? That’s for Monday.