What Makes a Man ‘Tick’


When I was much younger I often thought, as most boys of that day, about becoming a man and just what I wanted to be or what profession to follow. I too looked up to my father who was a fine example. When I got older I began to see flaws in my father that I never saw before. It made me think long and hard about growing up into manhood.

My mother passed away when I was a senior in high school and it was a difficult time. I graduated and went onto college still not sure what I wanted to do for a living or exactly what kind of man I ought to become.

When do we know we are a man?

It was hard then to realize I had already developed into what I thought was a man but it just didn’t seem like it. I was 19 alone and in college that wasn’t going well, I was lost, and so I didn’t come back for a semester and took a job at Gates Rubber Company in Denver.

I found out very quick that factory work was not exactly my cup of tea. I then joined the Marine Corps and they began their duty to turn me into a man and a Marine that would never fear death, not the football player kind of brat I came into the Marines displaying.

When boot camp was over they sent me to ITR, Infantry Training Regiment, for twelve weeks of training. Marching, hiking, and rifle shooting, grenade training, recoilless rifle training and who remembers it all now? A fifty mile forced march was one of the things I do remember and we had only so long to get there.

How do we face tough challenges?

Not many made it but I and a few other guys did it on time and while helping others to finish the march. They called them who straggled along later our buddies but we had another name for them. It was tough and an experience I will never forget. I learned something about myself that day.

I had stamina and plenty of guts as the Gunny Sergeant said. I got an award of merit and that was it but a little pride also set into my psychic. I learned I had what it takes to make it anywhere any time.

I got married later the next year then learned another good life rule. A wife is a gift from God. Treat them like they are angels and your marriage will always be on good ground. I was fortunate I married an angel.

Select your future mate with prayer and, careful consideration, your heart and lots of love. If you are married and things aren’t going well examine yourself first, to see if you are the problem. If you are the problem, fix it. If she is try to find out why she has her problems before throwing away a marriage.

Little children are too precious to be raised in a home full of anger, pain, and fighting or by a single parent.

We will make mistakes in life and do dumb things that hinder our growth. When we know we are wrong be smart enough to admit it and change.

The same mistake made over and over again, become an addiction.

If alcohol is a problem quit drinking. If drugs are problems quit taking them, get help if you need it but stop now before you really mess up. If you smoke stop it.

I have tried to help any person who is serious about changing their life or circumstances. Today in this photo world, pornography is a fault that kills the spirit of a man.

Don’t get involved with it and if you are already watching it stop because it is addicting AND IT DESTROYS FAMILIES and PEOPLE. Helping others is part of a man’s duty to help, good men care about others.

Any person who needs a break should get a break but these rules must be applied, 3 strikes and you’re out.

I was in business for a number of years both in Denver, Colorado and in Los Angeles California. Good honest men are scarce and there is far too few of them in this world. While in business I hired and fired many men and a few women. The one ingredient I was constantly looking for were honest people.

They were far and few between that were capable of being left alone to accomplish the smallest task.

I made a list of the ingredients I was looking for in people and sadly I found very few who fit these qualifications. .

Keep and protect your integrity, always be honest, never promise anything you will not do, always tell the truth, defend your family, control your anger and never hurt a wife or children physically or mentally.

Be a very good father and husband. Watch your language and keep it clean. These rules applied to me as well to those with whom I associated. Earn the money you work for every day.

The Ten Important Qualities of Manhood after you put away the previous list of addictions and faults.

1. To love the Lord first above everyone else or everything, then love your wife and family and cherish them with every step you take in this life.

2. Try with sincerity to love your neighbors or if they are not loveable, just try to get along.

3. Never have sexual relations with any other person only with you wife

4. Being proficient in your trade or profession, get educated, learn how to be a good employee who can and will do the job.

5. Walk softly in life except when you need to be tough.

6. Live one day at a time, life passes away quickly enjoy the good you have right now.

7. Be kind to every person you meet even if you don’t like them.

8. Keep a journal of your life’s experiences and the work you accomplish daily…

9. Be kind to children, animals, and enemies, work hard and keep a level head about life.

10. In a world of anything goes keep away from bad influences.

The value of a good man is not how much money they make or the position they hold in business or in other people’s eyes. An honest man who is a husband, father, and does everything required of them to be a good citizen and loves God as much as they love life is worth his weight in gold.

If the person is single and has a desire to be a good husband, father and person they are on the right track… Our society needs more honest honorable men who do as they say and walk the walk. Never judge a man buy his wealth, but by his heart and what makes him tick.

Robert D. Ashford was a Marine during the cold war and is now retired, after 50 years of construction management. He is a keen genealogist and loves humor. He watches the political horizons and likes to write commentary on what’s next.