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lilyThere once was a little boy named David, with a striped cap and a perpetual runny nose. He was a bit disgusting, chronically dirty hands, always wiping his nose on his coat sleeve. I was a melancholy kid, cynical, skeptical, and I observed David from as far away as possible. Whatever dude, you just orbit on your little planet over there and stay out of my universe.

David of course, constantly wanted my attention. He would call out, “look at me, I can walk on a log!” I wasn’t overly impressed because I’d mastered walking upright long ago. He’d say, “hey, do you want to  watch me rub dirt in my hair?” Uh, sure, whatever makes you happy.

One day David brought me a gift, the coolest thing ever, or so he said. I held out my hand, looked in his eyes and saw such sweetness, such adoration, that I didn’t even notice what he put it in my hand. They say our eyes are the window to our soul and for just a moment I think I caught a glimpse of David’s soul. At that moment I realized that people are far more than their exteriors, that this disgusting little boy had a higher self….. somewhere under all that snot.

When I looked down at my hand I was holding the longest, deadest, earth worm I’d ever seen. “I want you to have him,” he said. “Uh, thank you,” I told him. David was absolutely beaming, as if he had accomplished some great task. “You can keep him forever,” he said. My mind was busy trying to figure out how I was going to dispose of this thing as quickly as possible, without him knowing about it. I wanted to throw it in the bushes, drop it an run away, but I didn’t. Something compelled me to recognize the sacrificial nature of this gift, the love behind it. Although I didn’t understand at the time, I knew something sweet and precious had just transpired.

I also realized that boys and girls are so vastly different, it’s sometimes questionable if we even belong to the same species. Even in the grown up world of men and women, I have, on numerous occasions, been compelled to point out as gently as possible, girls just don’t share your same excitement for earth worms. Or spark plugs. Or having dirt rubbed in their hair. It’s very hard for us to see those displays of peacockery and the sacrificial little acts of love hidden in there. It’s simply not our world.

Biology can be a bit cruel. If you want to be coldly clinical about it, much of men’s value in the biological equation, lies in their expendability. That’s a harsh reality to face, but the sacrificial nature of men has a great deal to do with our success and continuation as a species. If men were not willing to go hunt, to fight wars, to lay treasures at our feet, women would never have the safety, the security, and the protection needed to produce children.

In another cruel twist of biology, that sacrificial nature of men is not so easy for many women to see. We sort of have to feel it rather than see it, and even than it doesn’t always register properly. This serves a purpose, we’re supposed to focus on our children, ourselves, our own survival, because that is the prime directive when it comes to the perpetuation of the species. Yes, women can be a bit self absorbed at times. It’s not entirely our fault.

Biology however, is not all we are, nor is it the only factor that rules human behavior. My plea today is that more girls grow up and learn to see the sacrificial nature of men, to show some respect for it, and to learn how to pour honor into them. From where I’m standing, it’s just not looking so good these days and men are kind of a vital part of the equation.

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