John Ransom
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Hi Townhall Readers- Yes, I know I'm on vacation, but even so I can't but help to spout about stuff. This week I will be taking selections from writings I've written elsewhere regarding life and liberty and sharing them with you.

Don't you feel special now?

Today's selection is a letter I wrote to someone who was coming of age and wanted advice about being a man.

It's not that I think I'm an expert. Far from it. But he thought it helpful and it can serve as a point of discussion for Christmas Day.       

Dear __________,

Before this last century boys your age were considered men really. They held all sorts of jobs and responsibilities, including general, emperor and king. It is only in the last 80 years or so that we have come up with this idea of being a “teenager” where you are not quite a man but certainly not a child either.

Reject that notion.

In age, outlook and maturity you are certainly ready to take on the responsibilities of being a man. It is this idea of responsibility and how you meet it that makes you a man.

I know several men, so-called, who have shirked their responsibilities and consequently will never be men. They are over-grown boys who never put away childish things, most especially the natural self-centeredness that goes with being a child. I know others that have been men from an early age.

I, myself, was somewhat late in becoming a man. I have therefore, spent a considerable amount of time pondering what goes into adulthood. Here is some of what I have learned:

Firstly, God has put a special responsibility upon you to help and protect those weaker than yourself, those less fortunate than yourself and those in distress. The measure of a man is in how he meets these challenges. A good man treats those around him with kindliness and consideration especially under trying circumstances. I count your father amongst one of the very special examples I have known in meeting this responsibility. You can learn a lot from him. He is more than just a man in my eyes, but what used to be known as a gentleman.

Get ready to be the head of a household. One day you will have a family. I am somewhat old-fashioned in thinking of a man as the head of a household. But I do. It does not however mean the man is the boss of everyone. It consists of accepting the responsibility of making decisions, without any prejudice, for the good of your family; and then being accountable to God for the outcome.

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John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.