Thursday, March 22, 2012

All Men Want to be TARZAN

I went to see my doctor the other day for some 'routine maintenance'. I took my book to read while i waited: TARZAN of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I've owned this book since I was in Jr. High and I read it on a regular basis.  I love it!  It's old (Published in 1912) antiquated, full of anthropological inaccuracies and it is pure fun!

I've always loved the character of Tarzan…not the caricature from the movies…but the complicated, intelligent, resourceful, strong , furious, character from the books.

Apparently so does my doctor.

When he came into the room he casually asked what I was reading and when he discovered it was Tarzan he just got excited and started chattering away about how much he enjoys reading the book (as well as another one of my favorites: “the Lord of the Rings”)…and we had a great conversation about the Victorian language of the book and how original the story is. We both laughed at how when we were kids we both dreamed about being Tarzan…(admit it…when you were little, you too ran around the house in your tighty-whiteys with a plastic knife shoved into the waistband, banging on your chest and hollering at the top of your lungs!)

After I left his office, I thought to myself: "Every guy wants to be Tarzan."

I mean, come-on, Tarzan can kill a full grown lion with his bare hands!  What guy wouldn't love to brag about that skill!?!

The story of Tarzan taps into a primal and innate sense that all men share to provide and protect.  We all like to think of ourselves as capable of taking care of ourselves, our loved ones and others under any circumstance.  We like to think that we can handle just about anything. When faced with dangerous tests of life and death we all like imagine that we’d come through victorious and able to stand tall and proud as monuments to masculine ingenuity and strength. In our minds eyes, we are all Tarzan.

Reality may be something different entirely (as I look in the mirror at my pasty white skin, my soft middle and my graying hair, wondering if my microwave burrito is about done…). Our imagination lets us believe that we can be… weather it’s Tarzan, Bear Grylls, HULK, or a member of “SEAL Team SIX” (you all know that there really isn’t an organization called “SEAL Team Six” right?) That is why those characters resonate so well with us.  We all want to be like them. We all want to BE them.

Men are designed to have and look up to Heroes and in the same vein, to desire to be someone else’s hero.  We are a ‘heroic’ gender and that title of HERO is something that we strive for in all our daily actions of life.

When we read the following scripture I think we all have the same thought:

“…Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of perfect understanding;…a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and freedom of his country;…a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God…a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people…a man who was firm in the faith of Christ;…

Yea…if all men had been , and were, and every would be, like unto Moroni, …the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; (and) the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”
(Alma 48: 11-17)

That thought that I’m sure we all share is this: “I wish that statement could be said about me…I wish I could be described like that.”

So why can’t it?  What is holding us back from arising from the dust and be(ing) MEN?

Here’s the thing: YOU CAN DO IT, you can be a HERO!  You have the opportunity RIGHT NOW to do it.  Weather you are a Deacon’s Quorum President or a full-time Missionary.  Weather you are a Bishop or a Primary teacher.  Weather you are a single guy or a father of ten.  YOU have opportunities to serve, and that service provides you with the unique opportunity to be someone’s HERO!

The best part is…it doesn’t take much.  With the slightest effort, you can make a HUGE difference in the lives around you.  The key word being EFFORT.  Satan hates that word!

Take the few extra minutes that it requires to: fully prepare a lesson, play catch, teach a skill, wrestle, read scriptures, pray, give a blessing, or simply help.  That is really all it takes!  I’ll warn you up front though…when you start putting forth the effort, you’ll want to do more!  It’s addictive!

So let the Spirit move you to action and become someone’s hero! (If you are a father, this is ESSENTIAL!  You can’t afford to wait for someone else to be your kids hero.)

BTW - I also believe that way-deep-down, every woman wants a man like Tarzan (a.k.a. Capt. Moroni)… more on that when I post about how a man should REALLY show proper respect to women. (coming soon)