Almost every young boy dreams of becoming a man one day. Some dream of becoming a woman, and that is fine as well. For this blog, we will only address those who want to be a men. Becoming a man is not accomplished in one day, nor is it solidified. There will be days that you will be considered less than a man. Hopefully, those days are far, few and in between. Not every boy will reach the title of being a great man. We all have our vices including me. The same goes for Pierre Kendy Lamour. I have witnessed some of his shortcomings first hand. From being a father to embracing or ignoring societies stereotypes, making the transition from a boy to a man can be challenging.
I traveled to St. Louis, Mo for Kendy’s 26th birthday to celebrate another year of life, but we also sat down discussed what it meant to be a man. His journey from boy to man has not been a cakewalk. I still remember the early days when Kendy was an innocent kid from Martinique. It is interesting how a city can change a kid for the better or worse. Somewhere along the way, he became a product of Z6NE (Golden Gate). Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I’ll leave for you to decide. However, there is still hope for every boy and man who wants to be a great man one day.
Do you kiss girls who are not your wife?
“ Oh man. I can’t believe you still remember that. Haha, now I do.”
We all have that one friend that said they would wait until marriage, or they would never smoke weed. Fast forward to now and they are the biggest smokers and they don’t believe in marriage. This applies to Kendy. I know it may be hard to believe, but at one time Kendy didn’t kiss girls that weren’t his wife. Now he only kisses girls who are not his wife.
I’m not going to say Golden Gate is the reason for Kendy’s change of heart but, I will say it might have had an influence. When you get a chance, ask him about the bum bump he got in college. Hopefully, he has learned from it.
When did you transition from being a boy to being a man?
“When I went to college. That was the transition because I took a chance and it was scary. I didn’t tell my parents nothing. A month prior to leaving for school I told them I got accepted to this school and I’m leaving.”
I don’t think age, and being man have any correlation. Some boys become men when they are teenagers while others die boys at the age of fifty. There is no one experience that I can say made me a man. I’ve gained my understanding of what it means to be a man for me through the lives of others and my own experiences.
I would say I transitioned into manhood when I became self-aware. Learning who I was and who I wasn’t changed my life. Becoming self-aware can be quite challenging. You have to ask yourself the hard questions and be willing to tell yourself the truth. The media lies to you enough, there is no need to lie to yourself.
What is your biggest fear?
“My biggest fear is failure. You’re supposed to earn some wealth when you’re the first generation that comes to America. You knew how I grew up. I grew up poor. My mom was a single mother. I was born in Martinique but I had to move to Haiti with my grandma while my mom got things together. I’ve seen all the sacrifices my family has made for me. The fact that I’m in America ( They’re not) I feel like the whole world is on my shoulders. I got to make it. I want to make them proud.”
I’m sure you have heard of the saying “ If you want to be a man you have to face your fears” I don’t completely agree with the statement. I think it should be worded. “ If you want to be a man you have to understand your fears. Once again touching on self-awareness. You have to understand why you fear something before you can conquer it.
I believe Kendy fears failure because of what other people might think of him if he fails. He wants to have a certain image to everyone. Hopefully, one-day Kendy will be able to face failure and block out the outside distractions that in mind play a huge influence on his decisions. As for me, I have no fears. I welcome everything life has to offer even death. Ok, that’s not entirely true. I am extremely terrified of getting a bum bump.
What philosophy do you live by?
“I believe that anything you want, all you have to do is work for and go get it. And loyalty is a big thing for me between family and friends.”
Finding a philosophy to live by can be difficult. Some people live their lives wondering why bad things always happen to them. Misfortune and serendipity are the offspring of thoughts. Having a positive outlook on life plays a major factor. I am not some philosophy guru but trust me. I want you to try this for a week. When you wake up lay in bed and telling yourself all the things you’re thankful for and positive things about yourself. Then end it with “Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better”. I’m sure you will have a better week.
There are a number of philosophies I live by but the main one is aimed towards society. I help out others with no intentions of them returning the favor. I would prefer they pass that good deed on to someone who needs it more than me. One hand must wash the other. If we all practiced this maybe, American would be great for once.
What’s your definition of a man?
““My dad always said a man is a guy that can provide for his family and provide for himself. He called me a man when I was 18. To me, a man is someone that can handle everything on his own and provide for his family. That’s a hard question, Tony.”
We are currently in an era where men are being held accountable for their actions a little more. As expected white men are still being held less accountable (Cosby vs Weinstein). However, the image of the man has been changing over the last decade due to strong successful women. The “traditional man” work and bring home the bacon is transforming. Women are becoming the breadwinners. Being a trophy husband will be the next big thing.
For me, there is not a distinct lifestyle a man should live. My definition of a man is an individual that at any time accepts the consequences of the lifestyle he chooses to live. Not matter if the consequence is prison, death, aids, or divorce.
Where do you fall short at being a man?
“I guess not settling down yet and finding my wife. That’s part of being a man. In my opinion you have to settle and create your family. I would say that’s where I fall short. You career all comes with time. But finding someone to spend it (life) with that’s tough.”
We all fall short on the road to reaching our accomplishments. I have to be honest, this is one of the minor ways Kendy falls short of being a man. He has ambitions of being a great man but has little to show for it. He lacks the discipline, focus and the self-respect needed to be considered a great man. I understand no man is perfect. But on the other hand, you must be able to master the simple things before success is reached.
When being held against my definition of man I don’t fall short in any way. I have gladly accepted the consequences I have earned over the years. But I do fall short when held to other people’s standards of a man. I will never love just one woman. I am fine with my significant other making more money than me. Sometimes I substitute my Hennessy straight for Baileys when I’m having a drink. I let my gay friends hug me and kiss cheek to cheek with other men (it’s a French thing). The list goes on, but those same people who consider me to be less than a man probably won't acknowledge their own mistakes.
Are you proud of the man you are today?
He paused for a period of time. “Yeah. I am but I would still like to be a better man. In a way, my innocence went away (I think it’s all gone but that’s for another interview) but I feel like I have gained wisdom. Yes sometimes (A lot of times) I’m not perfect. You’re my friend you know I’m not perfect. But I’ve learned. From where I started I am really proud of myself. Sometimes I am really hard on myself like I am a failure. I remember in college you put on the things I need to do if I want to make it. I took that shit serious. My dad and my step are great men to me. I want to be better than them.”
There are days that your sense of pride will be intense. These are quick snapshots of the current moment. I’m sure there have been moments when your pride was at an all-time low. I’ve been there once or twice. Now let’s combine all those moments together. Do you feel proud of the person you have become over the course of your life? It’s always good to check in with yourself every few months or so. Slow progress is better than no progress.
At the current moment, I am proud of the man I have grown to become over the years. Believe me, it wasn’t easy getting to where I am. There have been a number of hard decisions I wish I didn’t have to make. I’ve lost some great friends along the way. But I will always wish the best for them regardless of our relationship.
What have you done that you’re not proud of?
Kendy took 30 minutes to answer the question. Jumping from topic to topic only to give me some bullshit answer. After the interview was over he finally opened up and told me the truth.
“Thing I am not proud of is the way I lost my virginity. The way I was raised you waited until marriage. I always said I would. It’s what I am most ashamed of. You always said I’m not the player type (His body count says different). Because when I love someone I love hard. That’s probably why my parents told me to wait until marriage.”
In my opinion, you have three options when it comes to experiences you’re not too proud of. One: you own it and let the world know you’re human and make mistakes. Two: You do your best to hide it and take to your grave. Or three; You tell the world to fuck off and let you live your life the way you want.
Society has created norms that make some people ashamed of who they are and what they enjoy. I find myself in between one and three. Your opinion of me carries no weight in my life. As my bro Nelson would say “ Sin verguenza” which translates to “ Without Shame”. If there was one thing I would be ashamed of it would be how I treated a few women when I was younger. Samantha gave me love, appreciation and a few other things she shouldn’t have. I was unavailable in so many ways except, physically. I should have given more of me and allowed myself to be vulnerable.
Name one person you consider to be a great man?
“One person? That’s easy you man. Bro you and Louvis, I think y'all are great men. To be honest I always knew y'all were great men. We hung out. Ok, let’s say I hung out with y'all. When I first came to America the Haitians would say you’re not really a Haitian you're from Martinique. Then the Americans like this nigga got an accent we gunna roast him. I don’t think I was prepared. It was a total culture shock. So I would hang around you and SK. I would chill in the corner and y'all never said nothing to me or made fun of me. You and SK definitely showed me love.”
Most people consider someone in their immediate family to be great men. It’s usually their father, grandfather or brother. Think about the people you would call great men. They probably have a close relationship with you. You have seen them perform good deeds on a number of occasions. Every chance you get to pick their mind and make the best of it. Great men don’t come a dime a dozen.
I wouldn’t consider myself a great man. I would say I’m decent. The reason I stand out is because I am competing with a bunch of 2 dollar niggas. (My favorite Mike Tyson phrase). I have a long way to go before I can have the honor of being called a great man. With that being said I have yet to find a person I wonder consider to be a great man. I don’t give out many compliments or praise people for doing what I believe should be the standard.
What’s your definition of a real friend?
“A real friend is family. Where I’m from friends are family to you. You want the best for them just as much as they want the best for you”
When I look at my closest friends it is crazy that the majority of them are not blood relatives. For many reasons, family relationships are not the strongest. But don’t be under the impression that my family and I don’t get along. Nobody wins when the family feuds. There is genuine love for another and always will be.
Over the years your true friends become your family. They are the ones who know you the most. They’re the first people you call when you are in need. As I have said before and will continue to say. Blood makes you related. Loyalty makes you family.
What comes to mind when I say Polo boots?
He laughed for a few moments. "You know I worked all summer for those polo boots. It was my freshman and I knew it was going to snow and Pete told me I should get polo boots. I only enjoyed them for one year. When I came back they were gone. I’m a fade Weeble bruh.”
Every group of friends have certain sayings or actions that are exclusive to them. What is something that is exclusive to your group of friends? I started something we call shopping. In college, I would go to the Mental House ( Where Lou, Kendy, and Brook lived) and I would go shopping for items that I liked. I would usually borrow shoes or a shirt. But after a day or two, I would return them.
Shout out to Lou for that GGHS bucket hat, it has literally been around the world with me. I don’t think I’ll be returning it. One day, shopping went a little too far when Weeble aka Megamind took Kendy’s Polo boots and never returned them. Long story short, Kendy was emotionally and physically scarred from losing his boots. But I have to be fair and say Weeble has gotten Kendy’s money worth out of them.
Boys will be boys is a common phrase used to downplay boys unacceptable behavior. The issue is some of these “boys” grow up to be rapists, abusive husbands, and inappropriate bosses. I believe the Metoo Movement is a byproduct of “ Boys will be boys”.
We as a society have to change the culture around boys will be boys. Boys will be men one day, that will have the mentality of a teenage boy. Hopefully, you can see where this may lead to problems in the future.
As for Kendy, he has some work ahead of him. A lot of work. Every time we have a one on one talk, he tells me about his goals and dreams. When I was a kid, my friends and I would sit around, and tell lavish stories about the lives we would one day have. Swimming pools with fish in them, NFL and NBA championships, and big-time CEOs. But none of us dreamed of being a great man. Maybe we thought being a man was the easy part, or we just didn’t understand what it meant to be a man. Finally, when it comes to the question about whether Kendy is still a boy or man. I will leave that for him to decide.
Boys Will Be Boys
Boys will be boys and treat women
Like toys. Use them and they abuse them
Then replace them when they’re bored
Boys will be boys for a very long time.
Bending and breaking laws with very
Few men to impose the fines.
Boys will be boys until they understand
Their fears. Scared to show their uncried
Tears among their closest peers.
Boys will be men when the tables turn
When boys give their precious daughters
All the karma they deserved
Boys will be men when laws are imposed.
Changing their lives the same way they
Changed the lives of the “Hoes”
Boys would be men IF Kipling had his way.
Creating men among men every day. But
boys will be boys until the world fades