Brother's keeper: When men keep it a hundred with other men
I am a boxing fan. Like many other sports, the sweet science – as boxing is fondly called - has lessons that can be applied in life.
During a close boxing battle, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr’s words outside the ring to his protégé Gervonta “Tank” Davis – who is shaping up to be a future hall of famer – at the end of rounds nine and 10, pushed this humble warrior to overcome his opponent, Mario Barrios.
“I need this; tenth, eleventh, and twelfth. On the unofficial, he’s down, man,” Mayweather shouted.
“I had him down,” Tank said. “Twice.”
From Tank’s POV, he thought he had the fight in the bag. He had knocked Barrios twice. But, in boxing – and in life – that’s not enough to get the job done. Those are just two points deducted from a fighter.
Cheering fans can lie to a boxer that the fighter is cruising to victory. Ditto the unofficial scorecard. That’s why a fighter needs people in his corner who can see things he can’t see. These are tried and tested pros who can advise the boxer to change his strategy and style, as each round dictates.
“I gotta be honest with you. That’s what you want from me,” Mayweather kept it real with Tank. “You don’t want me lying to you. I’m a hundred with you. And it’s my job.”
“I’m a hundred with you. I’m behind you a hundred percent. You’re a dog. You got a winner in you. You can do anything. Okay? I’m behind you. You’re the best. Make yourself big.”
The tough talk and brutal honesty did it. Tank knocked out Barrios in round 11.
Keeping it a hundred 24/7. That’s what men need from other men. A duplicitous man is the worst kind of friend you can have in your corner. This type of man will lie to your face that you are winning, while they know damn well you are about to suffer a catastrophic loss. This type of man takes secret pleasure in watching you suffer. He will shed crocodile tears with you while, inwardly, he is laughing his head off.
In a world full of false friends, where some people – some who are in one’s inner circle – are watching and waiting for a brother to step on landmine, it is only the rare few who will warn a brother that he is in harm’s way.
We need men who, if they know the woman you are trying to wife has more demons than the gates of Hell, they will tell you right to your face and will not lie to you that she’s a dime. They will not let you burn your fingers and finances – and bodily organs – and then, after the fiery fact, act like they never knew you were touching a live wire.
When men keep it a hundred with other men, they raise the value of their relationship. A man whose word is his bond raises his value and that of others when he gives and keeps his word. High value men are the rare breed of males who are not afraid that others will be considered better – or greatest of all time – and they will give you their honest opinion so you can raise your value.
When men keep it a hundred with other men, they will build a formidable Burkina Faso. A land of upright men. That’s what this country needs as soon as 1983. For it is only upright men who can save this country from socioeconomic rot and ruin.
Of course, in a group of 100 upright men who are keeping it a hundred, there will always be a conniving Blaise Campaore. But? C’est la vie. Unfortunately.