2008 Tied to Greatness™ Essay Contest
As an extension of the national tour, we launched our TIED TO GREATNESS™ 2008 Essay Contest, to further encourage these young men to express themselves through writing, and to reinforce the importance of sharing their ideas in a positive way. The essay contest was open to all young men in the 9th-12th grade, and was centered on the principles taught in the book, Restoring The Male Image…A Look From The Inside Out, by Alexis Ellis, which reinforces the importance of personal image. This contest allowed these young men to express the impact of this book on their lives, and more importantly, produce some necessary dialogue about how to make different choices that will impact the balance of their lives.
Out of the tousands of young men given the chance to enter the essay contest, we are proud to announce this year's 1st place winner is Mr. Robin Coachman, Jr. of Ontario, California. Thank you to all the young men who read the book and submitted essays. We appreciate your committment to becoming a better young man by embracing the power and importance of your personal I.M.A.G.E. Never forget that you are Tied To Greatness!!!
Restoring the Male Image
a Look from the Inside Out
By: Robin Coachman Jr.
In today’s society image is everything! Images can also be deceiving.
The image you see of a person is not always a true reflection of that
person’s inner qualities. There are people who only care about their
external image. They dress well, and take care of their bodies, but
lack integrity and good character. To me integrity and character are
essential parts of a person’s true image. The media is a major source
in stimulating the images that are seen. Various media outlets impose
pressure on individuals to have the “perfect image”. Although dress is
an important aspect of image, it does not begin there. The image of a
man is more than the color of his skin, the shape of his body, the clothes
he wears, money he earns or the place he lives. True male image can be
viewed by his inner strength, confidence, and values.
Sometimes people use clothing to mask low self esteem. Mr. Ellis’ book
helped me to understand the importance of attire, but that is not all. He
also talks about the importance of who I am as an individual. Mr. Ellis
says, “Your image will always be flawed unless you make a personal
commitment to integrity.” Appropriate clothing should be clean and neat,
in excellent condition and fit properly. Shoes are to be shined and well
taken care of. For some people, a man will not be seen as honest, focused,
or ambitious, if he is not properly dressed. People that are secure have an
inner peace even though negative thoughts or situations may exist they are
not affected by them. When you have self confidence and love yourself it will
also show through your attire. I discovered from Mr. Ellis’s book that the
smallest detail can make a big difference in your overall look. The example
that captured my attention was that wearing a pocket square distinguishes a
well dressed man.
In chapter two, the acronym for “I.M.A.G.E.” is Integrity, Manhood, Authority,
Generosity, and Excellence. Integrity is the most important principle to me.
My dad taught me that integrity is the best characteristic a man can have in
his lifetime. He also said to me a firm handshake and keeping your word will
gain you respect and honor. However, doing the right thing, when wrong is
present is the stuff character is made of. At times this is a challenge to me.
Being a teenager and making the right decisions are sometimes difficult. I
keep in the back of my mind to practice the things I was taught by my parents
and the principles from Mr. Ellis' book. Character and integrity which are inner
characteristics are indeed the foundation that all other things in a man’s life are
built upon. Therefore it should be valued more than clothes, houses, cars, and
money. All of these material things can be taken away, but character and
integrity will be with you always. I will spend the rest of my life looking good
on the outside and on the inside with integrity, and character.