The Marlboro Man was a brilliant and very successful advertising campaign to sell America on filtered cigarettes. Marlboro Man portrayed the American image of itself, tough, self-sufficient, self-reliant, hard-working. In a word, independent. Marlboro Man was America’s Man. Unfortunately, 4 of the men who played The Marlboro Man role ended up dying of smoking related diseases and one of the Marlboro men didn’t drink or like horses and another never really smoked.
We are fascinated in America with the Marlboro Man persona. Man against the world; I can do it myself. Unfortunately, independent man never has and never will work.
For one thing, Marlboro Man, at the very least, needs other people to compare himself against to reassure himself that he is different than everybody else, a one-of-a-kind individual. And, perhaps, Marlboro Man thinks of himself as independent to make himself feel better about who he is when he is alone with his thoughts because he continually has to try and convince himself that needing anyone is weakness. At the worst, Marlboro Man lives in opposition to just about everyone who crosses his path at some point in their relationship. Finally, Satan stalks us much like a lion stalks its prey, it separates the most vulnerable from the pack and then devours him.
But Marlboro Man simply isn’t true. Man needs others to survive. Man needs others to define himself, complete himself. Truly man is not an island. Even God Himself does not exist alone but lives, rules, and governs the affairs of the universe and beyond as one God who exists in three individual, distinct persons. If God can’t exist alone, how can man/woman?
Is Marlboro Man the natural result of the evolutionary mindset and the survival of the fittest? Or, self-absorption to the extreme. Maybe, simply man’s refusal to see and accept that he needs God and others to make himself complete and for life to work.
The alternative to living as God intended is living like Marlboro Man. Unfortunately though, you are dead on the inside, on or off the saddle!