On the Record With...Steve Harvey

The host/comedian gets real with young men about the true meaning of manhood and the value of having a strong woman by his side.

Posted: 02/14/2014 12:00 AM EST

At the Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men, the love we show boys is a little bit different than your mama's love. Please understand that because men love differently, especially when we transpose that love onto other boys. Therefore, at our camp we show young men the right way to act, dress and carry themselves, then we expect them to do those things the right way. If you don’t, we're not going to let it go because you're struggling. You absolutely have to learn because there is only one route to manhood. Young men need to learn three traits of manhood. First, you have to do what you say you're going to do. Second, you’ve got to stand up and be brave at one point in time. Third, you've got to make decisions. That’s what manhood is constantly.

I learned these traits throughout my life, but only recently did I find what was missing. In 1994, I was successful as the host of It’s Showtime at the Apollo; I was ”that guy.” However, I was in a lot of pain because I was struggling to find myself as I was discovering fame. There’s no manual for it; there wasn’t anybody to sit me down and tell me what to expect. Then in 2004, I had become famous, but I was in a world of misery. I was in a lot of pain in my personal life. I never blame anybody else. It was just me. However, in 2005 I was reborn. My life changed when I reconnected with my wife, Marjorie, and she allowed me to be who I really was. I didn’t have to hide. I didn’t have to fight through the pain anymore. She brought a sense of peace to my life and a joy and stability.

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So when I hear young men in my camp or call in to my radio show say that women are a distraction that is just wrong. A woman only becomes a distraction only if you're practicing destructive behavior. How is she a distraction if you're doing constructive things with her? She can only be a help. What men have to understand is you can’t out-give a woman. You can stack all you've given on a platter then push that in front of a woman. When she starts giving, what she gives you back is tenfold.

You say, “I’m trying to get my grind on but this woman over here she wants this and she wants that,” but don’t you want something from her? You just want to get what you want, but you don’t want to give to her what's required. Let’s be real now. Women are only a distraction when you've got too many of them. I know what I’m talking about. What one woman is a distraction especially if she shares in your dream and your vision? If you've got a woman that's in your corner that’s really pulling you and trying to help you make your dreams come true and you on the other hand trying to make hers come true. Where’s the distraction?

That is just it. I’m an ICON MANN because of an iconic woman. I can truly say that after 2005 what happened in my career and what happened to me as a person really has a lot to do with God and an iconic woman. 

Steve Harvey is a best-selling author and talk-show host of the Steve Harvey Show as well as the Steve Harvey Morning Show on radio stations nationwide. The husband and father of seven, Harvey founded the Steve Harvey Youth Mentorship Program for Young Men in 2006 to replace the misguided traits of manhood with positive role models. It is a program of the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, which provides outreach and mentorship to fatherless children and young adults.

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(Photo: Earl Gibson III)

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