WHEW. I think I'm done! That was a lot of revising. I almost completely reworded it, changed it into an essay about a specific man that I knew (who passed away three years ago from a heart attack, rip <3), changed it to past tense since he's dead and gone, tried to minimize romanticism, took out a lot of generalizations, and hopefully made it sound much better. I also added in an appositive!
What do you think? Did I make it worse, or does it sound better? Does anything else catch your eye as being glaringly wrong? I had to do a lot of backbending to get rid of all of those stupid to be verbs, but I think this works. Marcus Platt, an American farmer, was a wonderful example of the handiwork of God. Though at a glance he did not stand out as anything of great importance, he was one of the few people that understood what truly living means. He worked the soil with his own hands, strong and sure, never complaining as the labor brutally calloused them. Few can wrap their minds around why he choose the life that he lead, and many scoffed at the idea of constant labor for such little payoff, but he did not let this deter him. This man exemplified a different type of brilliance than the world is used to accepting, but it made him no less valuable. He was the epitome of strength. Though his physique did not boast of rippling muscle or unequalled height, he commanded respect. Weathered and worn, his hands seemed to tell their own story by the cracks and scars that gnarled their features. Modestly, he did not rejoice in the brand of his clothing or the price of his boots, but rather he thankfully wore whatever would cover his back and protect his weary feet. His simple lifestyle was not full of glory or fame. Determined, Marcus required no thanks for his toiling, and worked faithfully to ensure that his family never went without provisions. An honest laborer, he did not take what he did not rightfully earned, yet he did not hesitate to give the shirt off of his back to a man in need. In his mind, there was no need for extravagant things and shiny treasures, for his treasure lied with the land that he tended and the family that he adored. Crafted by the land and life that he loved, his mentality paralleled with no other manís. An unsung hero, his life painted a picture of a true American patriot. Underneath his hard exterior hid honesty and empathy. Raised to believe that family always comes first, he often willingly went without so that they would not suffer. The man was not boastful or conceited, and he had few worldly possessions, yet flickering of contentment and pride always danced within his eyes. Some may have called him a lunatic; others believed that he was only the product of poverty and ignorance. This man, however, was and is the backbone of his country. A farmer, a friend, a laborer, and lover, his life is part the reason that others can reach out and accomplish their own dreams today. Ordinary circumstances can sometimes mold an extraordinary man, and in his case, they did. Marcus Platt did not live or die wealthy, but he undoubtedly did set a standard for men in generations to come. *dies*