Time to start a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity. I mean, that is the entire concept behind this blog-- to figure out ways to be not just good men but good humans. I believe men all have moments in their day that they try to reconcile who he is with who the world tells him who, a man, should be.
We all have a challenge to see if we can use the same qualities of the stereotypical man exist and use them in a positive manner, not to bring us down, or push on another man, or sadly perhaps use in a negative action against someone else. Our strength, our bravery, our toughness are positive attributes but are we brave enough to be vulnerable? Are we strong enough to be sensitive? Are we confident enough to listen to the women in our life?" I believe we can. And honestly, we are. But we just need to continue to do more.
We don't need to go through a history lesson but we all know where our attitudes or ways of who we are were formed. Male figures, general male stereotypes in TV or movies showcasing "machismo" and friends in school through peer pressure to be accepted and it creates a spider web of conformity in that social network we all grew up in. And don't get me started on social media as its only created more of a challenge to overcome with bulling and hiding behind a screen and keyboard. None the less, we truly are products of our environment.
So what do we do. We start today. Learning from the past. Applying to ways of thinking to the actions we take tomorrow. Scratch that. Actions we take TODAY.
But remember, the change must start inside each of us as individuals before we can expect any change to happen elsewhere.
We need to find balance in the things we do each and every day and play the role we know that is right and truly exemplifies you we are as men.
Play the roles that you know will do more good in the world, bring light and positivity to yourself and others you are near.
It's amazing what that kind of trueness in who you are can spread and do for others with one simple act of kindness, or care for another.
I know what you are thinking. Acts of love, kindness, being sensitive or nurturing to another person, and to another guy? Unheard of. But why?
These actions or thoughts doesn't have to make you soft. The traditions of masculine acts of using your hands, fighting, or hunting, do everything on your own, not asking for help, all this "manliness" exists. But it doesn't have to be the primary actions in which we identify ourselves. As guys, we like to talk and share our beliefs and opinions on many topics like work, sports, politics or sex. Yet its taboo to bring in any other beliefs that can make us look even an ounce of what are considered feminine qualities…. Showing insecurities, sharing our struggles, our fear of failure, any shame, vocalizing the lack of feeling loved or wanted, or cared for. Anything that is in our heart is off limits. Why? Because our mind says so.
These are not feminine or masculine characteristics or attributes. They are HUMAN or Mankind attributes.
Men are characterized to be brave and overcome challenges… not in protecting their manhood. That energy should be put into conquering the fear of being who you are and being able to share that with others. The physical, the mental and the emotional sides. Our soul being and purpose that we know is deep inside us needs to come out. We need to learn to give a voice to that inner self and trust those who are in our closest circles are there to help, listen and most likely looking for that same connection.
So men, we need to balance our ego with our soul. We need to find harmony between our mind and our soul. The soul usually knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to quiet the mind.
Be quiet. Listen. Be still. Relax. Open. Connect.
Care for yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be brave.
Being a kind man will better mankind.