It is easy to blacken God’s character because God never answers back, He never vindicates Himself.Oswald Chambers
HE doesn’t have to.
As men, on the other hand, we need to respond.
In recent years, specifically since 2020 and the COVID lock downs, men’s mental health has been recognized as “a thing.”
With men in the public eye, and arena’s, addressing it on their platforms to the best of their ability to bring it to light, bring it into modern times, and to bring it to the attention of the public at large as a major concern due to the fact that suicide rates in men accounted for 69.68% of suicides in 2020.
Just shy of 70%.
The lock downs just exposed what was already going on.
Suicide in men has been a top ten killer for some decades now.
As a man we don’t want to appear mentally weak… at any cost.
Men of my vintage… and older… any way.
Today’s population of young men, some, not all, but a large percent, have gone the other way and just don’t care what you say about them.
They don’t react to being dared; to being pushed around; or even to being called mentally and physically weak.
You can tell a lot about a man by the way he reacts to these types of external stimuli.
Being a Word Enthusiast like I am, I wondered about the word “crazy” after seeing a post recently that used this quote from Dave Chapelle…
The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It’s dismissive. “I don’t understand this person. So they’re crazy.” That’s bullshit. These people are not crazy. They strong people. Maybe their environment is a little sick.goodreads.com
As a man your best friend might be crazy. “That crazy s.o.b was drag racing down main street!”
As a man, your dad may have been crazy. “That crazy s.o.b came after me with a belt buckle when he caught me sneaking out!”
And then as a man, you might have a knack for dating crazy girls. “She’s crazy, she just flies off the handle for no reason, crazy bi@%h set my clothes on fire last night!”
But us, we’re not crazy.
The word itself comes from around the early 1600’s when it started to show up in written form referring to people being deranged, demented, or of unsound mind.
And it comes from, of all places, ceramics!
You know. Clay pottery. From antiquity. Ancient Egypt and ancient China have been found to be sources of the first commonly used technique of using a glaze to cover their pottery.
In pottery that means the clay and the glaze cooled at a different rate after the initial kiln firing.
As the cooling discrepancy occurs it causes a multitude of fine cracks in the glaze that end up spider webbing all over the piece of pottery.
This causes the piece of pottery to weaken and be susceptible to breakage.
Notice that the piece of pottery upon being placed into the furnace doesn’t “crack” then.
It happens in it’s response to being removed from the heat.
Most men “can take the heat”, even these modern day youngsters.
It is in the response to, maybe of years worth, of being in the “furnace of affliction” when a man identifies himself.
Maybe he responds harshly to a co-worker; maybe he engages in road rage on his commute, or maybe comes home and kicks the dog, or maybe he just retreats to his basement games or his man cave and beer frig… never saying nothing.
Living out, what Mike from Dazed and Confused, expresses after his initial confrontation with Clint…
Well I guess at first I was relieved to get out of the situation you know.
But now there’s a level of humiliation setting in that I can tell is going to be with me for fucking ever. And I’m not going to let this be just another situation which contributes to me being a little ineffectual nothing the rest of my life, you know?moviescriptsandscreenplays.com
And today’s male population is definitely living out what Thoreau wrote back in 1854…
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
…A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.goodreads.com
For myself, I can admit, I was crazy. I was contemplating suicide from the time of my early teens.
It was horrible.
Maybe crazy is the wrong term.
I like the term used in the bible, “found to be in his right mind.” See the Book of Luke 8:35
I eventually wrote a book about those years “Killing Suicide” it’s in my catalog of books on Amazon.
My view now is not that we are cracked, broken, and missing pieces… my view now is that we have components that were never installed to begin with.
Take these younger guys I’ve been talking to… and their confidence level.
Or should I say, “their lack of confidence”. Like Mikes, in Dazed and Confused.
Their confidence was never “installed”.
So they, unlike Mike, never go and confront life head on.
They just sit and cool off in the car; check out when they get home; instead of responding to a life event, like getting yelled at by a supervisor, with a little vim and verve!
On the other hand… you have those gents who have all the patina built up on them, literally crusty, in attitude and outlook, and they respond to that supervisor with unbridled outbursts!
But… still being ineffective.
Still… retreating to Thoreau’s “games and amusements” i.e. NFL Football.
And neither age group, in all their years or lack thereof, responding to life with a measured, positive, growth oriented mindset. (old dudes hate those phrases)
How do we install those components into our psyche that will allow us to become a fully filled out, sitting in our right mind, understanding we are not “cracked up”, only that we are missing a component… man? An EMERGING MAN.
Respond to the fact that your lights have come on… or at least… respond to your personal check engine light.
As an adult you now have the power… and responsibility… to install your own missing components.
“Man Dave, where do I start?”
What are you having for breakfast?
Respond as an EMERGING MAN to the fact that… we all… have those mental fatigue battles.
Do not be ineffectual, but ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & ENGAGE.
Responding to the world, and developing yourself with “Positivity & Work Gloves”