Picture this, my father at his father's funeral... He is standing on one side of his mother, his younger brother on the other side, his mother holding their hands. "Don't cry, Sergeant's don't cry" the words uttered from their mother. You probably don't need to read further to get a grasp on the level of showing emotion in my
Mine is just one family and one attitude to showing emotion, so it's no wonder men in my age group mid forties, above and some below have no idea on how they are supposed to act when it comes to showing emotions. My house was not a house where emotions were expressed, well maybe anger or frustration but very little else, I love you where words that were heard on the television or in movies. Hugs and physical interaction between my father and I didn't exist, I can't say he didn't want to, I just don't think he knew how to. It was only six months ago he said "I have never put my arms around you have I",my response was "No, but that's ok" because we all know while we can't alter the past we have a very big say in what lies ahead.
So here we are in the 2014 and there are so many men who are lost and wondering where they fit in when it comes to being a partner, a father, a friend, a man. So what is right and what isn't? Well from my perspective unless men realise that opening up and talking about how they feel, what they want and where they see their lives heading then changes won't come. It's also the responsibility of the partners in their lives to "really" want to listen. I hear time and time again from men I speak with that they get told to say how they are feeling, but when they do the response is not positive and understanding isn't there. That's not to say all women are like that,they are not, but many are.
Male depression and suicide are at staggering high levels and unless we start to address some of the core issues we will not turn the tide on this terrible situation, but guys it's got to start with us and to truly believe it's ok to hurt, to be sad and to not have all the answers. It starts with us knowing that talking and sharing emotions does not make us less of a man...
So I'll start, Hi I'm Todd Sergeant and I cry, and I'm fine with that.
Chief Empowerment Officer Man Up Today