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“November has come which means it is slowly but gradually getting colder in Beijing.”
Scratch that! December has come and it is already freezingass cold in Beijing. Initially I was going to write this blog about something entirely different and a long while ago (I swear!). I have been quite delayed for several reasons, one of which being the topic of that said planned blog. However, the ominous “bicycle lawsuit” (some of you might know what I am referring to, everyone else: I’m afraid you are going to have to wait for a couple more weeks until I have more time during the holidays) is still dragging on and I am going to tell you about it very soon. I promise! Let it just be known, that I now fully understand the viral videos of Chinese people running over someone and then going into reverse to run over the victim once more. You know… Just to be safe!
Anyway, November is over! Or should I say… MOvember? You have all heard about it and yes, there are still some douchebags out there growing a glorious (or in some cases not so glorious) Moustacchio over the 11th month of the year. To the ones among you, that have somehow managed to miss Movember all these years, it is not just an unusual amount of Hipsters that start leaving their house once leaves come falling. There is actually an explanation to this pheromonenon (yeah, read that again)! The Movember foundation started off trying to raise awareness and money about prostate cancer 15 years ago by growing ridiculous moustaches and, according to their website, is now among the top 50 non-government funded organizations not only supporting prostate cancer but men’s health in general. Among others, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, mental health and suicide prevention are being supported by the cause. Being on the spiritual and mental journey that has been the last couple of years, I found the latter to specifically interesting and engaging. So I thought it would be an amazing idea to dedicate this blogpost to you. You beardy gods, you beautiful brothers from other mothers, you dope mo-bros from other mo-hoes, you MEN! (But ladies, don’t stop reading here because everything that follows just as much applies to you as anyone else so bear with me! #wherearemysistersfromothermisters)
Being a male homo sapiens in our world comes with a lot of expectations. Depending on where and how you grow up on our planet, you might be expected -but not limited – to be a good guy, be a good listener, be a good speaker, find a purpose, find meaning, be supportive of everyone around you, find a partner, be a good partner, raise a family, be successful, achieve your goals, be a teacher, be a learner, be a great role model, be a parent, be a great friend, be strong, be a warrior, be a hero, share your knowledge, share your strength, share your wealth and share your love!
I could go on like that but boy, oh boy… Is that a list! (See what I did there?)
A lot of men are trying to live up to these standards and this weight that our society puts on their shoulders some way or another . A lot of men cope well with the pressure that comes with being a male in our world. They thrive, the “Alpha males” in our society that you see on social media platforms, that dictate our news and papers, the paper in our wallets and screens of our digital devices. We all look up to them, we aspire to be like them, we are eager to be an “Alpha-male” like them. But a lot of men crumble from the weights. They try to be everything on the list above. They go for check mark after check mark like levels of a video game until at some point they are at a level were they keep on missing that one step, or forget crouching in that one right moment and lose life after life until it’s game over. Clinical depression, anxiety, personality disorders, PTSD and so many others are quite common mental issues that a lot of men are facing on a daily basis.
In most countries of our beautiful planet there are 3-4 times as many male suicides than female because so many men break! They break trying to fulfill all of the expectations of our society. A lot of them try to build themselves back up again with various drugs. Be it alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, heroine, sugar, gambling or love. It afflicts all type of men Alpha or Gamma, successful or not. Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Ernest Hemingway and Kurt Cobain are just a few of countless sad examples of how mental issues can either lead you to suicide directly or to behaviorisms that cause an early death. And they are only the most popular men that we hear about on the news…
But the problem is not that they are facing these issues. The problem is that so many men are facing these issues and ARE NOT SPEAKING UP ABOUT IT! They keep to themselves because it might be seen as a weakness not living up to all of our societal expectations. They shrug off their feelings because it is easier to just be silent and continue to play the game. They quietly drown their sorrows and find relieve in worse ways.
So I urge YOU men (but also women) out there! Don’t keep to yourselves! Speak up, speak to someone – your wife or your husband, your GF or your BF, your Mom, your Dad, your sibling or your friend, your barber or your auto repair guy. Speak up! Share your issues! Share your concerns! Because no matter how negative your spiral, no matter how deep the shit you’re in, no matter how low the downswing, no matter how hard the hardships. There are people out there that can bring you back up again. People that can help you out of any whole, people that can make the roller-coaster of life roll back up again!
There are people out there for you that are happy to listen! There are people out there that wanna talk and might be able to help somehow. Sometimes just listening is enough. Sometimes they can take some of that weight off you and sometimes they just need to point you in the right direction of the way. There are people out there that can give your lives meaning and purpose! Go out and find those special people. The ones that are being good guys to you, that are being a good listener and a good speaker. The ones that help you finding a purpose, finding meaning. The ones that are being supportive of you and everyone around you. The ones that are being a good partner, that help you raise a family, be successful and reach whatever goals you might have. The ones that can teach you and learn from you. The ones that are being great role models, great parents or great friends. The warriors, and heroes out there. The ones that share their knowledge, share their strength, share their wealth and their love! … you see where this is going. I urge you! Go out, speak out and give those people around you a chance to be that special person!
I got to be honest. Due to some unforeseen events and obstacles I might have started crumbling a little bit myself over the last few months. However, I am so endlessly lucky and extremely grateful that I have exactly those special people in my live to support me and take weight off my shoulders. So on second thought I should probably re-dedicate this blog post: this one goes out to YOU! You beautiful wives and husbands, GFs and BFs, moms, dads, siblings, friends, barbers and auto repair guys and everybody in between! Keep on doing what you are doing! Keep on listening, keep on speaking, keep on supporting each other and everyone around you, keep on being heroes and warriors, keep on being teachers and learners, keep on sharing your knowledge, your strength and most importantly KEEP ON SPREADING THE LOVE!
If you made it this far I salute and thank you! I guess there is nothing else to add to this brain fart of thoughts besides promising you yet again: another proper blogpost will follow very soon! Until then, stay positive, spread the love and spread the knowledge!
Kisses on the belly,
your friendly neighborhood bear
PS: If you feel like supporting men’s health and the Movember cause you can hit up my colleague Brian’s movember website and donate: https://moteam.co/bsb-mo-grow-to-know