Many Men live a “thankless” existence. They struggle to provide for their families, positively shape the minds and souls of their children, and empower the communities in which they live and work. No one – or hardly anyone – is telling a Man: “Thank you! Job well done! Hey, I appreciate you!” Conversely – implicitly and explicitly -- Men are being told consistently: “A real man does this! A real man does that!”Society tells boys and Men to be strong and that it is not “manly” to show their emotions. And when boys and Men seem not to show any emotion, we accuse them of being insensitive and uncaring. While society tells boys and men how to be a man, society is not telling girls and women how to be a woman. No one is telling girls and women: “A real women does this! A real woman does that!”
We seem to be so obsessed with telling men what they ought to do and what they are not doing. Hardly anyone is telling Men, “Your presence completes me as a person. Your presence completes our family – our community. You have value. You are loved. You are needed.” We seem so consumed about what a Man is supposed to give. The conversation always seems to be about: “A man is supposed to give this. A man is supposed to give that.” When it comes to Men, the conversation seems to be about “taking” – what we can and should take from him. Men are expected to provide safety and support. But when is the last time a man heard someone tell him: “Hey, I’ve got your back! You can count on me to protect and support you.” Men need to feel safe and supported, too!