This Is Why Men are the Weakest Link to Our Society’s Growth

Today I want to have a heart­felt con­ver­sa­tion with my fel­low men. So if you are not a man, please close your eyes and assume you did not see this arti­cle or mod­est­ly move on to the next arti­cle. Hahaha!

It is a fact that men are under­go­ing an unprece­dent­ed cri­sis of iden­ti­ty and pur­pose. More than ever before, men are strug­gling with sim­ple yet deep ques­tions like: what is the fun­da­men­tal role of a man today? What respon­si­bil­i­ties are unique to the role of a father and hus­band? To what extent does my ego hin­der my progress? Why do I find it dif­fi­cult to share my strug­gles with others?

These weighty ques­tions are weigh­ing us down. We are strug­gling to find answers even as some of us wal­low in depres­sion. Accord­ing to the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion, more than twice as many males die due to sui­cide as females. Many morgues in Kenya attest to this.

Indeed, men are fac­ing a myr­i­ad of chal­lenges that range from job­less­ness, wealth man­age­ment to mar­i­tal break­down and rela­tion­ships. For­tu­nate­ly, we can sup­port each oth­er once we deal with the fol­low­ing three inter­nal challenges.

First­ly, the old­er you get and par­tic­u­lar­ly upon attain­ing the age of thir­ty years, men do not want to be seen to be incom­pe­tent. It’s as if a light bulb in our heads goes on, remind­ing us that we are no longer young and must there­fore start ‘becom­ing suc­cess­ful.’ Accord­ing­ly, com­pe­ten­cy ‘must now become’ a crit­i­cal part of our iden­ti­ty. I have expe­ri­enced this in cre­ative pur­suits like choral music where I am part of the Men’s Choral in my Church. No man is com­fort­able pre­sent­ing him­self to hum in pub­lic until and unless they have thor­ough­ly prac­ticed. On the oth­er hand, women can con­fi­dent­ly jump on stage and learn a song as eyes and cam­eras are on the roll.

Appre­ci­at­ing this fact there­fore, as men we need to embrace vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. This will not only release our long over­due emo­tion­al remu­ner­a­tions but also deliv­er unmatched con­vic­tion to han­dle any soci­etal chal­lenges head on. The lack of this sug­gest­ed appli­ca­tion may be part­ly why our two male-led major polit­i­cal coali­tions can’t seem to find that com­mon ground upon which they can build a bet­ter Kenya in a com­ple­men­tary man­ner. In the same vein, it’s not acci­den­tal that most chamas are dom­i­nat­ed by women.

Sec­ond­ly, men seem­ing­ly pre­tend that we do not know that we most­ly strug­gle about the same things. If it is not about mon­ey, women or fam­i­lies then it will be about rela­tion­ships and such like issues. This is where we mask our­selves with big cars, big watch­es and foot­ball game talks. The moment we stop hid­ing behind our brava­do and delib­er­ate­ly choose to learn from each oth­er then we will start our soci­etal jour­ney towards transformation.

Third­ly, it is a fact of life that men want to be pur­sued. This is not about crav­ing for atten­tion but rather ‘I have some­thing very impor­tant to say but won’t say it unless the oth­er respect­ful­ly asks me’. Accord­ing­ly, we keep miss­ing each oth­er because we expect the oth­er man to ask us a ques­tion which they end up not ask­ing. The solu­tion to this huge­ly con­cealed chal­lenge lies in gen­uine­ly lov­ing each oth­er.  God­ly love. That love that is var­i­ous­ly depict­ed in The Holy Book that states, “love your neighbor/ your ene­my as you love your­self”. Such love is the secret heat that melts men lead­ing them to hon­est­ly and proac­tive­ly par­tic­i­pate in deal­ing with our soci­etal challenges.

As men we must appre­ci­ate that we face unique chal­lenges includ­ing, the rich­er you get the less­er the gen­uine friends. We must there­fore deal with these three inhouse chal­lenges so that we cre­ate great rela­tion­ships and fam­i­lies which are the most pow­er­ful units of soci­etal trans­for­ma­tion and sus­tain­able eco­nom­ic growth. Hey, don’t tell the ladies what we just dis­cussed haha­ha. Think green and act green!

About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

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