Man Down, Pussy Up

Men are in desperate need of help right now. I get it, I absolutely get it, for years you thought you had to hide your emotions otherwise you wouldn't be a 'real man', well brothers have I got some wisdom for you. Being a success doesn't make you a man, being a failure doesn't mean you're not a man. Having a dangly bit of meat between your legs doesn't make you a man. 

When the term 'man' was coined it was to define the difference between what genitals you were born with. I am not one for the gender argument, my argument is a little different. My argument stems from 'identity' and 'conditioning'. This week I will go into 'identity' and next week 'conditioning'

The identity argument falls into every category of debate you see on public forums, social media, televised talks and general political discourse, you argue for your perceived identity. How we define that identity falls within the social constructs within which they form, punks, goths, chavs, hipsters, gay, straight, black, white, English, German, American, Mexican, rich, poor, neurotypical, mentally ill, anxious, depressed etc. The list of identities goes on forever and we have had millennia to splinter into a multitude of subcultures and cultures that define society as a whole. 

You are part of that society and will only argue for those you identify with because that reflects your identity. What if I was to tell you that your identity and self are two very different things? Identities can only exist within the confines of those societal structures mentioned before, if you are a goth you must wear all black, white make up and listen to heavy music, should you listen to music or dress outside of the chosen fashion sense you don't 'belong' to that group. We chase these identities in the hopes that we'll eventually fit in. What happens if we're surrounded by people who don't belong to the goth subculture, they're going to constantly remind us that we don't fit in their group and so we'll feel as though we don't belong. This paradigm exists across the entirety of western culture and is decided for us by marketing experts trying to sell us the latest trends. Trends...the latest way to look or item to own that proves you fit in with the society at large. 

What about the self? Self-esteem, self-belief and self-worth are currently linked heavily with our identity, yet it is the wrong way to look at this issue. We need to realise that identity is ultimately irrelevant as there are far too many differing views on different identities to coalesce into one big 'this is what a normal person is like' statement. There is no 'normal' person, there are only people. Within that idea comes the knowledge that no matter how someone chooses to identify, we don't have to pay attention to it, the same as we don't have to pay attention to what anyone thinks of our identity. If I encounter someone who is clearly in distress I help the self, the person at the core beyond the identity in hopes to lift them up. 

What I have found in my journey is that we are ALL united in our emotions, people suffer, people laugh and cry at different things, yet the feeling is the same. If we are made to laugh we all feel it in the same place, in the same way, regardless of what we are laughing at. In a similar sense we are united in our suffering, if we don't have the money to eat we starve, become aggressive/anxious and are far more likely to resort to crime in order to pay for vital life items. Knowing how good it would be for someone to feed you in this situation or even teach you how to earn money to feed yourself you would leap on it instantly. So why do we not offer the same mentorship and advice to those who truly need it? Identity...we don't identify with the self, we either identify or not with the identity so why should we help those who don't belong to our subgroup? 

Imagine next week you're the first goth that turns up to a drum and bass concert, simply because you like the music, the room will be filled with those you don't identify with, but begin talking to people, you'll soon realise you DO belong because you're interested in the same thing? The next week maybe a couple of guys in suits turn up to a heavy metal gig and instead of looking at them with disdain for not fitting in you go over and talk about the band, only to realise that you have more in common than you could have thought?

This is the way I want to see the world heading in, one where we are all free to be who we want because we see each other as humans and not the things we take interest in. Don't define yourself either, its a surefire way to bring unnecessary stress and suffering into your life. 

Will you do something for me? For yourself? Talk to one person a day about something important, something that will drudge up emotion and do it with the mindset of just wanting to learn about them, what are their fears and hopes, what have they been through, what was it like overcoming it? Before long I hope you will come to realise that you are more human and normal than you think and that thinking you're weird is perfectly normal...

Grum