It is Time we Men Opened Up more.
I was thinking of the many times I almost burned, the many moments things became really though until I almost lost hope, not to mention of the days I felt like blowing up and cry my heart out but I did not. I counted, counted and counted until I lost track.
But the most pivotal part was the time I asked myself, ‘how many times did I share it out with anybody?’ The answer was a big none. And that is where the problem lies. I am a man and just like most of us men, we face out our own issues head on.
I then remembered that even crying as a man is seen as a weakness. Not only women think so, but also even we fellow men. It is something we have been brought to believe and is deeply ingrained in our DNA right from the time we come to this world.
A while back, I happened to be watching a part of a Nollywood movie and the main character, a man, kept crying every now and then. At the back of my mind, I was irritated to see a man cry anyhow and all I could say was, ‘Is he really a man?’
Something at the back of my mind kept wondering if this young man was a woman. But I could not think it loudly because any man who dare say that will have a case lodged against him by women at the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake headquarters. Being chauvinistic is a crime as opposed to being a feminist depending on what side of the angle one chooses to look at it.
Now that we are left in an open field without a place to lean or lay on, we men end up fighting on our own. And that is how we end up keeping everything to ourselves to the point of dying without people ever knowing every often what transpired.
The beautiful thing with women is that they will always share out their problems. In as much as I wonder how the first woman ever created managed to speak with a snake, I simply find the whole point of women sharing out what bothers them intriguing.
Like unless they are speaking, they are not at peace. Now, when all this was happening, what was Adam doing? I am tempted to think that that too explains where men took the habit of not opening up from. He was busy minding his own business to the point the woman became bored.
Maybe for fact, the woman was busy sharing her own excitement with the man who was not keenly listening and when she realized she opened up to an individual who couldn’t open up on the other hand, she went ahead to find attention elsewhere and the serpent happened to be there at that right and precise moment.
When the female population increased, they further realized they could share and talk as much as they would with each other and that is how they have managed to live on one day at a time. For men, even after they increased in numbers, they realized they could only connect with each other superficially and anything about opening up completely was never in them.
Funny enough, men can be good friends with their fellow men. They will call each other for a mbuzi choma and drinks. But even after the merry, and enjoyment, it will never be easy for one of them to tell the other about a problem that is facing them. It even becomes harder if it involves family matters.
Men can meet in town, talk politics and sports all the time and when time comes for them to start going home, they will excuse each other one at a time until they leave one of them all alone not having a place to go to. Probably his house could have been locked due to rent issues.
The most interesting thing is that none of the other men will notice easily that one of them has a problem. And because us as men, we have been brought up to believe that sharing our challenges especially those things that define our gender is a weakness, we decide to keep things to ourselves.
A lady can have no problem telling her fellow ladies that she has issues with her husband. Probably she will even go ahead and stay with her friends and put up for the time being. But it is very hard for a man to come and easily share that he has been left by the wife. Without much ado, the man already knows that people, including fellow men, will start by accusing him of failing to be in charge of his family.
With a pre conceived judgement at the back of men’s head about the issues they are supposed to share from the people they are supposed to share with, many decide to keep it to themselves and die with their problems.
But this needs to change. We, as men, need to provide safe havens for our fellow men to share their problems. To be okay with it, we have to first learn to listen without judgement. With that, we build trust and besides listening, we ought to help where we can.
Another thing we need to do on a serious note has got to do with a change of mindset. Let us learn to understand that sharing our needs and challenges doesn’t mean we are weak, it on the other hand means we are strong and won’t fear to share what is in our minds as well as express ourselves.
Fearing to open up means fear in itself and that is often a fertile ground for the devil to hatch his evil plans. So, in 2021, as men, we need to open up more. Not to women per se but rather more to our fellow men than ever before.
It is not going to be easy, but we must learn to. After all, who ever said that it was going to be easy?