A question we often ponder is, ‘what advice would you give your 15 year old self?’ – You know, that formative time when everything goes wrong or right and you become in a lot of ways the person you now are. Recently we were contacted by Mike, Andrew and Richard from ‘What Men Do’. Their ‘Guide for becoming a hero’ – aimed at 15 year old young men – was a revelation to read – fresh, funny, sharp – and with a glossary of what Balls, Steel Balls, and Joe Average are all about. So, in the best of all possible taste, we’re getting into bed with them and are proud to be partnering with this great campaign. Just what we needed at 15! Keep your eyes peeled for their new book, but for now, check out this from their brilliant website, www.whatmendo.co.uk, below:
At a recent meeting one of my fellow two writers came up with the suggestion that the What Men Do website ought to have a section headed, ‘We’re In Bed With…’
This struck me as an excellent idea for several reasons.
Foremost of these, it demands that we give serious thought to seeking out those with whom we wish to be associated. After all, publically declaring those with whom you wish to align yourself is very similar to the Action of ‘Puttin’ ‘em up there’; you’re back with Telemachus and Alexander and those guys (a few of whom are still around) who were unafraid not only to ‘Think through’ the qualities of those with whom they publically bonded, but also used their instinctive powers of Feeling and Sensing to ‘smell out’ those with whom they felt comfortable.
No, forget comfortable; it’s sharper and deeper than that. There’s Balls involved too. The unexplainable recognition of a similarity of Purpose and the determined striving to get there brings together a declaration of shared values from which there arises a solidarity of strength.
Armed with this mutual awareness of strength, subsequently seeking out those groups, organisations and individuals with whom we are keen to get into bed’ has exposed the different emphasis to which each of them is struggling to provide help and where necessary, overcome the Fear that all too often prevails in the darkness of the mind.
For example, we’ve been giving a lot of thought to those guys who get sucked into a state of depression or who are seriously considering topping themselves. And as a result of this not being an area of Awareness that we feel comfortable giving any guidance on, ‘getting between the sheets’ with C.A.L.M. (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) is one way we can guide those who need help.
It’s pretty obvious that the guys at www.thecalmzone.net (or check their page on Facebook) understand this area of pain and confusion at its deepest level. We don’t, but it’s great to have the feeling that we’re tight with those who do. In that way, having realised that a sufferer needs more than our commiserations and an aspirin, we don’t feel quite so pathetically useless.
And of course there’s other folks out there with similar basic objectives to ourselves with their own areas of emphasis and expertise. It struck me that, as a general heading of what we are offering, it would be Caring – Caring being defined as ‘Love in Action’.
Once you cut through much of a guy’s personal anguish what you come upon is the feeling he has that he’s not Cared about; that no-one loves him or values his existence. Would anyone notice if he failed to get out of bed one day?
I exaggerate – perhaps – but it’s surely that sense of being ‘Cared about’ that we need to make clear is available to a guy in need – that human warmth is there to be touched and grasped if he can only reach out.
This ‘lack of being Cared about’ feeling is, I suspect, particularly real for a guy in his late teens or early twenties who has suddenly come face to face with the fact that being a guy, he’s psychologically alone. He’s expected to become ‘his own man’, somehow automatically.
Or imagine a guy leaving jail; such camaraderie as existed there no longer provides what human closeness was on offer. Meanwhile, now part of what could be a friendless world he has no logical reason to believe that anyone gives two hoots about his existence. Being Cared about? ‘Don’t make me laugh’, is his cynical response.
As the What Men Do Movement grows we think one of our early objectives is to seek out the opportunities for bonding which will ultimately make us all stronger.
We need a big bed and to have the Balls (Courage/Action/Risk/Determination) to welcome all those for whom Caring provides the basic motivation for their existence.