No one does well without love and tender attention.
It’s disheartening to see how men are treated. It’s so sad to see men crumble and break from the weights of their own loads and from expectations from their family, their friends and the society.
I am in no way trying to excuse despicable actions from worthless men. I just want to address how the rest of the men are treated as a result.
If you’re a man and you’re reading this:
I am rooting for you. What you have been through matters, but your past does not define you, your choices and actions do. Reconcile your past and stand up. Good men are made through responsibility, integrity, compassion and steadfastness. What’s already happened cannot be changed, but you can. You can be better and don’t change alone. Grab your brother, grab a friend. The only way to change the world and the desperate state that men find themselves in is to work together.
Hold your brother accountable. Call him on his bull shit. Push him to be better than his dad, push him to do better than all the men in his family. Support him. Listen to him and respect him. If he’s a real one, he’ll do the same.
If you’re a mom with a son, or you’re partners with a man, and you’re reading this:
1. Compliment Him.
You have no idea of how young boys and men are starved of genuine compliments.
There’s a meme of how everything in the family is loved, except for the man. It’s laughable most times, but the reality is that all men are judged by their ability to provide. If he can’t, he’s worthless.
Let your son or your man know that he is a valued member of your family. That even though he’s there because he can provide, that that, is not the only reason that he’s there. Let him know he smells good, that he sounds good, that he’s handsome and sexy and that you really appreciate him. Pick your own words! Let him know he’s good for other things as well. You might just boost his confidence, and a confident, assured man is an unstoppable man. Just look at the movies!
2. Respect Him.
We love you and appreciate you. Talk to your sons about honesty, responsibility and feelings. Don’t baby your son too much, you should want him to be able to ride his own bike, but don’t throw him outside to be eaten by the wolves as well, he’ll be heartless. You are the masters of balancing so, you got this. Teach him about these things so that once he grows up, you’ll be able to look at him and feel proud. Firstly, because of the work you’ve done yourself as a parent. Secondly, because of the type of person your son has grown into.
We thank you for choosing us. Most of the men I know prefer respect and honour to love, but this shouldn’t stop you. You can do all these things and do them in any particular order. I don’t think the order matters as long as they’re all there. If he’s a real one, he’ll do the same.
3. Support Him.
Get to know what your son likes or might want to do and encourage him. Regrets are made up of missed opportunities.
Support amongst grown-ups comes in many many forms:
a) You can listen to what he has to say.
b) You can offer advice.
c) You know your man. Help him! Especially when he needs it but can’t or won’t ask for it. You’re in this together, as a team. If he’s a real one, you already know the deal.
4. Challenge Him.
Teach your son about critical thinking, decision making and how to be vulnerable. Push him to be physically active. Give him some responsibilities and guide him on how to manoeuvre and juggle responsibilities.
Being submissive to your man is important but do not become a pushover. Please. Don’t be afraid to call the shots once in a while. Like, pick a place to eat or have your own opinions. Don’t disappear. You were a person before you met him. Let’s keep it like that.
5. Show Gentleness & Kindness.
This is when he fails because he will, we all do.
Asiye funzwa na mamaye, hufunzwa na ulimwengu.
Don’t be afraid to be firm. Be as firm as you possibly can but also be gentle and kind.
Don’t call him names, don’t use his past against him like despite the occurrence remember that you’re both trying to tackle a challenge. Not each other or anyone in particular.
6. Surprise Him.
Admittedly, many men do not like constant surprises, but come on! Who wants to live their whole life without being surprised, not even once!? No one does. Surprises are really personal, and just because of that reason, you should have him in your mind. Surprise him with something you know is personal. Like something he likes or has wanted for a while.
7. Check-in On Him.
Don’t just ask if he’s okay and leave it at that. Come on!
Pay attention to him. You know everyone moves differently when they’re not okay.
We’re all connected. When a boy child grows up undisciplined, he’ll become an undisciplined man and we know the havoc that such men have caused and are continuing to cause, outside their families and beyond their countries.
Our world stands on two pillars. One grows into a man. One grows into a woman. If the pillars don’t have the same strength in terms of values, vision and love… then the world will never be stable.