This is a post about men’s health.
Actually it’s a post about health, where the primary target is men, but:
- It’s just as applicable for some women, and
- It will require the presence of a significant other (or others) as you go along.
So maybe this is the time for you to grab the ones you love, to read along with you and witness (or provide) the men’s oath of health.
Yes you may feel like a dick while you are doing it, but trust me, this is going to add years to the lives of the males in your life.
Did you know that in Australia men are twice as likely as women to die before they are 60?
How about that men are 4 times more likely to die than women when under the age of 24?
You know what the primary cause of death is?
Being a man… just simply behaving like a man, more specifically it’s the masculinity in being a man.
As we say in Australia…
She’ll be right mate!
You might translate that into
It’s only a flesh wound…
If there is one thing men are hopeless at, it’s asking for help…
- Lost – we wont ask for directions
- Climbing a ladder – we wont ask for someone to hold it.
- Chest pain – I don’t need to see a doctor
- Broken limb in our heads – She’ll be right, what the hell could anyone do for me anyway.
It’s a badge of honor for men to be able to solo anything
It’s a sign of weakness for us to admit we need help with anything… and I mean anything.
The reason women live longer is that they do ask for help, they do recognize the signs that something isn’t quite right and hold less shame in checking it out.
You see, for us men, asking for help costs us masculinity, or so we believe. We look at our male role models and we just know they never asked for help for anything in their lives, and for us to do so would be an admission that we are lesser men, in particular lesser men in our role model’s eyes, lesser men in our women’s eyes, in our children’s eyes… in our own eyes.
Yet, have you ever noticed that when a man (or a woman for that matter) admits a weakness, they rarely if ever go down in our esteem. Rather we thank them for showing a strength of character, for being strong enough to confront that which is tearing them down.
This past week we have seen some incredible examples of strong men and women laying everything (well a lot at least) out in the open. No one could question their strength of character, or as we would say here in Australia – they have balls for speaking the truth so openly.
Speaking of balls…
Now is the time for some reader participation.
You can join in anywhere, either make this text big enough to read while you stand away from the screen, or print it out so you can read it while standing (there is a print button at the bottom of the post).
You are about to take an oath to men’s health. While in reality you don’t need witnesses (beyond yourself), this oath is best taken in the presence of the ones you love, the ones reliant on you being strong and healthy for as long as possible. Grab your beer drinking bowling buddies, get as many people involved as possible – if not this 1st time, maybe later. This is important.
A part of the reason you want other people involved is that witnesses help maintain commitment.
The other reason is you are about to let them in on a little, but very serious, in-joke.
Once you have completed this oath, you will be providing your witnesses with a means of reminding you of what matters, in a fun way – no screaming and nagging required.
Assume the position
OK, we ready to go?
You have gathered your witnesses/participants?
The time has come to assume the position. Yes this means you need to stand up and step away from your computer for a minute. It also means you need to be hands free… so if you are viewing this on a phone, you will need to put it down… don’t worry, you hands wont be empty for long.
Rather than me trying to explain the position required, refer to the picture of me at the beginning of this post.
Yes, one hand in the air, the other hand firmly on your heart… umm nads, balls, gonads, knackers, little boys, testicles… whatever you call them at home or with your mates.
Now, before we begin, I want you to give them a good squeeze… go on, you know all men check them at least 50 times a day to ensure they are still there… they are still there aren’t they, pretty hefty little things aren’t they. They’re big, they weigh a ton, and they are ours.
(Why don’t women understand our need to ensure the crown jewels are where they are meant to be… we aren’t just scratching our nuts to be offensive, we are checking to ensure that our source of strength is still in place).
OK, so one hand on your jewels, the other in the air in preparation for the oath.
Repeat after me… YES.. OUT LOUD!
I accept there are some things I can’t change
I will ask for directions when I am lost
I will watch chick flicks with my loved one
I will listen without providing advice when my loved ones talk
I will let them have the final word
I accept that sometimes the best man for the job is a woman
I will cook and clean on a regular basis without complaint
I wont attempt to do a job I am not currently physically capable of
I will get regular checkups at the doctor
I wont ignore that pain in my chest, arm, leg, butt.
I will get professional help when I’m feeling a little low.
How are they hanging?
OK, now for the important part… give those little fellas a little squeeze.
Tell me, are they the same size and weight they were before?
Those two monstrous balls of flesh are the source of your masculinity, yet even after making this oath, they haven’t shrunk.
In fact, in the eyes of those currently rolling around on the floor laughing their heads off, you have just grown a new pair, a bigger pair.
You have become a bigger, better, man by accepting you need, and will seek help as and when required.
You haven’t accepted that… tough.. you just swore an oath and I bet you never go back on an oath right?
What’s more, your loved ones now know the men’s health salute, which they can and will execute at will to remind you that being human doesn’t mean being less masculine, being less of a man.
From now on, when you are being a man, hopefully they will give you the salute.
When you come home with the weight of the world on your shoulders, with a frown that would melt icebergs, they will give you the salute, they will smile, you will smile, they will laugh, you will laugh and you will all know that it will work out OK, that you aren’t alone and that you can seek help.
Maybe now is a good time to think about whether you need some help, now while there is a smile on your face.
Do you need to call the doctor?
Is there something you want to talk through with someone trained to listen?
Go make the phone call (Yes, yes, you can take your hands of your nads now and pick up the phone)
The salute & oath is a butchered version of something presented at a men’s health seminar at my workplace… I’m hunting but I can’t track down the details of the speaker… I will update this when I do.
My concern for mental health, in particular, has been inspired by my own struggles, my ex-wife’s struggles, my concern for my son’s future and Movember… there are a whole pile of posts on these subjects on my HealthyGnome page.
Special Thanks to…
My RL friends and family and you the readers in general for being very supportive over the years…
and on the occasion of this post, someone that can shove a Gnome’s head on a human better than I can on a Bear…
Prelimar you are a bloody champion!
Thanks for you work on the image, that’s for working with me, back and forth across the globe, thanks for being such a loyal reader and friend, one who contacts me frequently in the background just to ensure your favorite Gnome is keeping his head above water.
Gnomer and Out!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.