Have you ever met someone who didn’t think they were busy? Go ahead, try to find someone who’s not “busy”; it’s damn near impossible. From the college students having to study for the first time to the twenty-somethings in their first jobs, from the 40-year-olds with their multiple kids to the retirees trying out a second career, babysitting grandchildren, or traveling – everyone thinks they’re busy. And while this may be more perception than reality, it’s the perception that matters when it comes to building relationships and a creating good life experiences. [Read more…] about Too Damn Busy
My blog post last week was a discussion of how hardship and crisis bring often bring about a better life experience for men. It’s not because men enjoy damage and loss, but because crises force them out of isolation and into relationships out of sheer necessity. They can no longer survive on their own, so they’re forced to connect with others. And they’re almost always happier as a result, despite the hardship.
A few days later, as if on cue, we saw Hurricane Harvey drop over 50 inches of rain, more than 24.5 trillion gallons of water, on Texas and Louisiana. Houston was the most hard-hit area, with over 30 people dead, over 30,000 homes destroyed, and tens of thousands more without power. The images are almost unbelievable. Interstates were covered with water to the point that they had whitecaps. Entire neighborhoods were underwater. A chemical plant exploded. Shelters were packed. Both the breadth and depth of the losses were catastrophic. Still, I expect that many men will experience levels of satisfaction and contentment that they’ve never seen before, for three reasons. [Read more…] about Three Reasons Hurricane Harvey Will Help Men Thrive
Men are meant to live in a tribe. Why is it that veterans in non-combat zones or who saw very little danger often experience the worst bouts of PTSD? Why do soldiers often miss war? What causes survivors of war-torn cities or natural disasters to look back wistfully to those days? Why is it that suicide rates and mental health issues decrease during times of crisis? These are the questions addressed by Sebastian Junger in his 2016 book, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, and they have significant implications for improving our lives as men.
Earlier this year, the Boston Globe ran an article about how the biggest threat to men as they move through adulthood isn’t smoking or obesity, it’s a lack of friendships. The article cited research conducted over the last 35 years showing that people who are socially isolated are around 30% more likely to die prematurely. This phenomenon led the US Surgeon General to state repeatedly that the biggest health issue facing our country isn’t heart disease, cancer, or obesity, but isolation. And, unfortunately, men without friends is fast becoming the rule, not the exception. [Read more…] about Men Need a Tribe, Part I