Whose Life Is It Anyway?

We may be arriving a little late to the party here, but we’ve been giving some thought to the fact that CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, have named 2014 as the Year of the Male. The plan is to open up a year-long discussion on what it means to be a Man and to look at what changes are needed to create a fair and flourishing society, one in which men aren’t pressured to live up to “unrealistic ideals”.

We first became aware of CALM and the fantastic work they do around the time when we launched the What Men Do Guide, around eighteen months ago. As the Guide is primarily aimed at lads in their late teens, plus those former rebels who have since bought into the programme of chasing the Bitch-Goddess ‘Success’ to acquire wealth, status and power, we were only too eager to get into bed with them.

Since the Guide was published we haven’t changed our opinion that the greatest quality a man can possess is Self Respect. Armed with this he’s able to Stand Alone when his integrity is challenged and ‘be his own man’.

The sad truth is that few guys are ‘their own men’. This is a delusion which they increasingly feed into their existence as they settle for the bullshit that’s been fed to them from Day One about ‘fitting in’ with Society in general, and doing so as quickly as possible so they don’t ‘miss the boat’ – and once they’re on the boat, God forbid they do anything that might rock it.

The trouble for many guys comes around age 35 when they suddenly have a burst of awareness where they realise that they should never have boarded the boat in the first place. By fixating on ‘fitting in’ they never spent any time in that private ‘inner space’ which is vitally necessary in order to decide what is right for them.

Reviewing this in later life what

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becomes increasingly clear is that it isn’t their life they’ve been living; it has largely been that of their frustrated father coupled with his dated values of what was most important in life.

Our view is very clear – we reckon the purpose of why we were given life is to be ourselves, to mature in such a way that the specialness we have to offer is there on the surface of who we are – what you see, touch and smell is what you get. (Or as the advertising world puts it ‘it does what is says on the tin’.)

The brainwashing given during childhood and youth – be it from parents (well-meaning or otherwise), teachers preaching the benefits of staying in the education merry-go-round, or other ‘authority figures’ pushing job security over happiness – is increasingly difficult to eradicate once it has been etched into

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the psyche. This becomes further entrenched when age brings with it the desire for comfort and security. The priorities of what’s important become dominated by both Fear and Lethargy.

It’s no wonder that CALM is now calling for the Year of the Male. For most guys, we’re reminded of the Park Warden at the boating lake calling out ‘your time’s up’.

Fortunately all is not lost. Tom Daley’s decision to publicly announce that he’s currently enjoying a close relationship with another guy and James Wharton coming out as gay while still serving in the Household Cavalry were both welcomed positively by the media, which

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suggests that being yourself is not in any way un-manly. In fact it’s the opposite, it is the starting point of living the life of a man – living your life.

And whose life are you living if it’s not yours?

2 thoughts on “Whose Life Is It Anyway?

  1. Great post! Would you be up for writing something for Malestrom — or maybe we could re-post this, if you didn’t mind, with a link?

    Would you be up for pledging your support for the Year of The Male? Here’s a link to show how: http://www.yearofthemale.com/pledges

    Thanks for all your support.

    • Thanks Dan, by all means re-post. We’ll scratch our collective WMD shaped head and see if we can come up with something for Malestrom.

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