2/9/15

The Pride That Kills



Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.
Khalil Gibran
Gentlemen, today I want to talk to you about a very serious topic. I know you are good men at heart. You are self-sacrificing and always go that extra mile to help others. You try your best to lend that helping hand those in need require so they don’t go under. You are that smile that brightens someone’s day, that shoulder to cry on, that support someone needs when their world is crashing down, and that shield standing between yours and the slings and arrows of a horrible world. And this is something to be proud of, being that warrior who stands strong so others don’t have to.

That’s exactly where the danger lies for most Gentlemen.

Too often we define our lives on how strong we are; defining ourselves by our role as a protector to those around us. And this is a noble endeavor. But all too often, some of us are left with little meaning to our lives, as our role in service to others is no longer needed, or when we they can’t carry this burden any longer because we are no longer capable to do so physically or mentally. In other cases, it’s just that we have carried the burden for too long and it’s weight has broken our backs.

For those readers unaware, the suicide rate among men is about 4 times higher than among women, where the largest group isn’t the angst ridden teen, but rather men between 45 to 64 years old. After cancer and heart disease, suicide accounts for as the top cause of death for men, and in some, and in some countries like Australia and the UK, has actually surpassed them. Right now suicide, not war, is the principal cause of death among our military members.

But why bring this up when speaking of Chivalry and Gentlemanly acts? Haven’t most gentlemen proven their temper and tolerance time and time again in life? Haven’t they stood up against the worst of life and come out victorious? The true sign of a gentleman is not about showing off his victories, but overcoming battles that nobody will ever find out about. And as noble as this ideal is, it comes at a price.

What about those hidden battles we lose? What do we do when the warrior we were is no longer needed? What do we do when we can no longer stand as a barrier against the world for physically or mentally reasons? What then? We have taken pride in standing against the Abyss, but what do we do when WE are the ones in danger of falling in? Having courage to fight the evils outside is based on being strong, but to facing the evils inside is based on being able to admit, specially to yourself, that you can be weak.

That isn’t easy.

Gentlemen, there is no shame is asking for help, in acknowledging when you’ve reached your breaking point. Sometimes you just need someone to throw you a rope, so you can pull yourself up to shore. Other times you might need someone to actually help you out of the water before you drown. And there is no shame in either, as it might be your turn to need saving. When you are able to accept this, you can move on to other roles of life, able to redefine yourself, and, more importantly, able to save yourself.

PS.

If you need to find someone to throw you a life line, the following are numbers you can call in complete confidentiality to help you out. 


1 (800) 273-8255 


08457 90 90 90 * 

Lifeline (Australia)

13 11 14