The ‘Pink Ribbon’ Men Deserve

Men with mustaches are more likely to make history
You might have noticed how in plenty of my posts are about the importance of men taking care of themselves and dealing with some of the health issues directly liked to men in general. In truth, how can you be there for others if you’re not there at all? So, as we are in the final stretch of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought it might be appropriate to remind everyone that November, or should I say Movember, is right around the corner. I’ve been participating in it for the last 2 years and this year plan to go all out on it and, to be honest, you should too.

“What’s Movember?” you ask. Movember is an annual event where men channel their inner Magnum P.I. and grow a mustache throughout the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as depression in men and male specific cancers such as prostate cancer. Think of it as the Pink Ribbon for men. Their mission statement?

Change the face of men’s health.

The story of Movember’s origin is rather simple. All it took was a couple guys in a bar, discussing what they could do to help others, proving that all it takes to be a good man is wanting to be a good man and being willing to take the action good men do. Australians and their ‘Mateship.’ Showing what being a brother is all about. Today? The Movember Foundation is a worldwide organization with chapters all over the world.

This year, Movember has added in a new campaign, to MOVE. They realized that one of the biggest health risks men face today is the fact that few men are willing to get off that couch and actually do something about their well-being. Who would have guessed that not getting off that couch ass is bad for you?

If you’ve always wondered what you would look like with a mustache or have always wanted to grow one, yet were worried about people’s reaction…

If you just want to have an excuse to switch around your look or just want to help spread awareness about the health issues men have…

Or simply if you think that a mustache is a lot cooler than a simple ribbon…
Let it grow out this coming month. Channel your inner Magnum P.I. Tell you friends, sign up, and pledge. If you want to donate without making a full profile, you can donate through us in the  Being Caballero Mo’ profile. We will be working with The Order of the Wolf, group founded by members of the Order of Man.

And remember that, as Peter Griffin so aptly said, with a great mustache comes great responsibility.


Ladies, We Need Your Help

There are two ways of exerting one’s strength:
One is pushing down,
The other is pulling up.
Booker T. Washington

Usually I will post here, specifically directing my words to men, as most of what is posted here is focused on men becoming more, on working on themselves, not to impress women, but to better themselves. I have mentioned how this is a path they must walk by themselves as they take accountability for their own actions and development.

We understand how men need to be allies to women’s fight for gender equality and social justice. We see the importance of men becoming allies and taking up an active participation on women’s issues in campaigns such as #HeForShe and Man Up. We are aware of the awful statistics of what women have to deal with and have learned how men can challenge a sexist culture by simply standing up against what’s expected from them as guys.

But now, I am asking for your help as women.

All too often, society doesn’t see the flip side of the coin, as it assumes that men’s issues are reduced to men whining about not getting a date or, at best, men having unrealistic expectations placed on them due to gender stereotypes. The reality is a lot more palpable than just fighting social expectations and it’s a reality that’s killing us; sometimes metaphorically while other times literally.

Did you know that 1 in 4 men are victims of domestic violence? Did you know that 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual abuse since they are boys? Did you know that even though society admits men and women are equally capable as parents, after a divorce only 14% of men gain primary custody? And those without it, did you know they are usually only allowed to see their kids every other weekend. That’s only 4 days a month for those mathematically challenged.

Did you know that there are very few support groups and even less resources available to create awareness to issues like these or help men deal? The funny thing is that when they exist, these are under constant attack and ridicule by those unwilling to recognize the reality of many men. If you knew all of this, then it probably doesn’t surprise you that, even though suicide rates have gone down, in the case of men between the ages of 40-55, they have actually gone up. This has become such an issue that currently 80% of all suicides are committed by men.

Society as a whole is killing us and then it blames us for it.

And this is why I’m asking for your help. Men are told to look for help, but when they actually stretch out their hand looking for a life line; it’s slapped away by both other men and women who refuse to see the problem. Gender issues and challenges are treated as an open war between the sexes where each group plays up their own challenges, expecting empathy and help, while dismissing what others go through.

We need to stop viewing the world as two different worlds, but at a single world where we have both been responsible for the good and bad each gender goes through. Just as it’s important for men to become allies to women, it’s also important for women to become allies to men. For that reason, I ask for your help.

Men can’t change the world alone just as women can’t either.


Why I Don’t Want To Make More Money

Grind in your 20’s.
Build in your 30’s.
Chill in your 40’s.
Every once in a while, my actual profession will come up during a conversation, which leads into the same scripted interaction. “Wouldn’t you be making more money in what you’re trained in?” My reply is always the same. “Yes. And I would also have to work between 60 to 80 hours a week, including weekends. Last time I did it, I missed out on my family, all the while thinking I was providing for my family. I don’t think being able to buy more stuff I don’t really need and filling my professional ego isn’t worth losing my family. Do you?”

Awkward silence.

Almost every Personal Empowerment site and program can be broken down into two focuses. On one side, they promote the idea that “Become a better man” automatically leads to “make more money.” On the other side “Become a better man” will lead to get more women. There is a third camp out there, the one that I have tried to keep in mind when posting on Caballero. “Become a better man” will lead you to become a better man; for yourself and your family.

Let’s be absolutely clear here, I’m not talking about leading a hermit’s life of austerity. If you need to work 80 hours a week to make ends meet, do so. And I also believe that even through money doesn’t buy happiness, not having enough to survive is pretty miserable. With that said, if you’re well enough to survive, your well enough to spend time on what matters.

A man must be defined by his priorities, not by his desires.

Sure, you might lie to yourself, as you justify working all those hours with the excuse to go on that family vacation, or buy that gift, or provide a bigger home or a fancy car. If you believe that your worth is only measured by how much material gain you can provide, you should seriously reconsider what you have to offer those around you. If those around you only appreciate what material gains you have to offer, you should reconsider the kind of people around you.

Way too many men end up with dead souls by the time they are 40, and many of them end up actually taking their lives because of it. This isn’t about just making a living, but about saving your life. Work enough to make enough. Then start working on what matters. Spend time on yourself, on your family, and on your friends. Your boss isn’t willing to understand that you have no intention on killing yourself for him to make profit? Consider a new job. Your professional obligations won’t let you spend time with your spouse and kids? Consider a career change.
Always keep in mind that money can’t buy back time lost and you can’t buy your way out of regret.

To the younger guys getting started in the daily grind. Before you  think of this post as proof that you don’t need an education nor to pay your dues on your way up…remember that I can take these kind of decisions because I already racked up enough of a resume to let me pick and choose my future.


Never Be Yourself

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw
Have you ever heard someone say something that caused you to blurt out a response without properly filtering it? It can lead to rather amusing reaction if you’re quick enough with your wit and your friends have a good mind for debate.

During a philosophical debate amongst friends, one of those present came out with the often overused comment “you just have to be yourself.” Looking straight at him, I asked a simple question…

“But what if you’re an asshole?”

We spend so much energy in trying to accept and project who we are, to find that elusive definition of ourselves. Yet, this entire notion is based on the idea that we can be defined in simple terms, as if we were some 2 dimensional flat characters from a badly written movie. It assumes that I know who I am, completely dismisses the idea of the multiple faces and selves we are, while at the same time ignores the notion that we are continuously changing and evolving.

Every time I hear “Be yourself” I am left with more questions than answers. Who am I to begin with? Before I can be myself, I have to find myself. This means that I have little control of who I am as a person, as who “I am” was a trait given to me. The fact that I can’t define it means I have to spend years “finding myself” first.

This brings up another wonderfully confusing question. “What self am I meant me to be?” You see, there are plenty of “self” based on the situation. And before you assume that I’m talking about walking around with masks or being deceitful, just consider how many selves do you have.

Are you the goofy Dad willing to make a fool of yourself while playing with your kid, or the serious professional who’s analytical and calculating during a business meeting? Are you the hard boiled badass when life needs you to tough it out or the emotional softy when opening up to your significant other?  You can be all those things without any of them being a lie.

And the worst part of this idea is the notion about viewing “yourself” as a completed project, as an unevolving person. If you are an asshole, then you are left with little options other than embrace and accept it, since you have no other option. That makes as much logic as embracing being fat.

We create who we are. We create the self we want to be and work to reach that goal. You want to be a good father? BE a good father. You want to be a good husband? BE a good husband. You want to be a professional? BE a professional. Define the kind of man you want to be and work to reach that goal every day.

And before you even start with the notion that I am promoting not valuing who you are just because you work towards a better you, that’s not what I’m saying. Sure, you might be a good man, but never think you are good enough to not try to be better. Self-betterment isn’t Self-loathing. It’s quite the opposite; it’s loving who you are enough to want to make yourself into even more.

So instead of thinking you should “be yourself,” try to “be better” and “be more.”