The value we place on using our minds and thinking about who we are, what we do and why varies within the subcultures of men. We know of men who are prized for their lack of ability to think about the consequences of their actions. We are the ones who act without thought. We create humour and stories to remember our stupidity.
Within our culture, which supports and encourages us to not think, but instead to just act, play, be free without consequence, we are the popular blokes. We know our minds are not the key to our success. We attract women freely. We enjoy the position we have within our communities or friends.
Privately, we know we are irresponsible and if we are fathers or husbands deep down we know we don’t do very well at these roles. We tend to put our mates first. We get side-tracked and justify it as something all good men do. But that’s how we were raised to be and what is expected of us. We don’t push ourselves to be different.
Within other subcultures, the mind is highly valued. We need to think through who we are and how we behave around others. It is critical that we think about setting an example to others, especially boys. If we want to achieve something with our lives, we must have control of our minds.
Where we end up depends on how we think our way through it. It is the strategy we set with our mind that guides us. Our minds are our self-talk. What messages we give ourselves influences how we feel about ourselves. As men we are expected to be confident. It is how we think that allows us to be sure of ourselves. While there are different levels of intelligence leading our life with our mind is a good start. We take the position that all men can think if they choose to.
As men, we are often in positions of authority, power or in charge of and responsible for many people. This can be work, family and our communities. Our minds allow for right action in right moments, to be able to act with diligence, when appropriate.
It is often very challenging to know what the right things to do are, especially when our decisions impact on so many people. Our capacity to make decisions forms part of our identity as well as, our reputation in the eyes of others. We must use our minds to process all available information before taking action. We must think through the consequences of our actions because being a man means we are responsible for what happens. We have seen the impact of irresponsible decision making by men in power. We know we have to change that now.
Using our minds to collect other people’s knowledge is just as important as our own knowledge. How we use our knowledge and that which we learn from others, be they men or women, is also important. Some of this includes simply learning about the people we care about.
Organisational and planning skills are essential as are setting boundaries and having the discretion to make decisions related to your job, family or community (friends and sporting groups). A lot about being male is about structure. We must organise, plan, implement, construct, manifest and make things happen.
Our ability to analyse; to take in what is around us and make sense of it is essential. It helps us work better with people and get the best out of them. Our male intuition is developed from a well-used mind.
Over the last forty years the focus has changed regarding men and academia. Once we were to be workers who learnt from other men and developed our life experience. It was our life experience that led us to promotions and to be held in esteem in the eyes of other men.
In our day there was a mindset in being a man. We thought differently to women. We were the rational, analytical, methodical, and a driven species. We used our mind to think about the social, political and geographical issues of the day.
Men have used their minds for generations to develop and build, create and push through the barriers of their environment. The advancement of technology and society has come from the brilliance of man’s mind. There is now a greater acceptance of learned men.
Men have also used our minds for humour and conversation. Our ability to laugh and communicate reflects our level of mental development. It is important for a man to have a quick wit as it shows an agile mind.
What insights about being a man did this provide you?