We can do this by taking phrases like “man up” or “be a man” out of our everyday vocabulary. We can commit to listening more and speaking less, and listening actively - not just to formulate our response - but with the intention of genuinely understanding each other.
By offering young boys a platform of open-armed compassion, free of the stigmatized shame around vulnerability, we can breed a generation of men who better understand their own emotional needs, and who can show empathy for the needs of others.
In a world rich with division and multidimensional hardship, we deserve to demonstrate the same compassion for ourselves as we do for others. We must award ourselves permission to cry, to take a moment and feel everything, all at once, so that we can then put it down and move forward with an understanding of our suffering. This is the only way we can genuinely begin healing.
Pain isn’t gender-specific, and the way we cope with it shouldn’t be either.