As I hammered into the heavy bag with my fists and feet, sweat pouring down my face in this raw, uncut gem of a gym I could see this young man out of the corner of my eye following suit. The bell rings time to rest. As we both relax before the next round of bag work. The young man asks me my age, I laugh and divulge. He has this puzzled look on his face, I am intrigued so I ask him, “What is with the confused look?”. He states how he thought I looked younger than that. Always a nice compliment to hear. We begin to talk and converse sharing little things about ourselves. Asking inquisitive questions of each other. Bell rings back to training.
This young man reminded me of an important and valuable lesson in life. “No man (or woman) is an island”. As with most of my blogs this is directed towards men but, I know women will find this information useful also.
After my conversation with this young man I began to recall all that I have accomplished, all that I have experienced in life, all that I have been through. Reality is that without loved ones, friends, peers, or others; I could not do any of these things.
I could not have gotten my first job, my first car (although the money came from a drunk driver hitting my family’s car, we were all okay), starting college, finishing college, working part-time during college, leaving a problematic marriage, and many more.
The bad and the good in life had and still have relationships connected to them in some form or fashion. The bad and the good also had life lessons that I learned and take with me in life. The lightest thing to carry in life is knowledge
Without my relationships with people I would have not learned as much as I have. I would not have the courage to take risks and push forward.
Recently, I had a conversation with a men’s life coach discussing the different obstacles, challenges, and potential solutions in my life. It was a rewarding conversation because I was able to look back at my life and see all that I am grateful for. To see all the inspiring and supportive relationships I have had in my life.
These two conversations reminded me of how important it is in a man’s life to connect with other men.
We as men have not been designed to live our lives as a marble statue. Great to be admired, but never to be interacted with. This statue of a being is hard, solid, and unexpressive.
They are seen in the culture of men as tough, strong, domineering, independent, “alpha” men.
Yet, we are all social beings. We thrive in a social community whether we are extroverts with tons of people around or introverts with a small close knit group around, relationships are what we need.
Without male bonding we may become lack luster, luke warm men. Male relationships foster testosterone, social intelligence, emotional intelligence, reduces a man’s neediness in relationships, and many more benefits.
So, no man is an island and no man needs to be a marble statue. If they choose to be then they are choosing to miss out on some of the greatest things our existence has to offer. Get out there make new male friends, work to keep the ones you have now it will greatly benefit us all in the end.