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Writer: Johnny Abi Younis
Growing up, a lot is expected from a boy. He is supposed to be strong, brave, and responsible. He is supposed to fend his siblings and have his family’s back, to be successful and afford his own living. Regardless if he feels down or not, he has to stay on track and ‘man up’.
Society is always watching, and men are very aware of it. Is there any place for mistakes? Of course no, there isn’t. A guy undergoes the pressure of acting ‘manly’ all the time, as he isn’t supposed to feel or show emotions. He can’t have breakdowns if he’s been keeping things in for a long time. He can’t even keep things in for a long time, but he can’t let them out either. A man is responsible for keeping his entourage safe, whether that is his family or friends. He should not react in a bad way to danger, he can’t let in the pressure and freak out, he can’t ask for help. He’s supposed to stay strong and depend on himself. A man can’t ask for help or even accept offered help.
A man isn’t allowed to feel, but he does. He isn’t aware of his feelings, he’d rather not be, because he’s supposed to stay strong and feeling isn’t staying strong. But isn’t it tiring? Being always watched; being asked for too much and not receiving help; being depended on but not being able to depend on someone; having to be successful and responsible, they all stack up and try to bring the man down with them.
And he has to rise.
Is it easy? Most certainly not. Imagine being tied up to a truck that is driving in one direction while you have to pull it with you to where you want to get to, to the opposite direction.
Men can feel, they should feel, everyone should. Crying, loving, caring, smiling, laughing, stressing over something, getting anxious, being paranoid, liking a certain thing or person, getting heart-broken and raising hopes high, these aren’t signs you’re not man enough, they aren’t signs you’re not good enough. They are signs you’re human. That’s what makes us different from other creatures; that’s what god put into us: feelings.