An Open Letter to Every Husband, Brother and Son
Dear Fellow Brother,
I have a lot to get through today but first I want to share with you a scary statistic.
Did you know that Male suicide is 3 times higher than that of Females?
Why is this? This should be alarming to us all. Considering how easy it is supposed to be to be a guy – it is also quite hard.
To be honest – I believe the fact we are told to man up and that emotions are feminine has a lot to do with this statistic.
We are told to toughen up and to be a man. Have some cement and harden up.
Men don’t cry.
So we keep it in.
We don’t talk.
Which in turn means that we don’t learn how to deal with our struggles and more importantly – our emotions. A lot of the time we end up feeling alone and overwhelmed.
But you’re not in it alone.
We are in this together. We are all brothers. I know we are ‘Blokes’ but it is important to tell your mates and brothers to that if shits going down, that we can talk.
Life can be shit sometimes. But its shitter without your best mates around.
I personally have gone through my ups and downs and I expect there are more to come. That’s kind of how life is really. I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t considered driving my car off a cliff. That I felt consumed by my problems and mental dialogue. I wouldn’t say I have had depression. But I believe its real. What I do know though are these two things;
I never ever wanted to feel like that again
I never want any of my mates to ever feel like that
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It takes a strong person to put their hand up when they are drowning in their own thoughts and problems and I am here to tell you there is hope.
I want to share with 50 things I have learnt along the way that helped me. Some you may align with and some you may not. Some are directly related to the above statistic and some are things I wish I knew as a teenager.
I wanted to make it a flowing letter but naturally, it came out in dot points.
So, to every Husband, Brother, Son and Friend I share with you some of the tips, quotes and advice that has helped me:
Respect every female regardless of how they act.
Never hit a woman. Ever.
The first one to get angry loses.
Get up early. Achieve something before the world wakes. Read, run, lift or listen to a podcast. Just get up.
Give to charity/community – but don’t go around telling everyone. Don’t do it for recognition. Do it because it’s the right thing to do.
Do something active – join a sporting team or community gym.
Tell people how you feel. Not just angry feelings – I mean emotions.
Tell your parents that you love them. Honestly – they fed you and wiped your arse when you couldn’t do it yourself.
Write down your goals. Again. And again. And again. It will get easier to be clearer each time.
Hold the door open for people. Not just females but also for your fellow bros.
Go for girls outside your “league”. Because this is the best way to learn that no one is.
Learn to say sorry – and actually mean it. Also – learn how other people communicate. Sometimes you need to show people you are sorry. Whereas others need to hear it.
I want to say find a mentor but it doesn’t work that way. Rather, follow your passion and give to the community. People of influence will want to help you. Probably because both of those things are genuine.
Never buy flowers to say sorry. Always buy them for no reason at all.
Learn how to cook. Something. Anything.
Buy a slow cooker.
Always stand up to shake hands.
Shake a womans hand – not too tight but enough to match their grip.
Give compliments – to both genders.
Find someone you can talk to.
Don’t always give answers. We want to fix things. Sometimes people want to talk but aren’t ready yet for things to be fixed.
Ask for permission to give advice before giving it.
Eat your damn vegetables.
Read books – not comic books.
Listen to podcasts.
Trust your gut.
Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.
The truth always comes out and character never lies.
You can disagree but don’t attack someone or belittle someone for their opinion.
Bringing someone down doesn’t make you any better – it is a direct reflection of you.
If someone hurts you – don’t hurt them back. Try to understand why they are lashing out first.
Someone only ever hurts you when they themselves are hurting. No one has ever hurt someone from a place of happiness.
Never, ever bully someone. Especially over the internet. It is one of the WEAKEST social aspects that the internet has brought to mankind.
You are never too old to change a habit.
You are never too old to tell someone how you feel.
Silence is deadly and it is not weak to speak.
Study the universe, stop and look at the stars. You will somehow learn more about yourself if you do.
No one owes you anything. Nothing. You are not entitled to anything. So you want something. Go out and get it.
You can have anything you want. You just have to outlast and outsmart the problems.
Find a form of art that you are proud of – make it your hobby or work.
Build or create something tangible throughout your life. This could be a cubby house, a bridge or even a book.
The harsh reality is that one day a bus is going to come and hit you. Hopefully not literally, but at least metaphorically. You and I both don’t know when that day will come. So don’t live in an illusion that you have time. You don’t. Be patient but hustle and create chances. Understand that time is the last thing you have and the first thing we take for granted.
Eat food. Not healthy food or clean eating. Just food. The “It grew from the ground or had a mum kinda food”. Everything else is slowly poisoning you and the genes you are passing down.
Travel. You will grow as a person every time.
Spend money on experiences and memories.
Don’t set goals based upon your current circumstances and resources.
Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.
Buy some nice cologne. Seriously. People remember smells more than anything.
What happens is not as important as how you react to it.
And sometimes, family isn’t always blood…
… and sometimes these family members who aren’t blood are the ones that save your life. They don’t know they did. All they asked was “What’s up bud? Everything OK?”.
Silence is deadly, gentlemen. This is my message to say that I am here to listen. If you feel the same then feel free to pass on this message to someone who needs to hear it.
To every person who helped me out of my hole – thank you. This is me paying it forward.