Male Pandemic

By Mark Graham

In recent years we have heard a lot of talk in the media about the possibility of worldwide pandemics.  Whether it be SARS or swine flu it has been a constant subject of conversation lately.  There is however already a pandemic in our midst, one which is all around us and causing untold problems for our society here in the western world.  If this pandemic is covered by the media at all, it is to promote it and spread it further into the deepest areas of our society.  The pandemic is MALE IMMATURITY!  It is everywhere – cities, towns, even the most rural areas of this nation and my own.  There are many possible reasons for this problem, particularly the recent increase in broken families and the lack of traditional family values.  With the broken family young men are usually left without a father figure in their lives, this is causing numerous problems.  These kids have no one to show them how to behave or to act as an example.  In many cases they then begin to look up to anything but positive role models.  This could be rap stars or sports professionals, and not all, but in many cases these guys are anything but an example to young men.  Men today in general seem to lack values or emotional maturity, this is particularly the case with college students, many of whom are not even taking their education seriously and will end up dropping out of college with no degree leaving themselves in an insurmountable amount of debt.  Today instead of having part-time jobs or helping Dad around the home after school or during winter break, young men spend their time immersed in video games or immature movies glamorising the lives of thirty-five year-old children.  Also boys are not shown how to treat their girls, as they in many cases have no example in the home.  They instead see how popstars and rappers treat girls in their videos, looking upon them as toys to be used for their own amusement or as status symbols.  This glamorising of promiscuity within the media is particularly troubling as regards both girls and boys, causing them not to develop deep and meaningful relationships.  These kids will end up sailing through life not making use of their many talents because of the lack real role models.  Instead of looking up to musicians or football players, they should perhaps be encouraged to look up to real role models.  The local Pastor, police officer or the guy down the street who eventually succeeded with his small business after many attempts.  These are real role models, the unsung heroes of our towns and cities.  To look up to baseball players or rap stars is ridiculous and unrealistic, the large majority of young men will never be able to break into this world they admire from afar.  In many cases this leaves  them feeling inadequate and this applies to young women too, who admire models or actresses and not their moms, who may perhaps work two jobs just to keep their family.  But this article or perhaps rant is a better description is about young men.  Our boys need to be taught to respect each other, real men do not seek fights, but rather are capable of defending themselves.  Real men do not ditch school and go on welfare neglecting the chance of an education, they study hard so that one day they can look after themselves and their families.  Real men do not treat their girlfriends or wives as objects, they treat them as equals and with respect.

So we need to teach our young men how to behave and how to be role models to their kids or this unfortunate pattern will only continue.  As a college student myself I have in the past been guilty of some of the above, particularly as attains to schoolwork, procrastinating when I could have been gaining that A instead of settling with a B.  I hope this article speaks to many of you young men.  I know many of the older generation think of us as young thugs in many cases and that bothers me a lot.  Most of us are not and it is time to show that.  Work hard at school, don’t just look at it as four years to party and to do as you please, look at it as a gateway to a better life, particularly if you come from an underprivileged background.  Treat yourselves and your friends and everyone who meets you with respect.  Be MEN…