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Cycle and celebrate the 2016 International Men’s Day

Copyrights: Cecilia Schubert, Wikimedia CC

Cycle and celebrate the 2016 International Men’s Day

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
- Arthur Conan Doyle

Do you believe in serendipity? I do. While I prepared myself conceptually for an article to celebrate the second most important holiday for the global male population - second only to Father’s Day - I was analyzing what and who should be the leading theme and character. I wanted the bicycle to be in the background, as this year is the first year we campaigned to establish World Bicycle Day . With that thought to narrow my search I touched base with my first male bicycle enthusiast and BINGO, I knew I also found my man. After a few sentences, I learned that his birthday is on November 19, which is of course, International Men’s Day!

The 2016 International Men's Day is dedicated to male health and the motto is Stop Male Suicide. The robust evidence of morbidity and mortality by international health organizations demonstrates that men’s health is worse than that of women, which can be very detrimental for the mental health of women and children. Closing the health gap that men face must be included and prioritized in the global health equity agenda, especially the silent global epidemic of male suicide caused by deep and wide spread depression. 

However, I would like to deviate slightly from this year’s theme, and introduce women and men all over the world to the very fundamental fact that life is worth living and when respect is paid to healthy living, life can be quite an enjoyable endeavor. The quintessential man found himself in a new equation due to globalization, robots replacing heavy manual labor, gender leveled playing field, introduction of a new gender, and a new life style requiring different skills and assets as they used to be expected to possess. In this era of new challenges and plenty of opportunities, the solution can be summed up in three words by author Glen Poole: “LEARN, LOVE, LISTEN”.

Men have to intelligently adapt and retool to new times – humanity already passed the point of no return. The notion of "manning-up" is archaic and only leads to further unnecessary pressure resulting in anxiety and depression. Men have to start paying close attention to their physical and mental health and talk about it openly to start a constructive debate while voicing their current plight to all involved. The gender conversation needs to be aimed at males being reliable partners. Men don’t have to always be the primary leader – let’s share the burden of responsibilities equally, but in order to be able to achieve it men need to treasure their health and well-being to keep up with the pace of contemporary lifestyles.

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Friday, November 18, 2016 - 14:47

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