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Things on my mind or stating the obvious

A few thoughts that have nothing to do with politics, women or the top story of the day

Things on my mind or stating the obvious

This has nothing to do with politics or women or the top story of the day. It’s just a few things thumping their way into my head, in no particular order. I am not even sure if they are totally senseless or worthy of a thought or two. There they are stuck in the mind…

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I keep wondering about this narrow understanding of ‘success’ and how it is affecting the men around us; the burden of manhood, basically. Something that is not talked about publicly so much as it is privately; and how it turns some men ‘successful’ in the eyes of society, bringing the rest into the category of ‘losers’.

Now whoever invented the term is the real loser in my view. The dictionary defines loser as “one that fails to win” or “one that fails consistently, especially a person with bad luck or poor skills”. In the second definition, bad luck precludes the role of any active agency; so you could be a loser just because God ordained it so. As for somebody having “poor skills”, there is no hope left. He is condemned to be a loser just because he did not have the skills to ‘win’ — as absurd as that.

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It would be fine if we were talking about winning or losing a game of cards, except that we aren’t. It’s a matter of life and, in some cases, death. The trappings of success leave many men out of their scope. These men are left cursing themselves as, well, losers!

Men are raised with this idea of seeing themselves in the role of ‘bread-earners’, which is quite a pressure in itself one must admit. Then there are certain careers reserved for them, and so on and so forth.

A failure to conform or fit into these roles and they feel justified in thinking they’ve lost — for good.

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I wish life was not such a mindless struggle and we did not have to glorify the word ‘struggle’ so much. We could let people be, do their own thing, without too much to worry about. I also wish a few more men could tinker with the prescribed gender roles a little more.

Why can’t people, both men and women, just feel happy about their lives without letting others define ‘happiness’ for them, I ask.

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Not sure if it is like switching to an entirely new subject or not but another thing that bothers me is how people around us tend to stigmatise psychological ailments. Not that they don’t sensationalise physical ones, especially of a more serious nature, but mental illnesses are the worst.

In cases where they don’t ostracise the person, the first reaction is to take their condition as lightly as they can, prescribing home remedies instead of recommending a professional. People are shy of seeking professional help and more shy of taking medicines even in cases where they are, say, clinically depressed. It is perhaps this attitude that drives less people to the professional field of psychology and the vicious cycle goes on.

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Lastly, again not sure how related or otherwise it is to all of the above, I am quite upset about how suicide is reported in the media.

Leaving aside the philosophical debate about the right one has over one’s own life, there is a strange romanticisation of this whole idea of suicide on the media. The reporter or desk people draw a vicarious pleasure out of the dead person’s misery, especially while making headlines.

The worst is how the incident is taken out of context and projected as a response of some immediate circumstance.

The details of the story are missing in each case. There is no attempt to understand why out of ten or hundred or thousand or a million unemployed or poor people only a few commit suicide. Why is it always projected as a social trend and not a consequence of an untreated mental ailment?

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Excuse me if this reads like a page out of a self-help book or overly opinionated rant. There were just a few questions clicking in my head for long waiting to be asked or stated.

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