Disposable Men – How our boys are programmed at a young age.
ANZAC DAY ….Lest we forget – about our boys and MEN.
I woke this morning at 4.00am and made my way down to the crowded ANZAC memorial to stand side by side in the early morning drizzle with men, women and children. Here to listen to the tributes about the brave men who gave their lives for our country in what must have been absolutely horrendous and often terrifyingly brutal conditions. As I stood and listened, a part of me couldn’t help thinking whether or not I myself could have gone to war as a young naive 18yrs old “boy”. The thought of running into the firing line of a hundred bullets coming from faceless men in the distant darkness may have been to terrifying for me to have left these shores. So what would have become of me if I refused to go? Thrown in prison and labelled a coward for the rest of my life? Possibly…
Social media was flooded today with messages commemorating our courageous ANZACS but as I read each one a part of me couldn’t help thinking of those famous words of the US national security advisor Henry Kissinger who once famously said …(which I’m sure he must regret were ever made public).
“Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”
Of course those who make the decisions to go to war at the highest level would distance themselves from these words with strong condemnation. But there’s certainly no denying that for many years’ MEN have been ordered into wars all over the world for reasons that have eventually become questionable at best. One only has to look at the decision by our own former Prime Minister John Howard (George Bush’s “Deputy Sherriff”) to send young Australian men into Iraq because, according to Colin Powell, they had “weapons of mass destruction”. A truth that was eventually proven to be a lie.
Yet again many young Australian men were killed or their lives destroyed. Many of those who have returned are still struggling with mental illness and trauma but find themselves without support from the government that sent them there. Many who feel lost or confused about “their” meaning of ANZAC day.
In his best-selling book “Disposable Men” Warren Farrell suggests that men have been programmed their whole life to be “disposable” either in war, sport or the work place. From an early age they are “programmed” to follow orders, “man up” when things get tough and told that if they fail to engage in conflict then this is seen as the trait of a coward. Even on the sporting field (our modern day colosseums) AFL and Rugby players are” thrown to the lions “- the idea of backing out of a possibly life threatening head on mark or tackle would bring a roar of disapproval from a hungry crowd , labelled gutless for thinking that the possibility of preserving his life just might be a good idea.
We live in a world where men continue to die before women, are much more likely to take their own life and are ordered without question, into wars by men who often have their own corporate agenda.
Of course the chorus of voices in objection to these views will come through, that’s fine – I’m not here to be “right”. Certainly I mean no disrespect to the brave men (and woman) who fort bravely to make our county safe. However sometimes some deeper thinking about a day we celebrate for many reasons may need one more.
Lest we often forget why.
Tips for New Dads – You and Your Family Magazine
Tips for New Dads.
As a regular contributor to the US magazine “You and Your Family” I was asked to write an article for new Dad’s!. Have a read and feel free to share it with any new fathers…….
Ten Tips for New Dads
So you’ve recently become a father or are about to begin the journey? Becoming a Dad for the first time can often be a daunting prospect. Especially if you were void of a good role model in your own life growing up. Research tells us that around 47% of fathers today still believe that their role in those first three years of their child’s life is that of a “Helper” – rather than a “Primary Care Giver”. I would suggest to fathers everywhere that they begin to embrace the idea of being a “hands on father” and realise that you were never meant to simply be a “helper”. Your intimate involvement from the first day of your child’s life is just as vital as that of their mother.
With this in mind, I’m going to give you Ten of the Best Tips I can on how to approach fatherhood that will greatly support your journey.
- The Pregnancy – Yes those first nine months of your child’s life that begin inside your partner are wonderful opportunities to begin connecting with your new baby. Softly stroking the stomach, and talking gently to your -soon to be born bub- will let them know that the environment they are about to come into is warm and welcoming.
- The Birth– Gone are the days when the Dad would wait outside while the baby is born. Your role is to be right by your partner’s side, holding her hand and giving any support you can. The arrival of your beautiful child is a moment no father should ever miss.
- Coming Home – Helping to prepare a nurse for the arrival of your new baby is a wonderful opportunity to connect with your partner and shows your commitment to making sure your baby feels loved and welcomed into the family home.
- Changing those nappies – Being a hands on Dad means plenty of kinaesthetic involvement. It’s vital you feel comfortable and confident holding and cuddling your new tobaby. They want to feel the strong hands of their Dad coupled with his gentle voice and soft heart. Changing nappies, washing their bums and giving warm baths are all vitally important moments to begin to connect deeply with your new arrival.
- Facial recognition. – In those early months your new baby will begin to focus in on your face, it will recognise vital facial expressions that tell them whether their world is safe or not. A loving, calm reassuring smile will mean the world to a distressed crying baby and will go a long way to soothing the moment.
- Heart Entrainment – Try and hug your little one as often as you can – your chest against theirs. I good time for this in the shower when they can feel your skin on theirs. Hold them close to your beating heart and this will begin a heart entrainment between the two of you that will last a life time.
- A Peaceful Environment – Try not to argue in front of your baby if you can help it. Keep their world as peaceful as you can. Soft music rather than a loud TV will help enormously
- Bedtime – As they begin to grow, make bedtime one of the most important times connect with your children. Bedtime stories are a great way to send your children off to sleep – begin reading to your children as early as possible. There is so much more being communicated then just the words.
- Love is everything – Surround your children in a sea of love. Not only with them, but just as importantly -with your partner. Remember – their watching you all the time.
- Fatherhood is the greatest gift! – Nothing compares to the gift of being a father. It allows you to feel the deepest love imaginable, and gives you the greatest opportunity to invest your life in someone else’s. Enjoy every moment you can, because they will grow up quickly before your very eyes. Every day that pass’s with your children you can never get back. When your final moment arrives on this earth you’re most wonderful memories will want to be of holding your child for the first time, looking into their eyes and feeling the unconditional love that only a baby can bring.
I wish you nothing but joy and happiness in your journey ahead.
Darrell Brown –