Life has a way of surprising us, often when we least expect it. Last weekend, a simple mishap with my Smart TV remote became a mirror reflecting the resilience journey I’ve been on since a significant fall earlier this year. If you’re wondering what fall then let me give you a snapshot of the story.
It was during Easter weekend when I walked to my car port and discovered I had a flat tyre and while attempting to change it, I experienced a tough bolt that saw me exerting force and landed on my back. Sadly, the floor was concrete which led to a spinal injury, an experience I am yet to fully recover from as I write. As International Men’s Day dawned a couple of days ago with the theme ‘Zero Male Suicide’, this reflection delves into the parallels between a dropped remote and life’s unexpected turns, culminating in a call to action for fostering mental health and resilience.
Reflection 1: Impact echoes
The sound of the remote hitting the ground reverberated with echoes of the impact that changed my life earlier this year. Life’s unexpected turns can often mirror each other, serving as stark reminders of the fragility and resilience inherent in the human experience. Just as the remote’s fall triggered memories, it’s essential to recognize and acknowledge the echoes of our own experiences, using them as stepping stones towards growth and strength.
Reflection 2: Resilience rising
Much like the battery slipping from its holder, life can sometimes feel like it’s falling apart. However, just as I picked up the battery and restored the remote to functionality, resilience lies in our ability to gather the scattered pieces of our lives and move forward. So, in line with this year’s International Men’s Day, let’s redefine resilience as not just bouncing back but as a force that rises stronger from adversity. Embracing our vulnerabilities and fostering open conversations about mental health are crucial steps in this journey.
Reflection 3: Stitching threads of hope
Life’s tapestry is woven with threads of challenges and triumphs. In every fall, there is an opportunity to stitch threads of hope and resilience. As we reflect on the parallels between a dropped remote and life’s unexpected turns, it becomes evident that our strength lies not just in avoiding falls but in how we rise from them. Each thread woven into the fabric of our experiences contributes to a narrative of strength, hope, and ultimately, change.
Call to action: Embracing change together
Let this year’s International Men’s Day theme, ‘Zero Male Suicide’, serve as a rallying point for change. Let us collectively commit to fostering open conversations about mental health, breaking down stigmas that may hinder seeking help. Reach out to friends, family, or colleagues, asking not just about their successes but about their challenges. Together, let’s build a supportive network that encourages seeking help when needed and celebrates the strength found in vulnerability.
In the journey of life, unexpected impacts are inevitable. However, by embracing resilience, fostering hope, and committing to open conversations, we can turn every fall into an opportunity to rise stronger and, in doing so, contribute to a world where the theme, ‘Zero Male Suicide’, is not just a goal but a shared reality we actively shape.
I’m excited to conclude that a “Male Psychology and African Mental Health Course” has been born from this journey; one that I look forward to taking, with fellow men, leaders in both public and private sector, for the mental health of men can best be supported by each other and will only begin when we understand what it means and how to language it towards creating psychological safety for each other.
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