The Hard Hat

Self Realization For Men or How We Can Be Our Own Worst Enemy

It can be said that guys in general are not the most observant creatures on the planet. Woman, on the other hand notice every detail and change to almost everything around them. For us guys, a major difference has to be readily identifiable before we see any change. Allow me to offer a time- tested example of this difference in observations.

I have lost count of the number of times throughout my life when I was suddenly plunged into the horrifying mind-field every man dreads worse than his “yearly exam” (if you are over 40 you know what I mean). Can you relate to this one? A woman you truly care about has done something new to improve her looks and asks the mother of all scary questions “So what do you think?” Now most guys will have no clue what she is talking about. I certainly never did. The question hangs there in the air while the man does a scan of her that would make any Star Trek crewmember envious. Unfortunately, he can’t come up with a thing that looks different. Now his heart is racing, his palms sweaty as he realizes that the precious seconds to answer this question fast enough are flying by. Once that time has elapsed no answer will matter anyway. As the last nanosecond of time runs out he manages to blurt out in desperation “LOVE the new hair style!” only to watch the woman’s face fall in disappointment as she sighs heavily and walks away.

Why can’t guys realize the subtle changes around them? I have found after talking with fellow HHBrotherhood members that a common theme does prevail. We are less apt to notice changes around us if we cannot or do not assess and prioritize importance in ourselves first. If we never expand the borders of our immediate surroundings, either physically or emotionally, meaning we don’t break out of our usual routine of solitary pastimes and begin to spend time together with other guys, then we are cheating ourselves out of some of the best richness life has to offer. I am in not way suggesting that we neglect our responsibilities to our families, jobs or other important communities, merely that we look around us and see if we are allowing time for ourselves to enjoy the company of others of our kind.

Richard Wright once wrote: “Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." My goal with the Hard Hat Brotherhood is to help men achieve self-realization with regard to a basic need for socialization with other men. This can be extremely frustrating at times. We absolutely should go out and socialize with other men on a regular basis; it is a natural and needed part of a healthy lifestyle. The frustrating part is that guys who need to do this the most are the ones who resist it the most. Many feel they don’t need to enrich their lives and they are perfectly fine as they are. Emotionally closed off, socially shut down and comfortably numb maybe, but they are just fine.

I have come out of an enclosed bubble and I am here to tell you that your whole world opens up when you realize what you have been missing out on. I have seen it with our members when they come to one of our HHBrotherhood events. They actually say things out loud like “I have not laughed like this in years”, or “I should have done this long ago.” Once you realize how good it is to participate in a fun, comfortable environment with friends you are never the same. The Hard Hat Brotherhood provides a simple and fun way to do this. Come on, give us a try. The worst that can happen is a realization of the fun you have been missing out on!

©2007, Andy Smith

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Source: Andy Smith, HHBrotherhood Central, 8449 Parkridge Drive, Dexter, MI 48130, or 734.846.2283 or or

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