The Hard Hat
Brotherhood
 

September
News Flash – Men Can Be Stubborn


Why am I always the last to hear about these things? Maybe I never got the email or was too busy playing my video games but somehow I missed the news flash that men can be stubborn. I know now that I am indeed stubborn because my wife constantly informs me of this. The realization came to me at the point when I realized that I was in the middle of a conversation with my spouse where she was again explaining my alleged stubbornness and the actual words I said in response to this were “am not”. If all men are as stubborn as this, it is not hard to see why this behavior is detrimental to our health and that it is time for us all to rethink our position.

How can being stubborn hurt your health? Think about the last time a man you know, say your father or brother, hurt himself seriously enough to warrant a doctors’ visit but just said, “It’s nothing”. Sure, the finger is almost severed in half and there is a pool of blood a foot wide where he was working, but it’s “nothing”. Is this how a grown person should act? The obvious answer is of course not. Yet, it is a common occurrence for men. Things like avoiding the yearly physical, having our eyes tested or having that weird looking mole checked out have become a sport of sorts for most men. The “it’s nothing” nature is a strong one for us guys.

Is it a pride thing or are we just being lazy? We know we should do things that are beneficial to our health and well-being but we insist on the easy way out. We come up with excuses like “Doctor’s don’t know everything”, “I’m as healthy as a horse” or the ever popular twin to “it’s nothing, the “I’m fine”. Recently I had a rather eye opening experience when my doctor informed me that I was basically a walking time bomb. Being seriously overweight, out of control eating habits, complete lack of exercise and an attitude of being indestructible was leading me to death’s door. My wife was scared to death I would drop dead one day and began an all out campaign just to get me to go to the doctor for a check up. She left no stone unturned and used the whole arsenal she had. First it was coaxing – “ It will be easy, I’ll go with you and it will be done before you know it”, then it was scare tactics, “Your mother died young because she wouldn’t take care of herself either”, then it was facts – “Men your age have a 68% higher rate of heart attacks if they don’t see a doctor regularly”, and finally it was threats – “No more lasagna until the check up is done”. Now that one hurt. If you have ever had her lasagna you would know why that one almost got to me!

Yet I persisted, “There’s nothing wrong with me” I said with disinterest. “You need to go for your own good”, she said with the attitude that I had already lost this debate and I was one step from getting a Thwacker to the head. She had made the appointment and was now, literally, dragging me out the door. “You’ll see, I’m fine”, I reminded her as I picked up the car keys. “That’s what I’ll put on your headstone” she replied.

We arrived at the doctor’s office and I was pretty confident that I had nothing to worry about. After all, I reasoned, how bad could it be? Never, ever ask that question…about anything…ever.

The next hour or so went by in a blur of my doctor going through a laundry list of my substantial health issues, each item complete with the morbid forecast if I didn’t change my ways, with my wife by his side giving me the “I told you so” nod after each one. I don’t know which was more frustrating, being told by my doctor that my wife was right all along or living with the fact that I already knew what she said was true and I had been too stubborn to admit it and try to fix the problem. Either way I was paying the price for my stubbornness and it could have cost me my life. Needless to say I now am more aware of what I eat and try to limit the things that I know are not good for me, exercise more and work on a better lifestyle. And my wife has graciously cancelled the order for that headstone.

It would appear that I do not own the market on being stubborn. I myself have run across this affliction with other men as well. For example, when I ask Red Hat Society ladies if their husbands would be interested in joining The Hard Hat Brotherhood, I frequently get the reply “My husband would never do a thing like that”. When asked why not I almost always get the same reply. That he is so stubborn and even after seeing how much fun the Red Hat Society is for women, he is unwilling to take the leap of faith and join a club or organization that would bring friends, relaxation and fun into his life. Which then begs the question “Why don’t they want to do it”?

The only answer that I can come up with is the same reason that I didn’t go to the doctor. I was too lazy to get interested in the reasons why I should go in the first place. This was followed by the arrogance that I was indestructible and didn’t need to be troubled with such petty things. Just as studies have proven that we need to get yearly checkups to monitor and control the things that can become a problem for us physically, other studies have shown how much men need to belong to social groups for their mental and psychological well being. It is our stubbornness, which keeps us from doing what is right, and sometimes it takes a good kick in the butt or Thwacker to the head to get us back on the right path.

So, gentlemen, I would like you to consider this your kick in the butt. You need to be involved in social settings, you need to have friends, you need to laugh and you need to have fun once a month at the very least. This is every bit as important to your well being as your yearly check up, not nearly as expensive and far more enjoyable…especially for those of us over 40 or 50…and you know what I mean! Don’t take the lazy way out or the “I’m fine” way out. Be as interested in your mental health as you are in your physical health. Find some guys, sign up to be a Hard Hat Brotherhood Crew, get together and do what ever is fun for you on a regular monthly basis. That is all there is to it. I can guarantee you that the benefits to your emotional, mental and spiritual well-being will be evident about 10 minutes into your first gathering.

And don’t forget to send me an email and let me know how it all turned out. It is great for my well being to hear about the fun and friendship going on out there!

©2007, Andy Smith

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Source: Andy Smith, HHBrotherhood Central, 8449 Parkridge Drive, Dexter, MI 48130, or 734.846.2283 or www.hardhatbrotherhood.com or headhardhat@hardhatbrotherhood.com



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