Listening is a vital part of communication and often we may be accused of not listening. While hearing is an involuntary, physical act, listening requires much more. Basically it is hearing and combining psychological involvement with the person who is talking. True listening requires concentration and energy, setting aside our own thoughts and agendas and also not making judgements or evaluations.
This year the team at Regional Men’s Health is focusing on Cardiovascular Awareness and encouraging blokes in Regional WA to have a think about their “Pump & Pipes”.
It’s no surprise that when we combine disease associated with the heart (pump) and blood vessels (pipes) it’s our biggest killer, largest health problem, and places a great burden on our economy and health system. This of course is without even considering the issues around grief, loss of function and care requirements that can also impact individuals and families.
Back in 2003 a couple of mates in Melbourne discussing fashion and recurring trends joked about bringing back the Mo, they talked a few mates into joining them and chose the month of November renaming it “Movember”.
A word that I feel is over used and out of context in the modern world today is the word ‘resilience’ and I would like to question the use of that word. There is even a whole industry built around ‘resilience’ in the form of providing training and education services in this space.
The message that underpins everything we do at the Regional Men’s Health Initiative is “before it all gets too much ‘Talk to a Mate’. Human beings are fundamentally social in nature, staying connected and feeling valued for who we are is of primary importance to us. Talking to other people about issues in our lives or telling our stories helps us to normalise our experiences and realise we are not alone in having them. As blokes we have a tendency to retreat into ourselves when things are turning pear shaped, ‘cave time’. Much to the frustrations of most women this is a normal part of the way men tend to start processing their problems.
A wise man said to me recently the three things a man needs is to love someone; to do something meaningful and to have something to look forward to. These three things are a constant through the different stages of a man’s life whether it be adolescence, mid-life, transition and/or retirement.
At this time of the year we are all busy, often feeling tired, our nerves can be a bit raw and sometimes we are just “over it”. Everyone gets a bit tired and rundown, from kids at school to mums and dads at home or at work.
We all know there’s lots of work to get done to get us through to the end of the year. This may include finishing the harvest, various stock work, that last FIFO swing before holidays, getting that last job finished and having kids end of year school events to attend. This can lead to us working beyond our limit.
A bloke’s ego is made up of all those things which help us define who we are as individuals, it is a construct of our personality, character, self-image, self-esteem and self-worth.
In some conversations that we have, we may think “that man has such an enormous ego – I’ve never known anyone so full of themselves!
One dictionary definition states “someone’s ego is their sense of their own worth. For example, if someone has a large ego, they think they are very important and valuable. He had a massive ego; never would he admit he was wrong.”
“Celebrate the power of people continuing to learn throughout their lives”, this is the message from Adult Learning Australia who want to make 2018 the year of lifelong learning. Australian and international research supports that when people take an active approach to learning in their adult years they develop skills, confidence and courage to live independently, find work and shine at new skills. “Lifelong learning” encompasses a wide range of learning opportunities from schooling, other formal education institutions, workplaces and through community participation.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found naturally in the cells and bloodstream of our body. It is produced by the liver but also comes from certain foods we eat. A small amount of it is good and all that is needed by the body to perform certain functions however too much of it floating around our blood can have serious implications for our health. It is important for us older blokes to develop an understanding of cholesterol and especially its relationship to cardiovascular disease.