International Men’s Day: Why The World Need More Male Role Models
International Men’s Day is set aside to celebrate and recognize the contributions of men in all areas throughout history, who have helped shape our world while raising awareness on issues men face today. This event is celebrated globally on the 19th of November every year to recognize and celebrate the achievements of men worldwide.
One of International Men’s Day’s objectives emphasized yearly is to promote positive male role models: not just celebrities but everyday, working-class men living decent, honest lives.
Throughout history, we see the value of significant male role models, from the most influential men, like Aristotle and Plato. The power of male figures in history is immense. Beyond having father figures, the strong male role models in history have shown us that the best way to grow as a person is through engaging with powerful men.
As technology progresses and becomes more advanced like never before, young impressionable minds are more exposed to certain parts of life faster than they would have in the years back. We see young men taking extreme measures to keep up with the same glamorous life they see online. In these critical developmental stages, it’s easy for young men to follow the crowd and fall in the wrong way. Now more than ever, young men need a figure they can look up to for advice and guidance who can help them make the right choices.
In 2020, a man shared his experience with some young boys in his neighbourhood on Twitter. He overheard the kids’ conversation one day, aspiring to become street lords and even discussed using the weekends to work for a particular street lord to build favour in his eyes. This man decided to engage them in a conversation and convinced them to join him on Sunday to play football. On the said day, when these kids showed up, he began talking to them about how the path they were planning to take will lead them nowhere. It became a set event to meet every Sunday for football; over time, those kids brought their friends to join them. The man eventually got them into a church team to help their physical and spiritual growth.
From this experience, one thing is sure; young boys will always find someone to look up to, whether or not that person can positively impact them.
The influence of a male role model is vital in early childhood. Boys are influenced by males in their early years and thus learn essential lessons about the world and themselves from those male figures. As they grow and begin to explore the world around them, they need male connections to guide them in their discovery. Having significant male figures to look up to is the best way to raise young boys into respectable men.
And this is not limited to childhood. As a young man grows, so does the need for guidance and support. Self-improvement is a lifelong process. Having a significant figure who he respects and can look to for advice and support can positively influence him.
Finally, being role models is not limited to famous or wealthy people. Anyone with values and something positive to offer, whether life skills, advice or guidance, can be a role model. It is about having skills, knowledge and leadership to help young people in your community.
On this occasion of International Men’s day, we call on men worldwide to see themselves as role models to young boys and lead lives worth emulating. Let us also take up the responsibility of shaping the lives of young men around us. Take up opportunities to mentor, formally or informally. It truly takes a village. For young men, find a male figure you respect, trust, and can look up to for guidance.
Happy International Men’s Day!!!