Make a difference for men and boys!
The 19th of November is being celebrated the world over as International Men’s Day (IMD) since the year 1999. Every year, the number of countries celebrating IMD keeps growing, and this year, the number has reached 80.
Although this is the 9th year that India is celebrating Men’s Day, questions as to whether or not such a celebration is needed and if men really deserve a special day still linger in the minds of many. The answers to these questions were spelled out long before the questions even arose.
President Abraham Lincoln once said, “Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.”
Along similar lines, President John F. Kennedy said, “A Nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers…”.
While we see a handful of men constantly being idolized as heroes, and many film stars and sports stars being felicitated by the society, there are countless number of invisible heroes who make positive contributions to the community, society, family, marriage, child care and the environment.
- These men include sanitation workers, construction workers, chemical and gas factory workers, mechanics and miners who routinely suffer from chronic occupational health issues and often die before they reach the age of 60.
- They include soldiers, firefighters, land mine removers, deep sea fishermen, electric linemen, house painters and glass cleaners who risk their lives everyday.
- They include farmers, weavers, tea sellers, drivers, paperboys, mailmen and watchmen, who render their services, often without receiving a word of recognition or gratitude.
- They include teachers, doctors, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and public servants, who help improve the quality of life for everyone in the society.
- They include fathers, grandfathers, brothers, husbands, friends and colleagues who stand by us, inspire us, make us laugh and enrich our lives.
- They include men in all walks of life who live honest, decent lives and help keep the wheels of progress and hope turning.
It is often forgotten that everywhere in the world, men perform a variety of tasks, including some of the most difficult and daunting jobs, to protect and provide for their families. It is often forgotten that doing these jobs is more of a necessity than a choice for men. The goodness and selflessness of these men is often taken for granted.
As the former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, rightly said, “When surrounded by day to day issues, there is a tendency to forget the good things we are bestowed with.”
This International Men’s Day let us remember all the good things about men and boys around us. Let us acknowledge and celebrate the invisible heroes of everyday. Let us honor them for all their positive contributions to the world. Let us pray for their health, well-being and safety. Let us vow to ensure fairness towards men and boys in all walks of life. Let us join hands to end misandry and to restore respect for masculinity.
Let us all work to “make a difference for men and boys”!
Here’s wishing all men and boys a very happy International Men’s Day!
– Uma Challa