It’s ‘RUOK’ Day…

I’m reminded by incidents just in the last few days and even just this morning that when things are left undealt with over periods of time within a person, they eventually catch up with us in some way.

It’s easy to point fingers when we see the end result of a violent outburst. We find it hard to fathom that a human can do such things. We find ourselves blaming a person, writing them off as a statistical anomaly or even inhuman because ‘we would never go to that length to make a point’

The way we deal with our emotions or hurts has never lead us to kill or maim so we stand in judgement of those who do. It doesn’t lessen the tragedy or seriousness of a persons actions when this occurs but on a day like today we stop and ask why…

Sometimes there really is no explanation, and we simply shake our heads and maybe pray for a lost soul or simply turn our heads away so we don’t go insane trying to figure it out, but then there’s cases where an angry man decides he must take his unresolved inner anger out on his ex by brutally maiming them or hurting them to a point where they are scarred for life or lose their life.

How does one human become angry? How does a man who loved show such perceived hate? Why couldn’t he have chosen another outlet for his anger? Where was he freedom to ask why when the emotion first birthed in his mind and heart? Where were the ears to listen when he might have needed them back when it was a small issue? Why did he feel like he couldn’t? Why is a man still said to be weak for crying tears and being vulnerable about his emotions? Why can’t a man be strong, masculine, protective and a provider while still being open and real? Why does he think that the only way to overcome inner grief is by an outward exertion of physical energy, not conversation or worded communication?

So I ask myself… Am I asking enough questions to my close mates? Am I demonstrating commitment to those friendships that when I ask they trust me enough to answer with vulnerability? Am I listening or do I try to much to preach and give advice when it’s best just to be an absorber and encourager?

It’s not about comfort. It’s about awkward. No conversation of this manner will be comfortable. It’s something we always sugar coat at first and we push away because we are afraid of what others think and how they might change the way they treat us. We are lost thinking the only people we should love most are those who love us most, but it’s those who feel loved the least who need it, and those who have fears and/or shame so deep they can’t express it that need someone to hear them and stay with them, not pull away.

Men and women are different but we share one similarity… We won’t be honest straight up most of the time.

A man will most often say ‘all good mate’ when he’s not, and a woman will most often tell you the bits that only expose what she feels will keep you beside her. As time goes by if we/I can be open, real, trustworthy and comfortable enough to be awkward with them, then they will be more open.

RUOK isn’t a social media experiment. We can send impersonal messages to people thinking we’ve participated. It’s about doing what social media has caused us to substitute real conversation for. Face to face or at least audible, awkward, real and uncomfortable chats without judgement or criticism.

Maybe then less people would be hurt or lose their lives because a silent issue went unheard until a man snapped. We could use our full scope of human ability to be a wingman to someone who feels like they’re flying solo, helping them unwind before the tension got a chance to build up.

It’s not fair that innocent lives be ruined or lost. But it’s also so tragic that they be ruined or lost when there’s ways many can be prevented before their potential offenders even realise they are capable of committing their crimes.

It’s my responsibility too.