What Happens When A Man Loses His Voice?
I knew an older gentleman many years ago, who I considered a father figure. Even though he wasn’t perfect, and made a lot of mistakes throughout his life, he was still a very good-hearted man. He believed in taking care of his family and honoring God. Over a period of time, I witnessed a lot, and I listened very carefully to the things he would say when he thought no one was really paying him any attention. He lost his voice in his house. He became the man who pays the bills, and that was the sum total of his worth to those around him. When I came around, he would laugh and make jokes, but I could see how exhausting it was for him to keep himself encouraged. He had a prayer closet where he spent a substantial amount of time. He often made random comments about wanting the Lord to take him. He even told me that that was his daily prayer. I realized that because he lost his voice and the respect of those he sacrificed his life to care for, he gave up on life. One day I noticed a shift in his tone, and I recognized that it was anger beneath the joking. The fact that he suffered in silence caused his health to deteriorate. I think it was around that time that I started to take note of the connection between the quality of life and physical and mental health. I watched him be talked over as if he wasn’t in the room. There are many men who shut down all around us, and for some reason, it is associated with old age. But, I disagree completely with that theory. There are younger men who shut down as well, and there are legitimate reasons for this, but because we live in a society where good men often can’t express their emotions without judgment or ridicule, this encourages some men to give up. I would like to challenge you to check in on yourselves and the men around you to encourage healthy dialog around depression, the importance of seeking support, and the value of creating healthy boundaries to protect your health and well-being.