Okay, it’s time to say it. We’ve been sold a bill of goods. For decades now, Hollywood has sold us an idea about what defines a real man. He’s John Wayne, James Bond, and Jason Bourne all rolled into one. He’s strong, independent, fearless, and often silent.

What happens when I measure myself against these Hollywood strong-and-silent types?

Strong? I don’t often feel strong. In fact, I sometimes feel incompetent, insecure, and weak. I’m not a self-made man who’s picked himself up by the bootstraps. Is that even physically possible?

I need people. I’m not as independent as I’d like. I don’t know how to fix my car, how to invest for a successful retirement, or how to complete my tax returns! I need people.

Fear sometimes grips me. I’m afraid of heights, like on the mountain roads I’ve driven that make my stomach flip. I’m afraid my ignorance will spontaneously be exposed. I’m afraid those around me will think I’m stupid.

I don’t measure up to the prototype of a real man, except when it comes to…

Silence. I can do that. In fact, I was trained to do it well.


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CHUCK FALLON, LPC