Why I’m Worried About Men

Even when they’re successful, they’re not happy

Lee Bidoski

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A man with a backpack stands on a trail overlooking remote mountains.
Photo by Wojciech Then on Unsplash

For men today, desks and suits are marks of success. The farther away from manual labor or dirt the men are, the more successful they are.

I’m starting to worry about the men I’ve met in the last few years. Many seem to be unhappy despite being successful.

Let me show you what I mean.

I Need a Doctor

Another student sits in my office today. The chairs in my office have a 400-pound capacity for big guys like him.

This big-bearded big guy came by to ask about an assignment. They always use that pretext, but it’s never about that.

This guy talks about how he studies a lot but gets mediocre grades. When he’s honest, he hates what he’s studying. He just hates it all. He’s so confused. He’s so stressed. He’s unhappy, but he doesn’t understand why. He has no idea what to do or where to start. He’s stuck. He’s lost.

He stops talking. Giant tears gush down his face.

I don’t keep delicate Kleenex in my office. I keep rolls of thick paper towels. The towels are scratchy on your face when you wipe snot away, but I personally like the scratchiness.

“If you could stop right now, stop studying what you’re studying, what would you do instead?” I ask.

“Lineman school” he answers without a pause. In just two words, I hear his passion. He knows exactly what he wants.

“What’s keeping you from doing that?” I ask.

“I can’t,” he says.

“Because…?”

“My parents said no.”

“Because they can’t afford it?”

“They can afford it, but they said I need a college degree.”

It’s another case of trade shaming. The parents wanted to brag about their son, the doctor, not their son who climbs up poles when the power goes out.

It’s for his own good. Right?

Go Rest High on That Mountain

A guy I knew worked 70-hour weeks for about 15 years. The high-pressure job bankrupted his soul.

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Lee Bidoski

I’m a psychology professor trying to understand and improve our lives. Relationships | Dating | Health | Careers | Sports | Law Enforcement | Military