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Edition 353 – Arthur & Brian

Most weekend mornings, and occasionally on a weekday, I head to my local, favourite cafe, order my regular extra hot Skim Latte and proceed to catch up on the news of the day, or do some writing.

When I’m sitting in the courtyard, underneath the Elm tree, sometimes as the sun is just rising, other times when it’s so cold that I look like I’m a refugee from a Canadian winter, there’s usually a couple of other blokes there. Arthur must be close to 80. Brian, his mate, is in his 70’s. We exchange pleasantries and occasionally engage in friendly banter as the bleary eyed patrons make their way in.

Arthur and Brian catch up most days, but not every day. It’s not always breakfast as there are times where they share a coffee and chat about what they’ve been up to, what the day ahead has planned and simply enjoy each other’s company. I’ve found out they’ve not known each other all that long. They’re just a couple of regular chaps who happen to have formed a friendship over both being in the same place at the same time, most days. Call it an evolution out of nothing.

What I like about Arthur and Brian is that men are generally very poor at keeping in touch with each other. Yet these two make an effort, most days, to spend some time with each other and share some male company.

Men in business are even worse at keeping in touch with each other. Men in business argue they’ve got too much to do and don’t have the time to catch up with their mates. Sometimes, months fly by before men in business actually set a date to catch up, often on a weekend over a drink.

Men in business can be very lonely. They live in their heads. They keep their thoughts to themselves, not necessarily wanting to share with anyone else what they’re pondering, or what they’re worried about. If you keep the guard up, you’re not vulnerable. When you’re not vulnerable, you’re not exposed. The truth is, it’s mostly veneer.

Men in business simply knuckle down each day, ignoring their own wellbeing until one day, their body stops…..or they themselves choose a more permanent stop.

Maybe it’s time to have a movement of men in business that catch up each week, share coffee or breakfast, talk about anything and everything to anyone that’s part of the crew. I’m not suggesting a replica of those morning networking groups where you swap business cards and commit to referring business to each other. I’m simply talking about men in business making an effort to get themselves out of the house and away from their businesses, to spend time with other men in business.

In a world that’s seemingly more connected than ever, the reality is that plenty of men are lonelier than ever. Creating connectedness amongst men in business who might otherwise be spending considerable time alone might be just what they need for their wellbeing.

This Week’s Tip

“A recent Suicide Prevention Australia study revealed 1 in 4 men have no good mates
and 1 in 3 experience loneliness.”