2. The no caffeine and coffee thing.
3. "Be a man."
Hmm can I write three quick stories? Let's give it a try. I was in a hammock just chillin' with my friend today, reading some Harry Potter, normal things. When all of the sudden 3 couples, just sat down near us and just started making out. Ok, first off it needs to be mentioned that one of these couples were gay, so I was thinking, "In Provo?! Wow, that's quite rare actually... I'm a bit impressed." My second thought was, "What the heck?! Can you not? please?" And that was only the beginning. NCMO's. Or otherwise known as Non-Committal Making-Out. NCMO's are what I think is the worst trend I have ever seen in my college life. Now typically I'm a pretty chill guy. It's your body, not mine. Your body is a temple and all that jazz. To prove it, I have even talked to my previous church leader about getting a tattoo claiming that tattoos, "are the stained glass windows of my temple." But NCMO's really? Just really? They seem too lustful and immoral. Of course if there's consent then who am I to judge or stop you but in my perspective they seem to dehumanize the people around you for the purpose of just a NCMO. I believe that everyone has a multifaceted identity that ought to be discovered and be filled with joy and love, and degrading one's identity to a physical desire of just making out just seems wrong. I mean how is this any different from a one-night-stand? They both are non-committal, are only in it for the experience, and typically only happens once with that person. It's dehumanizing when I hear a guy objectify a girl, but when both do it and consent to see each other as merely objects for physical pleasure, that's when it really bugs me, because we all deserve better than that.
The coffee and caffeine thing sucks. This story is fairly simple. "I love coffee, I love tea. I love the java jive and it loves me. Coffee and Tea and the java and me. A cup a cup a cup a cup a cup." In my school there is no coffee or caffeinated products anywhere on campus. It became so bad that I needed to find the right RA's to let me smuggle in my coffee and coke weekly. But the worst part is the guilt some people give me for having these products. First off, it's my life, please let me have my coffee, it won't negatively or positively affect your life in any way but please let me have my guilty pleasures. And secondly, it tastes good.
My last story involves what I believe is the most destructive, hurtful, and emotionless three words in the English language. "Be a man." I don't take this topic lightly because I believe it has affected me and possibly most boys in my generation. I talked to this girl a few days ago and she said that most guys she met in her life were jerks (she used another word but it's close enough). And in a way I agree with her. Some of the guys I meet, whether in college or at home, RM's or not, they don't talk about how they feel, they don't act maturely, they aren't sensitive, rather than confronting what's in front of them they either run or they fight. We grew up wanting to be like our fathers, but instead we fed off of their masculinity. We forgot the aspect of love and hide it as what we perceive as a sign of strength. We don't take the time to know someone anymore, but rather swipe left to what we believe is disposable. We weren't taught the same values, but rather influenced by our environment to glorify success by beating others down, getting money, and pleasure from other people. After I agreed with her, it was silent. It took me a while to say four words. "Can you blame them?" Fathers get busy. Kids get bullied. And we were left trying to grasp the definition of being a man with the examples of a bully and a father who may or may not be there for us because he told us to, "stop crying," "be a man," "shut up," "hide your emotions," and to, "quit being a baby." The idea of being seen as weak or as a baby starts from the very beginning of boyhood and it follows us for the rest of our lives. We've constructed an idea of masculinity that doesn't give young boys a way to feel secure about their masculinity, so we force them to try to prove it all the time in unrealistic expectations that will only bring them down. They couldn't talk about being afraid. We couldn't talk about being hurt. We couldn't talk about feeling sad. Only things that brings out what we thought were our strengths; anger, violence, and confidence. We were left trying to act so tough in front of our fathers that we never received the acceptance or love we truly wanted from him. At church I was a primary teacher for CTR 6 and one of the most courageous things I've ever seen is one of my 6 year olds defending a smaller child from a bully saying, "I cry sometimes too, don't you?" And it was the noblest thing I have ever seen. I believe that this is a horrible problem plaguing the world, but it can be stopped. It can be reversed. If we let them grow in love and support, it's possible.