Toxic Individualism

The Kingdom of Heaven is among you.      

The Carpenter from the Hills of Galilee

We, men, strive mightily to coney to the world that we are rugged individuals; the “lone ranger” archetype. We wear this mask like a badge of honor, and we believe that we must confront the trials and tribulations of life alone. Most women, on the other hand, “reveal” themselves to other women.

I call this mask “toxic individualism,” and it creates a Herculean burden. This predicament goes largely unnoticed because the illusion is highly esteemed in our culture. The truth is that we have not been engineered by Our Creator to lead self-sufficient lives – we were created to be interdependent. We desperately need each other!

Men in leadership positions (especially) strive to maintain a veneer of strength and control. Leaders should never seek support from subordinates, but must intentionally cultivate relationships with other men, where it is safe to share weakness and vulnerability. Only then, within a bond of trust and non-judgment, can real growth occur. I have learned to share my inner turmoil, self-doubts, and weakness with other men, who love me and care deeply about me; authenticity is the architecture of our souls.

Today, I will contemplate that there are other, more empowering choices than attempting to face life alone…




© John G. 2021

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