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HomeCommentaryIntroducing The Lounge | A Column for Men

Introducing The Lounge | A Column for Men

Langley Shazor

In his biweekly column, Langley Shazor speaks to issues important to men within the territory. This week’s introduces The Lounge.

The world is changing. Increases in frequency and intensity of natural disasters, COVID-19 pandemic and its variants, climate change, food sovereignty and security needs, hybrid and remote learning and working, AI, and polarizing political environments have and continue to reshape our lives. These shifts have been rapid, catastrophic, transformative, and left us forever impacted.

Though technological, social, and economic changes are moving far faster than we could anticipate, we are still lagging in some key areas. One of the most prevalent deficiencies, especially in the territory, is in mental health awareness, support, and resources. Specifically for our Black men, there are few safe spaces to be vulnerable, transparent, open, and truthful about the issues they face daily.

Many cultures have long pushed the stoic, macho, hyper-aggressive, emotionally distant version of a man as the prototypical and desirable one. As men, we have gauged one another by our toughness, propensity for physical violence, physical stature, and material possessions. Many women use the same standards to determine their interests, further engraining an ideal that is both antiquated and destructive to the individual and their relationships. We all must do better.

Welcome to The Lounge, a column for men where we begin to unravel some beliefs, unlock insecurities, unlearn behaviors, and begin the journey of self-discovery. This space is intended to be a place where uncomfortable topics can be uncovered, while leaving room to create constructive conversations around them. Here, we will be uplifted and encouraged, but also challenged to grow and become the best versions of ourselves.

This journey to redefine masculinity has been one of the quests for myself and for others. It has not come without bumps and bruises, loss and disappointment. However, I can assure you the triumphs have outweighed the defeats. From my own accounts and the accounts of those I have mentored, along with those I simply engaged in conversation, the results and consensus are universal.  We owe it to ourselves as well as to our friends, spouses, children, and associates to become better than our forefathers and better than our previous selves.

It is time to redefine what being a man means in this new era. I am walking this path of discovery and transition with you. I hope you will think about the topics shared here and apply different aspects and tools to your life. This is an open forum. If there are subjects you want covered, please send them to me for consideration. If you would like to have further discussions, we can schedule an opportunity to speak. This is your space, your lounge, your place to decipher and tackle things that you may not have the freedom to do with your peers or anyone for that matter. Let’s improve together.

Langley “Casual-Word” Shazor is a poet, author, publisher, entrepreneur, public speaking coach, podcast host, and pastor who is an advocate for youth and men. His goal is to enlighten, empower, and liberate those who are silenced, marginalized, and enslaved to self-destructive thoughts and behaviors.  

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