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HomeCommentaryThe Lounge | A Column for Men: Scorched Earth

The Lounge | A Column for Men: Scorched Earth

In his biweekly column, Langley Shazor speaks to issues important to men within the territory.

I have often wondered where we became desensitized, apathetic, and indifferent to the misfortune of others. Empathy is becoming a character trait of the past; envy, jealousy, covetousness, and the like are solidifying their place atop the pyramid of attributes. We scoff at others’ issues, circumstances, trials, and obstacles. Yet, we want to raze the city to the ground when calamity knocks on our door. Have you ever stopped to wonder how you would react if nobody cared about your tribulations? You may want to say, “nobody does care”, but if you truly analyze your circle, community, and surroundings, I think you would find that to be an inaccurate conclusion.

Men are meant to be protectors and providers. We have devolved exponentially over the last 60 years into selfish, opportunistic capitalists. We will protect our cars, chains, shoes, drugs, game systems, business dealings, and alliances. All the while prostituting our communities and unraveling the fabric of family. We do not protect our sons and daughters, elderly and disabled, marriages and relationships, or even our friendships. It is downright appalling to see so many people turn a blind eye to the injustices that are happening. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, and “in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends”. If we refuse to stand for what is right, we are just as responsible for what is wrong.

As I mentioned in a previous article, we are our brothers (and sisters) keepers. It takes a village to raise a child, as well as to support adults, and sadly, our villages are disintegrating. Men, this is our fault. We must accept that responsibility, as much as we like to take the credit for positive impacts. In this age of the gender role war, many women have assumed the leadership position because few men are leading them anywhere, if at all. We should be ashamed of ourselves. Not because women are not capable and competent leaders, but because they have a different and equally important set of responsibilities. As natural nurturers, the objectives they have been tasked with have taken a backseat and are vanishing from familial and communal construct because they must overcompensate for our absence.

It is imperative that we show the same level of ferocity to safeguard when it comes to our irreplaceable fellow humans as we do to our replaceable stuff. Entire neighborhoods are demolished and terrorized by men fighting over stuff. These same men watch women, children, and seniors be abused and neglected. They sit by idly while human trafficking increases, overdoses take lives too early, and gun violence surges; if they aren’t the ones committing these atrocities. We are not men; we are simply males. We are the embodiment of the male gender but lack the character to be called men. We are supposed to be positive role models to our children, neighborhood children, peers, and community at large. Not the same force that is leaving our communities ravaged and plundered. We are no longer setting the standard or raising the bar. We are lowering the ceiling to a crushing and debilitating height.

Fear coerces people, while respect empowers them. If we are to be respected, we must first respect ourselves and realize we are the very reason why progress is being hindered. We then must respect others and encourage them to become the best they can be. We must be examples of positivity, productivity, progression, enlightenment, and transformation. We must lead by our behavior as well as by our words. Nothing worth having or becoming comes easy, it doesn’t occur without effort. Wherever you expend your energy is what is going to flourish.

The Lounge is a place for us to uplift one another, but also a space for unbridled accountability and sometimes searing introspection. I make no apologies for offending your sensibilities. Not every conversation will be pleasant, not everything we will want to hear. Change comes from a place of discomfort and uncomfortable dialogue. I cannot encourage us to be better if I’m enabling us to be foolish.


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.  thecasualword.com


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