It’s important to remind men that they are valued, their efforts are visible and that there is a lot to celebrate about them. Here are some of the ways that prove the XYZ generation of men is worth appreciation, writes Cynthia Mukanzi
1. Not afraid to show emotions
Growing up in a world that forces men to bottle up feelings and emotions must be really hard for them. It has been part of the largely touted quality of ‘masculinity’ that breaks down a lot of men.
But thanks to a growing generation of sensitive men, the lid is lifting and they are finding a voice and realising there is space for them to be vulnerable. They don’t have to put up with phony gangster acts that only wound their core. It’s going to take a lot of unlearning, but it’s already happening.
2. Entrepreneurial and hardworking
They are savvy, creative, inventive and aggressive in their hustle. Advancement in technology and the Internet boom have come with opportunities that this generation of thinkers is maximizing.
They are creating businesses and providing employment for many people. This risk-taking spirit has seen so many of them succeed, with their hunger for financial security pushing them to go above and beyond.
3. Build better relationships
For those who are fathers, there’s such a big difference in how they are parenting compared to how they were raised. They are relating better with their children by deeply bonding with them and providing for them emotionally.
This means they are present in their children’s lives and value family time. They will occasionally spend quality time with their sons and daughters by doing things together such as holidays, trips, outings or anything fun at home or away.
These are fathers who want to be home before their children sleep, so that they can catch up and give them affirmation. They are caring. Of course there are some fathers who don’t (fully) perform their parental duties, but today we celebrate those who understand that paying school fees is not enough.
4. Rising feminists
Yes, there is a good number of men who support and believe in equality, irrespective of one’s social status, skin colour and gender. They campaign for human dignity and speak up against biases that marginalise groups of people.
These rising feminists understand that no one is out here to get men. The only aim is to fix the unjust power balances in the world and make it safe for all.
5. Clean up well
These fellas know how to dress up and love looking good. It’s not always about wearing expensive fashion brands, but rather looking dapper in whatever they put on.
They are stylish and take a good look at themselves in the mirror before leaving home. It’s also interesting how they push fashion and style boundaries.
6. Value fitness and wellness
Like I said, they love looking good and part of that is hitting the gym or being aware of what they consume. They may hit the bottle every now and then, but they don’t forget to look after themselves.
They take body fitness with a charming seriousness that works to their advantage in terms of building a strong mind, body and spirit.
7. Accepting and open-minded
This is a generation that is open to so many things that are unconventional in our parents and great grandparents’ eyes. It’s an openness that comes with confidence and freedom of the self.
They understand that the human race may be a single unit, but it hosts people of different abilities, beliefs, cultural variations and understanding of the world. Their open-minded nature sees them explore the world beyond borders.
8. Value meaningful connections
The truth is, everybody longs to be loved, wanted and accepted, and this generation is explicit about it. They yearn for lasting friendships and go out of their way to work on them.
People say it’s not possible for a man to completely relate with a woman on a platonic basis, but that’s what I call crap. This generation of men is capable of having meaningful relations with their male counterparts as well as women without being sexual.
9. Unlimited by academic aptitude
They are not hindered by lack of a degree. With the Internet at their disposal, they learn so much from it and have built careers for themselves, especially for those who may not have had the opportunity to go through college. They are relentless in their pursuit and will toil with all their might until something gives.
10. Follow their heart
Whether it’s in education, career or relationships, the young men of today are freer to do as they wish. They have the freedom to choose what they want to study, which field they want to work in and even who they want to date or marry.
This may sometimes be against their parents’ or guardians’ expectations, but as we are seeing, these brothers want to chart their own course and rewrite history.