As a man, I would like to know that I treat the world and everything in it right. Doing as little harm as possible to other people, the environment, other life forms etc.
There have been times in my life where, through a change in awareness, I have needed to challenge myself to ensure the above commitment remains true. As an example reading statistics on fishing practices and seeing footage of what happens out there on fishing trawlers, I started challenging my level of conscience in ordering fish at restaurants.
We can at times be blissfully unaware of a negative impact.
Like so many aspects in life, we run the risk of becoming accustomed to certainly levels of tolerance believing that this is the way it is and has always been so. Until someone, a group of people or an event makes us see it differently. Here I would like to mention changes in building regulations in South Africa. My initial response was how ridiculous it is to limit window sizes and to enforce double glazing for the windows. When, however you consider heat loss during winter through glass or heat gains during our hot summers and our need then to manage internal climate using electricity, then it makes a lot of sense. Previous conditioning, now challenged, new thoughts and the possibility of altering behaviour.
The world is a complex “place” and there are many challenges.
Talking about one does not mean a leaning toward one only – it simply means highlighting it. Turning a light on it for a while. This is my intention for the next two months with the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR). I would like to turn some attention on men and in particular Prostrate Cancer and Suicide. In 2017, the ride has the added campaign of men’s suicide. Since the inception of DGR, the desired awareness creation was on Prostrate Cancer.
From today, and for the first time in my life, I am going to take up a cause. As a man who owns a beautiful Yamaha XT550, I have committed myself to being part of DGR on 24 September 2017. I will dress accordingly, grow some facial hair and groom it meticulously and polish up my bike, all to look the part.
In some way, the awareness that has been created about men’s suicide for me, simply after reading the event launch information, I aim to extend beyond me to all of you out there that have interacted with me through Ripple. The elements of our training and the elements of dealing with thoughts about suicide are in many ways aligned.
I trust you will enjoy my journey and that it will spread positive ripples for anybody in need of help.
By Louis Gerke
Development Facilitator – The Ripple Effect
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