Because real men aren't afraid to show their emotions


Why Do You Do What You Do?


My answer: because real men aren’t afraid to show their emotions


I do what I do because only real men aren’t afraid to show their emotions. We live in a society where we’re lead to believe that “being a man” means that you can never let anything get to us. But, how long can we keep up this facade of being invisible like superman? When does all that pressure finally get to us and we crack? Well that doesn’t have to be the case if we’re not afraid to be open and honest to those we trust. Basically, I do what I do because only real men are brave enough to show their emotions.

This idea of staying strong and not showing vulnerability started when I lost my dad in middle school. Even when the doctors told him he only had a few months to live, he fought on and told my family that he wasn’t going to die because he needed to raise us. He fought bravely for 8 years, enduring several surgeries and chemotherapies, which left him physically frail, but his spirit stayed strong. Every time I visited him in the hospital, even when he had all those tubes and machines connected to him, he smiled and told me everything was going to be okay. His  strength and courage inspired me to stay strong, even when I felt like crying on the inside. ”You’re the man of the house now, take care of the family son, always stay strong” those were my dad’s last words to me.

Ever since then, my life was never the same. My dear mom now works 2 jobs to raise me and my little sister, so we’re on our own most of the time. I got a part time job in order to earn money to help my mom with the bills. But my biggest obstacle was keeping my grades up and not let my problems get to me. I had to be a positive male role model for my little sister to look up to. I knew that it was a huge responsibility to succeed in life in order to keep my sister motivated. My mom told me that if my little sister knew I could do it, she could do it too. If I smiled and made it look easy, she’ll be confident and follow in my footsteps without losing hope.

However, even superman has to succumb to his kryptonite sometime. Eventually, all the pressure and problems of school finally got to me, and I had a mental breakdown. My sister saw me crying alone in my room, which terrified me because I thought she would lose respect for me. But to my amazement, she hugged me and told me she wanted to be there for me. She told me that me being honest shows how much I trust her, and we all need help sometimes. I realized that when we pretend we’re fine when we’re not, it’s basically just lying to the people who love us. If they love us and want to be there for us, we should let them, instead of acting emotionless and pushing them away.

Now the bond I share with my little sister is closer than ever, we’re always open to each other about our problems because we know we won’t judge each other. It’s nice to know that whenever we have problems in our lives, we can share it with those who care about us. If we trust them enough to let them see us at our weakest, it means they love and accept us no matter what. This is why I do what I do because only real men are brave enough to show their emotions.

-Phillip Pham
Arts and Architecture 10 
Disc 1K
Winter 2011

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