Blogs and items of interest

May 14, 2016


Here is a talk about shame by Monica Lewinsky. Shame is often disregarded as an emotion, perhaps out of our own attempt to block out shame.

Our mainstream media is constantly aiming to shame, an example of this might be when a photographer takes a picture of a well known female person getting out of a car and you can see up her dress. Or another example maybe pictures of celebrities with cellulite are printed in newspapers or gossip magazines. Or the shame that is attached to people in addiction or are not working.

The problem with shaming things in this way is that it creates a reluctance to talk about these things in everyday life. Shame can be a life altering emotion. If you are controlled by your shame but feel like you have no one to talk to about it, maybe Brighter Pathways counselling can offer you a non judgmental space to help you through it. Make an appointment using the contact links today.

May 14, 2016

Male Role Models for People Today

I want to write today about the lack of positive male role models in the lives of today’s generation of young people.

We live in a society where marriage is fading as a tradition, promiscuous-ness is fashionable amongst young people and we are encouraged to focus on our careers in the early years of adulthood not settling down and having a family.

At schools we were taught mostly by women and having worked in a college myself recognise teaching is still very much a female occupation. Our kids reach out to what’s available to them and that is often not what would be desired. This can often be musicians promoting gang violence and the use of drugs. In recent times David Beckham was often considered a good male role model and more recently Anthony Joshua is paving the way of what it is to be a gentleman first and a sportsman second which makes a refreshing change.

A large number of families today are spearheaded by a woman, it feels like questions need to be asked about where some people today attain their male influences from. Once upon a time in the absence of a father perhaps another family member would have stepped in, however in today’s society with long working hours and the distance that is now present in families today this is not as common as it once was.

I am by no means suggesting that women can’t raise children by themselves. Often you witness single mothers doing a fantastic job of raising her children despite having no male figure present. I am however a believer that both female and male presence is important. For example if a male is absent maybe bonding with males may become difficult. As a father myself my children come to me for different things than they go to their mother for and vice versa. I am not necessarily saying male influence has to be a father but I am promoting the importance of a male influence.

So what can we do as a society to fill what some people consider to be a gap in the day to day lives of many young people today. Can there even be an alternative?

If you don’t agree with my comments which is of course ok, I write to create thought and ideas not to offend and I apologise for this. I still value your opinion even if it varies from mine.

I do offer a mentoring service and counselling to males although it is not a strictly male service, but this is not the reason I have wrote this blog. I’m interested, interested in how we can better our society, but most of all I am interested in people. I thank you for reading and please do comment if you have anything you would like to contribute.

All the best


May 8, 2016

Positive male role models

Russell Brand

Today I would like to talk about Russell Brand, in my previous blog which can be viewed here
I spoke about a lack of positive male role models in todays society. I feel that Russell Brand is somebody that should be taken into account here, now I know he is not every ones cup of tea to offer that typical British metaphor. Brand has a past with addiction himself, which some might consider less admirable, however his stance on how addiction is treated in society today is absolutely spot on. Russell Brand being as unflinchingly characteristic as he is, even got parliament to sit up and take notice in a debate on how addiction should be treated today in no other than the house of commons! This can be viewed here

Russell was all over the media when he was married to Katie Perry and glamorised as a, A list celebrity he was also given lots of media coverage when his marriage was on the rocks. However now the message he promotes is more positive the only time the media tend to mention him is to criticise him. I myself have to be honest and say I really was not a fan of his when he was considered a Hollywood actor, however in recent times since talking about his own battle with addiction and supporting an East London protest against the eviction of 93 working class families. You can read more here…/russell-brand-saves-93-famil… .

This combined with his recent book Revolution which is an attack on capitalism and todays society I have to say if more people of Russell Brands charisma and determination were to surface I think we would see a revolution. I think it’s interesting to acknowledge the lack of media coverage on Russell’s positive ventures compared to his more negative ones (ie marriage break up and drug addiction). Is it that the public are only interested in reading about someone’s misfortunes or is this selective reporting in the face of newspapers capitalist interests?

To spell out the sort of impact Brand has made in recent times he was called ‘A joke!’ by Prime Minister David Cameron because of an interview Brand did with Ed Miliband. At this point I would like to make reference to the type of role model David Cameron is himself. He recently criticised Jeremy Corbyn’s Jacket he wore in the House of Lords whilst Cameron himself has been rumoured to wear suits in the region of 2000 pounds. see more here…/david-cameron-launches-persona… .

When you consider that many households do not see that amount of spare cash in their homes a year, it is hard to see how someone whom behaves in such a way could become a positive role model. I personally as a parent tell my children not to criticise people for the way they dress, I would like to think the Prime Minister would have seen it more professional to not employ playground bullying tactics to make his point.

This brings me back to Russell Brand he was recently quoted as saying “How we define the vulnerable is how we define ourselves as a species.” He openly admits to being a person who meditates and lists yoga as one of his interests. He has taken his stance of creating no harm even further by being vegan which is quite the opposite of former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson who once said “I’m not interested in eating anything unless it once had a face!” I am not about to suggest that Clarkson is the male role model society needs any time soon.

Russell Brand on the other hand seems to have an equal balance between his own masculinity and femininity which also strengthens his case for being a positive male role model. This same balance is not so common in young men today. The slightest lean towards femininity is often scoffed at and leads to taunts about sexuality. This could be part of the reason there is a lack of male role models in society today. I think Adele’s recent visit to Disney land where she allowed her son to wear a Frozen dress for the day, was a real positive example of parenting, her reasoning for doing this was to show unconditional positive regard and allowing him to be whoever he wants to be,I think there are lessons to be learned from this. . Read more here…/adele-takes-her-son-disneyland-dr…
So am I suggesting that the youth of today look up to Russel Brand as their role model? I think he would be a good place to start. What I think is more important than that though, is that we encourage teenage boys to be in touch with their feminine side. To talk about their feelings, that it is ok to show affection, its ok to have girls as friends, its ok not to follow the crowd, its ok to be who they want to be and show them unconditional positive regard but most of all its ok to care for others and show it…..

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