Reflections

We are not the same

By Andrew Pacutho, Uganda:

Forgive me, but I do not understand.

All this talk about good for nothing men who abandon and cheat on their wives really baffles me. The stories of men who mistreated and disrespected women really bother me.

You see, these stories are shared like we all come from the same elk. That we sprung from the same womb and share the same DNA. They somehow assume that to be 'man' must mean that we somehow have defective genes.

You see I am not any of these men. In fact I do not know most of them and therefore do not see how I am compared to them or put on equal footing with them. I am disturbed you see because this is tantamount to character assassination.

I have been doomed to failure simply because I am a man. That women propagate this astounds me for now the victims have become the oppressors. You would think those years of being slaves would make them more objective, sympathetic or at worst empathetic.

I am not one of these men you see. I am me. Individual. Distinct. I pay my tithe and attend my church regularly. I give my best at work from 6:00 am when I get there to the final whistle at the end of the day.

I play with my kids after I have picked them up from school. I wash dishes, clothes and cook. I help out whenever my wife is not able to and share as much with her as I can about my day, my thoughts and how much she means to me.

Yes I am drawn to other women but I endeavour to treat all of them with respect fully aware of the ring around my finger and the promise it represents. Even with those that really get on my last nerve I exercise restraint. I try always, that my words would be sweet, my response gentle and my actions always pure. But I am lumped with all the rest.

This is unfair you see for I am none of these men, I am me. I volunteer in my community and give to the needy. My motives and my actions rise in tandem. How then can I do all these good and right things and still be the other man.

How is this fair to me and how does one expect a weary soldier to keep on fighting? Please tell me, how am I all these men when I am me?

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