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Showing posts from March, 2023

Intimacy through insults - The strange world of male friendships

  **Please note this piece discusses suicide. Feel free to skip this one if that is something you don't want to read about** “Middle-aged men are more likely to die by suicide than any other age group” ( Samaritans,2012) I wonder whether the above statement is shocking to you? I am horrified when I read that roughly 7% of UK children have attempted suicide by the age of 17. I am aghast when I hear that the number one cause of death in mothers, in their first year of motherhood, is suicide. When I discovered that men, specifically middle-aged men from disadvantaged backgrounds have the highest rate of suicide compared to other groups, I said to myself… “That makes sense”. Perhaps it’s because I’m fast approaching middle-aged myself. In fact I may be there already…does 37 count as middle-aged!? Or that in recent years instances of suicide have touched my life that affirms those findings. I inherently knew this was true before the evidence was presented to me. I could have been wrong,

How to talk about religion and politics (and why you absolutely should) - Part 1 - Why bother?

This five part series ‘How to talk about religion and politics (and why you absolutely should)’ explores the importance of having difficult conversations about the most controversial and divisive topics. How can we turn the most difficult of interactions into an opportunity to change minds, learn from others and gain a deeper understanding from those who see the world differently from us? In part 1 we answer “Why would we even bother to do such a silly thing in the first place?!” If you happened to be in Scotland in 2014 you would be well aware that the rule of etiquette; “Never talk about religion or politics” was temporarily abandoned by most as aimless conversation and chit-chat were replaced with heated talks of currency, oil reserves, and self-determination. The Scottish Independence debate turned every pub, living room, and dinner table into a greek amphitheater, democratic debates surging passionately as Coronation Street played in the background. Politics was present in the liv