Should a Brother Compliment Another Brother?

by Sanctified Brother

Brothers, typically programmed to be devoid of feelings, often stay to ourselves and make decisions on our own, never venturing out to seek counsel from other brothers who may have some legitimate assistance to offer. We don’t typically congregate with other men and discuss the passive graces or fabric choices. God forbid our hands touch another man’s hands on the subway pole or we have to sit next to one another in the two vacant seats! Heaven knows that if there are two open stalls in a public bathroom, side by side, one of us is going to be holding his bladder longer. That’s just the way brothers do things.

Complimenting another man is nearly taboo. You’ll jeopardize your masculinity! Telling another man that you admire something about him or his outfit is tantamount to “being gay.” Is it really? I don’t think so. This inability to say “hey, man, nice hat!” is the result of being programmed by a society that has its gender and sexuality confused to the point where there is no freedom of emotional thought or expression without secretly—or overtly—being branded as suspicious. I believe it’s totally acceptable for men to acknowledge something that another has done well.

I had to take the bus recently and noticed the driver looking down at my shoes, slyly, then look down again, overtly. I was dressed very well that day, truthfully, and felt impressed with my appearance. He, apparently, agreed and was contemplating whether or not he should commit to declaring it aloud (and risk “being gay”).

Feeling a tad timid to speak what was on his mind, the driver offered, ever so softly and barely perceptibly, “those are some really nice shoes. What kind are they?” It was a bit embarrassing at first because the few persons on the bus looked at us in disbelief, amazed that men would discuss such things in public.

I was on stage, so to speak, with everyone watching. No better time to perform, so I took center stage. “Kenneth Cole,” I told him, adding that I got the shoes on sale at Macy’s. He nodded reassuringly, acknowledging that he has to “step his game up.” He straightened himself in his seat, smiling and nodding his head, no doubt visualizing himself sharp as a tack (you could see it in his face).

Looking at the scene now, in hindsight, I realize that I helped the brother to better his image, if nothing else. I helped him along his path of self-confidence. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Brothers (and sisters), what can we do, daily, to boost each other’s self-confidence? How can we help others to better themselves? Each of us has something unique about ourselves that is better than someone else. Let’s do our best to assist. This is brotherhood, gentlemen. Nothing else. Go ahead and compliment someone today.

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