Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

This is what's important, this is what matters

This is what's important, this is what matters

Samantha Argent

Year 11, Frensham School

We teach them from when they are young boys,

To not cry or hurt, and to play with their toys.

To be a man is to not think or feel,

And that bruises and blood make masculinity real.

But it's the facts and statistics you don't often hear,

The ones suppressed by shame, guilt or fear.

1 in 8 men have depression.

1 in 5 men have anxiety.

If only a teaspoon of cement could be enough to ignore,

The sadness and loss, that makes him so sore.

We don't talk about the secret battles, fights and wars,

The ones of a chemical imbalance cause.

Bottle it up, your sadness and pain.

Don't show your feelings, it'll break the chain.

Don't wait to listen, they'll already be in tatters.

This is what's important, this is what matters.

You see it's ingrained from early on,

That to cry and hurt and feel is wrong.

Wrap up your feelings, don't let them unfurl.

“Don't discuss mental health. Don't throw like a girl.”

The forgotten cause, the forgotten statistic.

Let them be creative, let them be artistic.

When will it count, when will it matter?

I can assure you, your masculinity won't shatter.

You're not alone, others feel the same.

There is no embarrassment, guilt or shame.

Your strategy doesn't have to be talking about it,

But whatever you do, promise me you wont quit.

Tell me when you're not ok or not fine,

I will always have the patience, i will always have the time.

No don't need to fake a smile, you're allowed to cry,

And if you don't want me to, I won't ask why.

You may not believe it now, or you may never,

But you have loved ones, who'll be there forever.

If you're sad, lonely, hurting or in pain,

All you need to do is say my name.

There will be bad, tough and frustrating days,

And it may sound overused, but it is just a phase.

It's our job to hear, it's our job to be there,

Ready to listen, when they're ready to share.

It'll be harder for them, than it is for you,

But for all you know, you might be their glue.

Men can't keep hurting, no one can.

This is what matters, we need to change it if we can.

Real boys and men don't hurt or cry,

Until it's too late to say goodbye.