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  • Writer's pictureAli Assareh

"Thems what thinks they is, ain't."

Beautiful passages from James Hollis's Under Saturn's Shadow: The Wounding & Healing of Men:

"Governed as he is by fear, unable to admit this to himself lest his hold on things slip, unable to share with his comrades lest he be shamed, a man compensates.

"The man who boasts of his big car, or big house, or big position with a big title, is surely compensating to some degree for how small he feels.

"Upscale lunches and power over others may serve an edifice complex, but they are pathetic substitutes for genuine empowerment. As that late great American philosopher Pearl Bailey expressed it, 'Thems what thinks they is, ain't.'

"Beneath displays of power is the complex; beneath the complex lies fear.

"The power complex is the central force in the lives of men. It drives them and wounds them. Out of their rage they wound others and out of their sorrow and shame they grow more and more distant from each other. The cost of this mutual wounding is enormous, repetitive and cyclic.

"The cost of these first two secrets, that men's lives are as much governed by role expectations as women's, and that men are secretly ruled by fear, is rather easy to discern in the sufferings of individual men and the pathology of our society."

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