Andrey lives in Osmolovka, a most beautiful district in Minsk. He spent his youth here as well. There were numerous gatherings on his balcony: wine, cigarettes, heart-to-heart conversations.
“Why do men die so early?”
– Back then my lifestyle was totally different. I had beer and other alcohol with friends, took little care of my health and weighed 20 kg more than now, – shares Andrey. – I revised my life and realized that I have to change something.
Sport, healthy diet, neither alcohol nor cigarettes – all of this is a part of a man’s life. But this is just one piece in the puzzle of the bigger problem – high mortality rate among men.
– The main issue we raised in our initiative was as follows: “What do men dream of after 40?”. If the man has no dream at this age or no plans for life this increases the risk of mortality.
We have to dream just as intensively and dynamically as we did in youth. If you settled down, calmed down and have the regular set of fishing, country house and sofa – that’s ok. But there should be something more than that: an interesting idea that pushes you forward in life.
“What do you dream of after 40?”
The world has changed, it gives us more opportunities, more time for life. Therefore, the old soviet approach to have a family by the age of 20, adult children by the age of 40, sustainable job and retirement at the age of 60 is no longer relevant. One has to create and dream after 70 as well.
– My dream for the upcoming 10 years is to be in demand, – says Andrey. I assume that my peers are thinking about the same thing: how to stay in demand and continue doing interesting projects.
Exercises, sports and healthy diet is just the top of the iceberg. Interesting job, engagement in social life feeling of being useful, this is what I am planning to work on in immediate future.
At the same time, people have to adequately assess their capacity: one has to continue developing, master new technologies, re-train, there should be no fear about this. These things should make you feel excited to strive for the better.
The main slogan of the campaign “That’s still me” is based on real life. Often men are told: “Come on, what football are you talking about? or “Music? You are not a 17-year-old.” That’s wrong. The desire is most important.
– “That’s still me” is our response to the society and even our own selves, – says Andrey. – It doesn’t matter, how old you are or what your status in the society is. You can do any hobby if you have this “It’s still me feeling inside”, like I’m still that boy who was planning and dreaming and striving for success.
The “High Time!” Initiative is implemented under BELMED project, which is financed by the European Union and co-implemented by UNDP, WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA in partnership with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus. The implementing agency is the Social and Information Institution “Gorodskoye razvitiye” (Urban Development).
Photos: Sergei Gapon