IF you ask Dr Mario Evon Guthrie what it means to be a man, he will tell you that it is about more than just physical attributes. It's about being present when he is needed and always being true to himself.
“Being a man for me means showing up, being responsible, reliable, dependable, respectful, honest and honourable,” the general practitioner and musician told All Woman ahead of International Men's Day on November 19. “A good man is someone that other men, and women, should be able to confidently admire and comfortably emulate.”
Dr Guthrie also speaks to the man in the mirror when he lists the qualities of a good man, as he strives to be all these things and more. Of great importance to Dr Guthrie is living to his full potential, even if this means alternating between a stethoscope and a microphone on a daily basis.
“The most rewarding part of being a multipotentialite is being able to satisfy all my curiosities and desires, which really leaves me with very few regrets,” he shared candidly. “Where I'm moved to go, I flow in that direction and make the most of the experience.”
His curiosity and desire to explore his full potential are what led him to pursue a career and higher education in music, even after he became a doctor.
“As a child I used to want to be an entertainment coordinator,” he admitted. “I used to see them at hotels and I was fascinated by their energy, and it just looked like epic fun.”
But as he grew older and began thinking of viable career options, the Campion College graduate decided to play it safe first. Having always been a science kid, and from seeing his dad working as a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, a career in medicine felt like the right decision.
“My father has had a significant impact on how I present as a man, because not only are we close, but I've also always admired him as a good man, so he has been an exemplary example,” he said of Dr Wendel Guthrie, whom he practises next to at 1 Eastwood Avenue. “He has always been present for me even when it is difficult for him to be, and he has always been willing to teach and support me in all facets of my life.”
Dr Guthrie added that his mother has also contributed significantly to the man he is. “I believe mothers teach men how women should be treated, and that she did,” he said with admiration.
Even after obtaining a Bachelor of Music in Music Business Management and Songwriting from Berklee College of Music in 2010, and releasing his 2015 Reggae-Soul Vol 1: ME On Love album under his stage name Mario Evon, the doctor was still curious to see what more he could do. He launched a podcast — Talk Truth with Mario Evon.
“Sometimes my schedule can be crazy, but right now I practise medicine essentially Monday through Friday as a 9-5 and come home to do creative projects after work,” he explained light-heartedly. “I call it 'work after work'. The weekends generally are open for creative/performance activities or I spend time with myself, friends or family.”
Though it might seem like an odd mix of passions to have, Dr Guthrie has found a parallel in all that he loves to do. Whether it's by writing prescriptions, breaking the ice at an event, singing a soulful song or producing an 'inspi-edu-taining' podcast: he makes people feel even a little bit better.
“Life has shown me that we are all on very unique journeys, which is why we possibly get brought together in different situations, so I pride myself on bringing my positive and optimistic perspective to the lives of others,” he said serenely. “I don't mind being a source of enlightenment.”
As he continues to grow into his most authentic self as a man, Dr Guthrie is constantly learning from his experiences and interactions. Many of these lessons come from his patients, especially the younger ones.
“Children are uninhibited. Up to a certain age they do and say what they feel without restriction, and we tend to lose that as adults, so I look to them as a reminder to stay true and authentic to self without fear of what others may think,” the family doctor shared.
Having been able to transition from a less confident version of himself into one that is more enlightened, Dr Guthrie now strives to help others do the same.
“I know I have the unique ability to help others see that in themselves both medically and creatively. Having that impact on others is what keeps me going,” he said.
With plans to create his second album, and expand the offerings at his medical facility, Dr Guthrie also looks forward to becoming a husband and father when God allows him to. In the meantime, though, he is working on the six-pack that he will show off at parties post-pandemic, and encouraging young men to try their best to stay afloat.
“Seek out men in society or in your community who you admire and approach them for mentorship,” he recommended. “Look within yourself for the things that you love, and to learn about them intently. Love yourself, and believe that you are worthy and capable of doing anything that you can dream of.”