December 31, 2007

Thank you for a great 2007.

Blessings on you, yours, our world, and your man-making in 2008.

In service and gratitude,

Earl Hipp

December 23, 2007

A Man-Making Holiday Story?

As you well know, in this blog I am all about calling men into action in service to young males. From this perspective I see an enormous variety of approaches to both keeping boys out of trouble and launching them on the path toward a positive manhood. But every once in a while I come across a man who, on his own and through personally heroic efforts, simply heads out to do what needs to be done. One of those men is Mustafa Mahdi, the spiritual force behind The Rising Son, Inc. in Jonesboro, Georgia.

Mustafa caught fire 10 years ago at the Million Man March. He came back from that event on fire and started working with single parents and young men in his community. The result is The Rising Son Young Men's Development Center ( Today, this organization, on a shoestring, is providing after school daycare, tutoring, mentoring, rites of passage events, a small summer “camp,” field trips, and lots of positive attention to many boys.

Mustafa was a contributor to my Man-Making book, and has been a my supporter for almost two years. I have profiled him previously in this blog as a man who, against incredible odds, is making THE important difference for many young males. If you want to learn about just how passionate one man can be about saving young guys, I highly recommend you read his most recent letter to me (at this link).

I’m telling you this because at this moment, The Rising Son, Inc. needs your financial help. While the details are in his letter at the link above, Mustafa needs to raise $5000 to keep the doors open into next year. There is rent coming due, an ailing 1985 van, more kids showing up, and he can no longer afford to make up the shortages from his personal income.

In the almost four years I’ve been doing this blog, I have never put out a request like this. I’m choosing to do so now because this is the season of faith, a time for gifting with an open heart, and because he is a very good man saving boys’ lives. Mustafa says, “It's very hard to let go of my dream to help the boys in our community.” I want to do what I can to help him hold on to that dream. Maybe you will too. Who knows, the Rising Son could become one of those holiday stories with a very happy outcome.

"No one can do everything, but everyone can do something"

The Rising Son, Inc.
Young Men's Development Center
6906 Tara Boulevard, Suite #9
Jonesboro, Georgia 30236
678) 933-9677

Feel free to email me with questions, and blessings on you and yours this holiday season.


December 6, 2007

A Lost Puppy Kills Eight

He was 19 year old Robert A. Hawkins of Bellvue, Nebraska. Sure I'm angry about his horrific, violent and very adolescent act. Eight lives... could have been your family or mine. Just stupid.

His landlady described him as "a lost puppy that nobody wanted." He wasn't tolerated at home, lost his job at McDonald's, and had recently broken up with his girlfriend. He was yet another boy "with emotional problems," gone hopeless and angry about the cruelty and abandonment that will certainly be discovered as the story of his life.

I'm left with some sense of responsibility as a man and a lot of questions. Did I/we let him or the multitude of boys like him down by not showing up in their lives? Is that an exaggeration, too big a job? Should we be doing something. How many boys like Robert need to wave this bloody red flag before we get it. I guess I'm grieving... angry, sad, and in shock... again.

Take a quiet moment to honor the lives lost in Omaha . . . and be sure to include Robert. He was not a bad kid, just a lost puppy.

Hug your family and friends right now, and then find a loner boy somewhere and hug him in some way too.

And always, always take an adolescent with a gun seriously.

Love... Earl

December 4, 2007

Putting Men Together

After the last blog post I got a great comment from Carl K. In it he shared this story that he said, "found me when I needed to hear it." I felt the same way. Here it is:

A father, paging through a magazine one day, came across a map of the world. He thought this would be great to give to his 6 year old son as a puzzle, so he cut the page into lots of pieces, and asked his son to put it together. He figured that it would take quite a while and was proud that he could give his son a decent challenge.

The boy was up to the challenge, and 10 minutes later proudly told his father that he had finished it. The amazed father could not believe that he could have finished something that should have taken hours. When he asked the boy how he finished it so quickly, his son replied,” I found a picture of a man on the other side. As soon as I fixed the man, I found that the world was also fixed."

To learn how to "put men together" so they'll be willing and feel able to show up for boys, check out the Man-Making book.