November 27, 2007

Why Men Don't

I'm getting ready to be a staff man on a December Boys to Men initiation weekend in Arizona. Again, there is a chance that the young males who've been chosen, and are already looking forward to the experience with nervous excitement, will be let down by men. At this moment there is some question about whether or not there will be enough volunteer men to staff the event.

I'll own the fact that I do carry a high degree of passion about this work. Over the years I've seen the incredibly positive impact of these weekends in the lives of all the males involved. I also carry a judgment that guiding boys on the path toward a positive and meaningful manhood is ancient and sacred men's work and responsibility. So it's easy for me to be sad when enough men don't show up.

WHY MEN DON'T: In case you're curious why men are not showing up for boys, in droves, all around the planet, here is a PDF article I've written titled, Why Men Don't. It's a summary of responses from my research about the fears, concerns, and vulnerabilities men expressed that keep them from showing up for the many under-male-nourished boys around them.

Another place to learn about the barriers to involvement for men is in the What Men Say section of the Man-Making website. In question 10, I asked men about their resistance to this work with this, "I ask you to look deep in your heart. Ask yourself, 'Are you actively involved, in some way, large or small, in the life of a boy?' If you are, I thank you. If you are not involved, help me to understand why not." You can read men's responses to this question here.

Some of the fears men expressed are appropriate, such as their concern about the sick norm in our culture that causes people to raise an eyebrow when an adult male shows interest in mentoring boys. Other fears and concerns speak to how terribly disconnected men are from both their power as initiators and the terrible need for their involvement.

YOUR COMMENTS: I'd be interested in your perspective. You can comment below on the blog, or send me an email. If your an adult male and you're not mentoring a boy or boys in some form, what are your fears and concerns, what's in the way? By starting with this piece of men's truth we may find the way to get more men involved, and boys served on their mutual journey toward mature manhood.

November 16, 2007

A Hopi Elder Speaks

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader."

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!"

“There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.

“Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

“The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

“We are the ones we've been waiting for."

-- attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder

Hopi Nation

Oraibi, Arizona