December 31, 2009

Something To Add In 2010 from Earl Hipp and General Colin Powell

I love this time of new beginnings and re-visioning ourselves for the year ahead. Those fresh intentions most always carry the promise of becoming a better person in some way. Should you be inclined, I'd like to suggest an option for your consideration. How about taking another small step in your progress toward being a man-maker in some young guy's life. I say "another small step," because if you're reading this blog, you have at least taken a first step.

It just so happens that January is the ninth annual occurrence of National Mentoring Month. While the need for mentors is great, mentoring a young guy is a huge step in personal commitment to the cause. It's not appropriate for everyone, but if that is the call you hear, 2010 might be a good year to pursue that possibility.

HOWEVER, In the Man-Making book I talk about a "continuum of involvement" for men. On the low involvement end is doing nothing. That work starts with simply being aware that young males are watching you as a way to learn about manhood. All men are involved with that level of man-making, whether they know it or not. If you choose to do anything different because you know boys are watching, you're in the game!

From the "doing nothing" form of involvement, you could step up and choose to intentionally notice, and then acknowledge boys, with a positive greeting. Easy, right? You could go farther and actually affirm something you see in a young male you encounter or a boy you know personally and watch the young lad light up! Moving up on the continuum might be participating in a one-time activity that involves men and boys, or even getting involved with other men in support of boys in regular activities. I believe that when men get a taste of the returns from hanging out with young males, Masculine Gravity works on them and pulls them toward naturally wanting more.

While one-on-one relationships between a man and a boy are powerfully transformational for both males, boys need a lot of men in their lives, and at different levels of involvement. As it was in past tribal cultures, when there were lots of men around to watch and connect with in different ways, today's boys also need a variety of men around so they can construct a personal vision of manhood. I think that's how most of us did it anyway.

If you're thinking of a man-making resolution, how about deciding to intentionally do something . . . anything really. You can trust that positive gesture in the direction of a young male will make a difference. For some boys, even a small gesture on your part can be very powerful.

You'll get a lot of support from the messages that will be appearing for National Mentoring Month. The initiative is spearheaded by the Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. On those websites you will find a way to search by zip code for different man-making opportunities near you. National Mentoring Month has the benefit of General Colin L. Powell as its key spokesperson, and his message is in the video clip just below. This year's theme is "Expand Your Universe. Mentor a Child." Earl's man-making call for 2010 is simply, "Do Something."

From myself and General Powell, blessings on your man-making in 2010.



If the clip doesn't show up, go to this link.

December 27, 2009

Holidays, Teenagers and Pain


One of the suggestions that came out of the reader survey I did in the last Man-Making Blog post was to invite guest bloggers to contribute to this blog. It’s a great idea and if you have an interest, let me know.

A few days ago I read a post from a friend of mine, Mike Patrick, who is the publisher of the blog, I'm Not Done Yet. Mike gave his blog that title because in 1971 he had a spinal cord injury during a high school football game. The doctors told Mike and his family his life expectancy was nine years and he would never walk again. Mike knows a lot about being a teenager and feeling hopeless. Today Mike is 54 years old and for the last 34 years has been a professional speaker, who brings a powerful message of hope to kids (and adults).

In his December 23rd blog post titled Holidays, Teenagers And Pain, Mike wrote about what could be a critical issue for some of the young people in your life. I think this post could literally save a life. I’ve reprinted it just below in case YOU could be a person to make THE big difference in a kids life during this holiday season.


According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, " ... suicide is the third leading cause of death, after accidents and homicide, of young people aged 15 to 24. Even more disturbing is the fact that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14." You can read the report by clicking here.

Regarding gender differences, teensuicidestatistics.com states, "Teen suicide statistics show differences in the ways boys and girls handle suicide. While girls think about suicide about twice as much as boys, boys are four times more likely than girls to actually die by killing themselves." 

The CDC report goes on to say that as many as seventy-five percent of the young people who attempt or successfully commit suicide are suffering from depression.

I understand that kind of pain because I was there for a time after a football accident that took away my ability to walk. Fortunately, I was in no position to act on my feelings. I was bed-ridden with a pressure sores, and in the middle of multiple surgeries over a six-month period. Believe me, I saw no future in my current condition and thought the best way out was to just end my life. All these years later, I am so thankful I was not able to act on my emotions at the time.

I have spoken to thousands of young people in my presentations over the years. When young people tell me how they have made it through their own tough times, they always tell me they are also glad they didn't try to end it all. I've gotten too many letters and email like the one from an eighth grader that said, " ... I'm in the eighth grade and I thought that I was on earth for the wrong reasons so yes I was going to try and kill myself tonight. Your speech helped me and I just wanted to let you know that you saved at least one life today if not many more."

In this holiday season of big emotional highs and lows, teens are especially vulnerable. Please be aware of the young people around you who just may be having big troubles of the teen variety. Please take a little time, reach out and offer some kind words of encouragement to those you encounter. In my work with teens, I’ve learned that from the outside, you will never know how they may be feeling or how desperate they might be.



You can learn more about Mike Patrick from his blog (iamnotdoneyet.blogspot.com/) and on his website at (patcom.com).

December 18, 2009

My End of Year Survey - Please Help

Friends of Man-Making,

At the end of year six, there are close to 500 subscribers to this blog with an almost zero unsubscribe rate. I guess that means you like what I'm putting out.

As the new year approaches, I want to sharpen my content focus and see if there are other types of material I could add to make the blog even more interesting or useful to you. With that in mind, would you please take this very short (3 question) survey.

Add your responses below and then hit the "submit" button on the bottom of the survey form (you may have to use the scroll bar on the right of the survey get to the button). Anything you're willing to offer will be very much appreciated.

Thanks for your eyeballs, support, feedback . . . and most importantly, thanks for caring about boys.


All blessings on you and yours in this holiday season,

Earl

FOR EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: If you have trouble viewing the form in the email post, just go to this link and fill it in online.

Here's the survey:


Thanks for your support!

December 11, 2009

Mentoring the Children of Prisoners


I was recently invited to speak at a conference about Mentoring the Children of Prisoners. It is being sponsored by MANY, the Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth & Family Services in Pittsburgh, PA. This conference comes out of the sad story about the challenges facing the children who have an incarcerated parent. With more than 5.6 million Americans in prison or who have served time, the U.S has the highest incarceration rate in the world (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2003). Right now, one in forty children in the U.S. have a parent in prison. In relationship to this huge need for mentoring and support, there are relatively few agencies or programs to help these children. The result is that children of prisoners are among the most at-risk population of children in our country.

Research from the Arizona Children of Prisoners Bill of Rights Project (2007) showed that just in my winter home state of Arizona, there were 175,000 children with parent/s in jail, prison, or on probation. The discussions and focus groups they conducted indicated that these children often lacked food, shelter, clothing, parental guidance, good role models, love, societal acceptance, a basic sense of security, and stability in their lives. The absence of these basic nutrients almost invites a child into a life of crime for survival. Research indicates these children are six times more likely than other children to become incarcerated at some point in their lives.

To learn more about opportunities for man-making with this very needy population contact the Resource Center. They are a provider for the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. The Resource Center's site offers lots of background information, links to related topics, and suggested volunteer opportunities.

You can also just do a Google search on Mentoring the Children of Prisoners in your state and see what comes up. If you want to be on the front lines of man-making, this could be a very good place to begin.

December 5, 2009

OMG! Teens, Texting, and Driving! STANDUP!

Did you know that car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the US? That amounts to about 5000 kids dying every year, making up twelve percent of all individuals involved in car crash deaths. Here is another number to chew on. In a survey by The Allstate Foundation, titled: Chronic: A Report on Teen Safe Driving, fifty-six percent of teens say they make or answer cell phone calls while driving. AND, and this is the OMG part (that's Oh My God for non-texters), thirteen percent of teens say they make or respond to text messages while driving!

The report also found that teens have the lowest percentage of seat belt use, are most vulnerable to peer pressure from others in the car, and are very uncomfortable speaking up when friends aren't driving safely. Now that is a prescription for danger . . .  and the data is worse for teen boys. It's really a call for some serious man-making.

There is help in the works and it's called the STANDUP Act. The Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act of 2009 was introduced in April 2009 by Reps. Tim Bishop (D-NY), Michael Castle (R-DE), and Chris Van Hollen, Jr. (D-MD).  This legislation would establish minimum federal requirements for state GDL laws (National Graduated Driver Licensing) and encourage all states to adopt GDL laws that meet the minimum requirements within 3 years. Here is a quick overview the STANDUP Act:

States must meet the following requirements under the STANDUP Act:

Three stages of licensing – learner’s permit, intermediate stage, and full licensure – should be used

Age 16 should be the earliest age for entry into the learner’s permit process

Nighttime driving while unsupervised should be restricted during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages, until full licensure at age 18

Driving while using communication devices (cell phone calls, texting) should be prohibited at least until full licensure at age 18

Unrestricted, full licensure should occur no earlier than age 18

Passengers should be restricted – no more than one non-familial passenger under age 21 unless a licensed driver over age 21 is in the vehicle – until full licensure at age 18

The Allstate Foundation research indicates that in states with comprehensive GDL programs in place, fatal crashes of 16 year old drivers has fallen by 40% . . . but that is not good enough.


If you have teen drivers in your life, it really is time to have that conversation about cell phones and driving . . . and then to be careful what you're modeling around phones and driving in their presence. You can also go to the Allstate Teen Driver Website for all kinds of helpful resources. They have data, instructional videos, petitions to sign, and even a Parent-Teen Driving Contract.

Let's all do what we can 
to prevent more OMG's

November 30, 2009

I Believe In YOU!

Blog subscriber Grant Williams suggests that the film Freedom Writers would be an inspirational film to share with young males. It’s about 14 and 15 year old kids living in tragically difficult circumstances, and one very dedicated teacher. Grant says,

When I think of the film “Freedom Writers” my mind immediately goes to the class room scene where Hillary Swank (playing the character of the real life teacher Erin Gruwell) placed a piece of tape on the floor and asked her students to cross that line if any answer to her questions were yes.

The power of that process in which young people shared their pain in their lives, realized they were not alone, that they were actually very much alike, something magical happened and a new beginning was born. From that one experiment, those kids began to feel a better self-image, the possibility of really believing in themselves, and they literally created a bond among them that would last for years to come. All this happened because these kids were gently nudged into getting real with each other.

This film tells the story of one teacher who knew that her students had an abundance of gifts, and if someone could help them see that reality, amazing things would follow. In the end, most of her students graduated High School and some went to college.


In this Man-Making work I have come across countless stories about how important it is for a lost boy to have someone really believe in him. At this link you'll find men's responses to the question, Who was an important male mentor for you (other than your father)? Over and over again in their answers, you will hear how just one, authentic, caring person can make a huge difference in a young male's life.

Who was it in your life that really believed in you?

Just below is a YouTube clip of  the real Erin Gruwell talking about what she had to do to get her students to speak their truth to each other and how they became Freedom Writers. If the clip doesn't show up click here.


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November 24, 2009

Knock Knock, Are You There?

This incredible video clip of Daniel Beaty was recommended by Man-Making Blog reader Erick Rainey. It's performed by Daniel Beaty, an an actor, singer, writer, and composer. In this powerful, two and a half minute experience, he passionately and poetically states the need for Man-Makers, and puts out a call to action at the same time.

It is so elegant I really can't (shouldn't) add anything . . . just sit down, open your heart, and click the play button. You WILL feel what he's talking about.

Let me know what get's cooked up for you.


Use this link if the video clip doesn't appear.

YouTube video:




November 19, 2009

Being in Service - Vs a "Selfish Clod"

In a post a while back, I shared a quote about being in service to community written by George Bernard Shaw. It's from his piece titled, One True Joy:  

This is the one true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.


When working with young males, whenever possible, I believe it's important to help them connect with their community through service projects. When that happens, the community benefits, and young guys get all those good feelings that come from contributing and making their corner of the world a better place. By volunteering for community service projects with a young male, either individually or in groups, you are demonstrating that helping others is a valuable masculine trait.


If you're at all inclined to take on this kind of activity, there is a wonderful resource that can help. It's a web service called VolunteerMatch. The folks at VM say, VolunteerMatch strengthens communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. If you go to their website and click on the Search tab, you can plug in your zip code and get a great list of nearby organizations who need volunteers. I plugged in my home town of Minneapolis, MN, and in two seconds was presented with 1647 opportunities.

Clearly there is a need for volunteers somewhere near you. I can promise that if you try a day of serving others, you, and the young males who participate with you, will have a very interesting experience, and all be moved along on your journey to manhood.

November 13, 2009

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

David H. sent along a link to an amazing story of a 14 year-old boy and book about his life. David said, How about this for an inspiring boy/man story? Nourish a young person's spirit and their curiosity and look what can happen!

This is the link to the Wired magazine article about 14 year-old William Kamkwamba, a boy from a small village WAY off the electrical grid in Malawi. William saw a photo of a windmill in a textbook and with that picture and an amazing amount of creativity and drive, has built a series of windmills that according to Wired, now generate enough electricity to light several bulbs in his family’s house, power radios and a TV, charge his neighbors’ cellphones and pump water for the village’s fields and household use.

This is a very inspirational tale of a boy's innate creativity and love of tinkering, building, and exploration. It's a real day-brightener.

Through articles published about his creation, William was "discovered," and the result is a book about his story and a number of very inspirational video clips like the one below. I can imagine showing these clips to a group of boys and then challenging them to do what William did . . . make a backyard windmill!

Check out this link if the video clip doesn't appear.

YouTube clip:



November 8, 2009

Saving A Lost Boy

It is a too common story that some boys just can fit themselves into today's educational model. The standard response from "the system," is to make boys the problem and in too many cases, to medicate boys so they can "sit still and pay attention" (The DEA estimates %10- to %12 of all US boys have a Ritalin prescription). Hey it's easier than reinventing the system . . . unless you're a boy.

One of my heroes waving the flag about the need for flexible, adaptive, and boy relevant schools, teachers, and teaching models is Barry MacDonald. The statement of purpose at the top of his Boy Smarts website reads, "Mentoring Boys - To Become Caring, Courageous, and Ethical Men." His book Boys Smarts and the companion Boy Smarts Action Study Guide, together present a conservative, practical, path for creating an educational environment that supports boys and girls alike. On his website you can find samples of the content in these books. If you're a parent of a young male or an educator concerned about boys' and their success in school, this is a must read set.

In the Boy Smarts October newsletter is a story of an almost lost young skateboarder named Josh. The article describes how a boy-literate school and teachers can make a life-saving difference in the life of a boy. Read this story and if it inspires you as it does me, contact Barry MacDonald at info@mentoringboys.com to learn what you can do for boys at a school near you. He's a talented speaker and his program in your community is guaranteed to change and even save some lives.

November 3, 2009

Tough Guise

The program Tough Guise - Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity, was recently brought to my attention. It's a program from the Media Education Foundation that discusses how young males learn to be violent from the media and other influences around them. The result is young males putting on their Tough Guise disguise and getting into a lot of trouble.

The campaign was done in 1999, and while just a little dated, it's a great primer on this topic. Just below is a short film clip used to introduce the program. It's guaranteed to make you a little uncomfortable. You can view the full length version at the Media Education Foundation website as well as find a very helpful study guide, and complete transcript of the film. You can also order the DVD from Amazon.

If you want to take on the topic of male violence for and with a group of young males, this collection will almost get you there. I'm certain that the young males you might involve in the discussions would be quick to name the current music and media sources promoting ideas of violence and manhood.

If you have used this program, or if you are aware of other resources on the theme of violence and manhood, please let us know. I'll put your comments on this blog post and add any recommend tools to the resources listed on the Man-Making website.

If the clip doesn't show, click here.


October 29, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

What follows is a moving review submitted by Man-Making subscriber Andrew MacDonald. If you want to review a book, film, other resource relevant to Man-Making Blog readers, just let me know.

The movie Where the Wild Things Are breaks fresh ground in describing the world of boys. It's a good one for either a young boy or teen. In it, any young male will recognize some of themselves in young Max (the hero). I sat next to a four-year old on his dad's lap, but older boys or teens might like it even more – Max is probably nine or ten.

It's a story of drama, action, and family complexity in which Max has a number of upsets and briefly runs away from home to join a tribe of woodland monsters. It starts with Max playing in his snow fort and having a snowball fight -lotsa fun; but the fort gets cruelly trashed with Max buried in it, the first of many reversals when exuberant highs turn into emotionally raw lows.

Later, after a fight with his (single) mom, he lights out for the river, and sails away in a small boat to a land where wild things live. These “wild things” look like giant Muppets – they're real actors in suits, but with computer animation for facial expression. The characters are well-developed, adult, and complex, and Max has an important connection to each one.

The depth of Max’s involvement and the (appropriate) emotionality isn't surprising since the screenplay is co-written by Dave Eggers. Readers of ManMaking may remember him from the September blog post about his TED-prize talk . . . when he spoke about his innovative mentoring project for kids.

The movie's based on an illustrated children's book by Maurice Sendak. When Sendak was asked what he'd say to parents who thought the film might be too scary, he said “I would tell them to go to hell.” Eggers chimed in that “I think adults should wear diapers going to it, too. I think everyone should be prepared for any eventuality.”

This is not an overly sentimental or sanitized view of childhood, and that's what makes it so fresh.

Andrew MacDonald


If you have seen this movie, what is your opinion?

October 24, 2009

The Good Men Project

I love the notion that the last 10 years have been about women and girls, and the next 10 are going to be about men and boys. When I see wonderful campaigns like The Good Men Project (TGMP) showing up, it makes my male heart sing.

The Good Men Foundation is another solid organization taking on what appears to be THE question for the times, What does it mean to be a good man in today's world? Their DVD takes up the very personal stories of 10 real men and the book contains, thirty-one essays by a broad range of men—rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight, urban, rural, famous, ordinary—all writing about the challenges, obstacles, triumphs, failures, and defining moments they encounter. It's not often that the world at large gets an in-depth look at the intimate details of what makes a man, or group of men, tic. That's why their campaign is titled, The Good Men Project: Real Stories From the Front Lines of Modern Manhood. Collectively, the stories shared by these men are meant to help us define what it means to be a good man.

TGMP is really a collection of resources meant to influence the dialogue. There is a book, DVD, blog, and a documentary film, which I predict, taken together, will raise the bar of contemporary dialogue taking place in today's masculine universe. You can read the back story about the book and DVD on The Good Men Project website. On their blog, among other interesting stories, you can read why they chose to launch the first event of the book tour at Sing Sing prison . . . somewhere real, where men need our message of hope.

You can start watching after the launch date of November 15th for readings, screenings, discussions, and other events that will happen across the country. If you hear about such a gathering in your city, it may just be a place a modern man-maker will want to show up.

Check out the video below for a taste of what this campaign is all about.

If the video doesn't show up, use this link.



October 17, 2009

Amazing Tales for Making Men Out of Boys

Charley M., a subscriber, sent along this lead for a book that sounds pretty on track for aspiring makers of men. The title is Amazing Tales for Making Men Out of Boys by Neil Oliver.

The promotional copy promises the book is filled with stories of heroism, exploration, and sacrifice that will inspire boys to be courageous, honorable and open to adventure. Sounds like a good idea and a noble gesture in a world where so many young males are looking for a vision of manhood worth clinging to.

The promotional clip (below) however makes me a little nervous, because it’s full of testosterone and challenging messages for my current sensibilities. It seems glorify being an “old fashioned manly man,” and holds up yesterdays “real men.”

I have to admit, do rather like the way he suggests that old vision of manhood has been “ridiculed, eroded, and discouraged.” There does seem to be a loss in there somewhere that rings true with my own masculine quest. There is even something I like in his call to bring back something “wild” and noble in men. And I really like the notion of hearing stories that remind us what “men are for” and “what men can do.”


As a boy, I do remember sitting around the men’s table at family reunions and on holidays, listening to the men tell stories about the old days, “the war,” challenges they faced, and sometimes, the losses they experienced. Unless the young guys in your life have a male tribe that lets them sit around the edges and listen, maybe a book like this can help fill that hunger.


If Amazing Tales is filled with the “heroic tales” about good and noble men as he promises, those that “demonstrate the qualities you’d want in your heroes,” and there is not too much preaching, I might even buy the book. If you have read this book, please post a short review.

It just might be a book a lot of males should read!

Use this link if the clip doesn't show.


October 12, 2009

The Dudes First Shave

Did you know some cave paintings show an ancient man "shaving" using two seashells as tweezers! Yes it is one lifelong challenge for men. It is also one of the more powerful of the smaller rite of passage events in a young males life that so clearly mark the crossing into manhood. It deserves to be met with good information, training and some solid man-making support.

I can remember those years, staring at the mirror, being angry at the pimples, feeling pretty ugly, and just waiting for the day when shaving made any kind of sense at all. I got no guidance from my father, there were no other men around to ask and no Internet to Google for guidance. As it was with too many aspects of manhood, I learned the hard and in this case, the painful way.

Do you have a story of when/how/where you first took on the soft facial hair of adolescence? Who was there for you, who showed you how, and what was your experience like?

Here is a geeky video with a lesson in how to shave. It would have saved me from embarrassment, long sessions in front of the bathroom mirror, and thousands of small pieces of tissue.

Use this link if the video clip doesn't show up.

September 24, 2009

Hope for the Future with a Great Mentor

When I come across young boys with amazing talents, it really does give me hope for the future. A man-maker named Dan G. put me on to this kid. In the clip legendary blues guitar hero, Buddy Guy, invites 8 year-old guitar whiz Quinn Sullivan on stage for an impromptu jam!

Not only is the young dude breathtaking, but pay attention to Buddy as he coaches, honors, and shows stellar man-making tendencies with his young friend.

Save listening to this till you can crank the volume. I guarantee it will set your toes a tappin, grow your smile, and moisten your eyes.

Go to this link if the clip doesn't show up.


September 16, 2009

Coaching Boys into Men - A Handbook

Many of the men reading this will have a story about their coach and the difference he made in his life. A man who took on the responsibility to shape a rag-tag group of testosterone fueled young males into a competitive team. "Coach," was a man who cared about you and who wielded the power and influence to teach not just athletic skills, but to instill the values of respect for others, teamwork, patience, tolerance for differences, and personal integrity along the way. If you have a coach like that in your background, tell us about him with a short remembrance in the comments section of this post.

Because of the power of a coach in a young male's life, it's not surprising that coaches as a group are being singled out as a force for changing the world as man-makers. One example is the focus on coaches in conjunction with the FIFA Soccer World Cup tournament in South Africa in 2010. UNICEF is planning to use the excitement surrounding the games to launch its Sports for Development Program. UNICEF has partnered with the South African Department of Education to reinvigorate a sports program called Coaching Boys into Manhood (CBIM).

The intention is to recreate a new International Coaches Manual based on concepts from the original Coaching Boys into Men Playbook, and enlist international celebrity soccer coaches and players, such as David Beckham, as “teachers” of violence prevention. Then CBIM will be distributed around South Africa, providing 585 schools and communities with coaches who will serve as liaisons between the school community, governing bodies, and key stakeholders in the effort to improve the lives of children.

Check out the CBIM playbook. It describes the FIFA Fair Play Code and has quotes like the following to inspire and challenge men and coaches everywhere:

By encouraging players to build healthy relationships with teammates, friends, families, opponents, referees and fans, and by promoting a non-violent environment on and off the playing field, coaches can help create a more peaceful world.

And really solid young men.

If you're a coach, thanks for your man-making. You are a gift to us all. You may find the Coaches Corner and the Coaches Kit on a website of the Family Violence Prevention Fund to be helpful.

September 9, 2009

Children Learn What They See

In the Man-Making book I offer a continuum of actions a man might take to help move boys towards a positive and successful manhood. At the Zero level of involvement, men don't have to do anything. Adolescent males are being propelled by their biology towards manhood. When the testosterone hits, consciously or not, they start looking around for men who can be models and offer them guidance. They start noticing what men do. All men, at some point, are witnessed by young males and that, by default, makes them man-makers.

Now IF a man understands that, and makes an intentional choice to set a good example when he's around young males, then he has accepted the first small piece of responsibility for the transformational power he has to shape boys into good men.

This clip is a somewhat painful demonstration of how this process works in the lives of children, but the same is true at any age. It clearly calls us to be more conscious of our power to influence young lives. It's from the good folks at the Child–Friendly Initiative. They are a grassroots, non-profit organization, dedicated to improving the lives of children.

Use this link if the video clip isn't available just below.

September 1, 2009

One Man's Passion

I love stories about how one individual's passion can literally change the world. I profiled a few man-makers and their stories in the Man-Making book to help men understand that by trusting your instincts and with a little courage, many lives can be touched.

One of readers of this blog, Andrew M., sent along another inspirational story. Just below is the video clip of Dave Eggers, who is on the road to reinventing parts of our educational system. He was one of three individuals identified and presented with a TED prize for their creativity and ability to "change the world.

This short clip is really funny, will make your heart sing, and maybe inspire you to take some action.

If you have trouble with the clip, go to this link.




August 28, 2009

A Visible Mark of Manhood? A Question

When I see a pierced and tattooed young male, I somewhat understand the ancient call he hears. Beneath the bravado, I understand the desire to make a statement, to be visible at all, and to wear the proof that he can handle the pain . . . like a man. It's actually an ancient custom.

However, in our masculine history, it used to be the men of the tribe that marked the young male. That event took place after the boy had negotiated all the trials, training, and rituals that define a man. The marking was painful for both the men and the boy (see the men's faces in the photo below), but when the deed was done, it was clear to everyone the young male had crossed into new territory.

THE QUESTION:

Is it possible, that however alone and unguided, today's marked young men are trying to lay a claim to Manhood?

August 23, 2009

Michael Jackson on (Lost) Boyhood

OK, just for a moment, withhold all your judgments about this man. Try to get past the glamor and his late life history to listen as he begins to touch on his very real pain and speak some truth about lost boys. The clip is from his 1993 acceptance speech at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards.

If the clip below doesn't show up, click here.



Can you find some compassion for him? There are hundreds of thousands of lost boys like him.

August 17, 2009

Father Hunger

I was severely under-fathered. My father was an alcoholic, an emotional terrorist, unavailable to me or the family. It's a long, sad story I've spent most of my life trying to understand, accept, and heal from. The Man-Making book is part of that legacy.

I've heard similar stories from so many men and witnessed that longing in countless young males. When I received a story by an almost 60 year-old man, speaking of father hunger, longing, and emotional confusion, I thought it would be important to share. I believe the hole left behind in the psyche of males who were under-fathered (or who had no fathering) leads to a powerful but subtle form of low-male-self-esteem. I know that sense of insufficiency personally and I also know it's part of the reason men don't show up for boys.

Father's, hug your sons, tell them you're proud of them, and then listen for the father hunger in this story from Charley:

My ending with my dad was very unsatisfying, like nearly all of our relationship. He died a year after my first son was born (now 17 years ago). He never saw my son, never seemed very interested. I found out later that he had experienced a series of mini-strokes that left him impaired in ways more serious than his lifelong alcoholism. But even years before that I found him uncomfortable in social situations and stiff and ungenerous in any expressions of

affection. He was quick to make a satirical comment, though his lack of connectedness to the world made his humor dull and mean.

I can't help thinking I was a big disappointment to him, though being one of ten it's easy to exaggerate my importance (even as a disappointment) to him. I was "supposed" to be "the" priest in the big Catholic family. The idea was if you have 10 kids (7 boys) surely you can spare one for the priesthood. Puberty convinced me quickly that wasn't a good idea. Then came "the hippies." We fought about everything, but in the end mostly hair, believe it or not. When I came home from college for the first time and had managed to grow my hair a bit, he didn't want to let me in the house.

I have a few good memories of him. Like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, he had tools and taught me a little (not too much) about them. He liked to tell ghost stories and was good at it. He tried in his clumsy way to give us experiences -- dune buggy riding at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes on Lake Michigan, canoeing down the Au Sable river in Michigan, shooting rats with a .22 in an abandoned house. But overall, I pretty much dreaded his presence, stalwartly put up with his interrogations (with TV blaring in front of us)... my mom hovering about with snacks, trying to keep the worst from erupting.

Yes, it's hard to find "the good" in all this, though I do try. I did learn to work and still take some pleasure in "task" that may have something to do with him.

If you can touch the father hunger in you, you will have found a reason to step up to support a young male who is starving for the kind of male acknowledgment that can fill some of the emptiness. It's never going to be as powerful as what might have gotten from his father, but it can be life saving.

July 27, 2009

The Secret Lives of Boys

Earl W., a blog subscriber in Tucson, came across a book review in the New York Times for: The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens. The Times reviewer, Lori Gottlieb, said the book was, ". . . raw, emotional, funny, and astute." I found another review by Rachel Saslow at The Washington Post where she said, "The book ends up feeling more like a sociology lecture than the inside look at a 'raw, emotional world' that it promises to be." Contradictory opinions, but there you have life around teenage boys.

Malina Saval, the author of the book, profiles 10 young men. She lets each young male tell his own story. By the way of proof that there is no such thing as a normal adolescent male, these 10 young guys run the full spectrum of the boy universe. The boy's lives reflect mental health issues, amazingly dysfunctional family histories, drug abuse, too young parents . . . and much more. According to the author,all this diverse group of lads had in common was a desire for a true connection. Someone they could have a real conversation with about their painfully challenging lives.

As anyone working with adolescent males knows, they initially don't come across as verbal or self-aware. What you also learn about boys, given enough time and trust, is that most boys will, and in fact are hungry to open up. When that happens their stories are indeed raw, mostly truthful, smell a little of testosterone and bravado, and are very often profoundly emotional.

However imperfectly the book is written, the boy stories do indeed offer a peak into the rich and challenging lives of young males everywhere. In truth, the boys Saval profiles are not so different from the boys in the world around you. If you're thinking about getting involved in Man-Making work at any level, you may want to get this book.

I you have read this book, please share your thoughs with us via an email to me or by commenting on this post.

July 22, 2009

What is a Boy?

I have always loved this poem:

“Boys are found everywhere-on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them and Heaven protects them. A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.”

I have finally tracked down what I think is the rest of the poem, just below. It was apparently written by Alan Beck in 1949. Here is the whole work. If you have different or more information, please let me know.


What is a Boy?


Boys come in assorted sizes, weights, and colors. They are found everywhere – on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older brothers and sisters tolerate them, adults ignore them and Heaven protects them.

A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Wisdom with bubblegum in its hair and Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket. A boy has the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword swallower, the energy of a pocket size atomic bomb, the curiosity of a cat, the lungs of a dictator, the imagination of Paul Bunyan, the shyness of a violet, the audacity of a steel trap, the enthusiasm of a firecracker, and when he makes something he has five thumbs on each hand.

He likes ice cream, knives, saws, Christmas, comic books, the boy across the street, woods, water (in its natural habitat), large animals, Dad, trains, Saturday mornings, and fire engines. He is not much for Sunday school, company, schools, books without pictures, music lessons, neckties, barbers, girls, overcoats, adults, or bedtime.

Nobody else is so early to rise or so late to supper. No one else can cram into one pocket a rusty knife, a half eaten apple, three feet of string, an empty Bull Durham sack, two gumdrops, six cents, a slingshot, a chunk of unknown substance, and a genuine supersonic code ring with a secret compartment.

A boy is a magical creature – you can lock him out of your workshop, but you can’t lock him out of your heart. You can get him out of your study, but you can’t get him out of your mind. Might as well give up - he is your captor, your jailer, your boss and your master – a freckle faced, pint sized bundle of noise. But when you come home at night with only the shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams, he can mend them with two words – “Hi Dad!”


July 6, 2009

A Man-Making Aha Moment

I'm fond of saying that on Rite of Passage Weekends my heart is melted and reformed in a way that makes me a better man. That's really just the tip of the iceberg, but it captures all the wonderful experiences that touch and reshape a man in those events.

On those weekends, there is usually a single moment in time when a man gets it. When he suddenly realizes that he is very much in the right place and doing work he is uniquely qualified to do for and with boys. I call that the Man-Making Aha Moment!

Of course, given the scope of the internet these days, there is a website, sponsored by the Mutual of Omaha, given solely to these Aha Moments. On that site, a man-maker named Jefferson Roanoke describes his experience on a weekend with boys. You can see and listen to Jefferson describe his Aha moment at this link.

I just love watching the look on his face as he describes what happened to him during the experience. You can believe me when I say there is a growing army of men, showing up for boys, and coming away from those experiences with a very similar smile.

If you've had an Aha Man-Making Moment like Jefferson, and can describe it, send it to me in an email or post a comment on this post. I always love reading about men growing larger hearts.

June 28, 2009

YMAW – Young Men’s Adventure Weekend

Another powerful Man-Making group operating out of British Columbia is the Young Men’s Adventure Weekend or YMAW. Brad Leslie is coordinating this year’s gathering on July 10th – 12th, and an amazing event it will be.

Imagine an event planned and supervised by a production team of fifty adult men to host on average 70–80 Young Men between the ages of 12 and 17 for a long weekend. Now that’s what real commitment to Man-Making looks like.

It all started sixteen years ago, a group of men were discussing the plight of today’s male teenagers and the tough challenges they face transitioning into manhood. Deciding they wanted to do something about it, this group of volunteer men created the Young Men’s Adventure Weekend as a wilderness experience.

As describe on their website, the purpose of their work is to:
  • To assist, develop and foster the individual spirit of Young Men;
  • To encourage Young Men to become responsible and accountable for themselves;
  • To become team players by supporting and working with each other;
  • Preparation for adult life
From the reports and the comments on their site, they more than accomplish those goals every year.

This is a link to a truly inspirational video about the YMAW and here’s another link to some photos that really do tell the story. I guarantee that just checking out these links will rearrange some of you Man-Making molecules.

To learn more about this incredible undertaking, visit the YMAW website at:
http://www.ymaw.com/

If you hurry, there is even time to sign up for this year’s YMAW! Contact Brad Leslie at: bradleslie@telus.net

June 23, 2009

Guy Training: Why Girls Have Breasts

The TV remote control is an object/tool that somehow really calls to men. Could it be about the need to have control, or a chance to go "hunting" for the most important content being broadcast any given moment?

What I can own is that when holding a remote, I seem to be capable of considerable multitasking, a skill that is not as obviously present in the rest of my life. I'm not exactly sure why, but I can also report that I hold the device more than my wife. How about you?

In a recent post, I profiled a video showing a secret, male rite of passage, regarding early male training in the use of the TV remote control. And now along comes another video on the topic sent by a subscriber named Bret. It describes the gender struggle for possession of the remote device perfectly. It's titled, Why Girls Have Breasts. Let this be a warning to young males.



If the video doesn't show up, go to this link.

For those of you without a funny bone, yes, this is just guy humor.

June 17, 2009

My Father's Workbench

Just below is a shortened version of a story sent to me by a blog subscriber named Martin Brossman. He's titled it, My Father’s Workbench. You can read the whole story at Martin's blog on the topic.

His story speaks of not only the power of fathers in a boy's life, but the attraction for all males to tools, building and fixing things, and what might be called "sacred male space." If you want to get any boy's attention, just haul out the tools or gear.

Please let me know what this story cooks up for you. You can send me an email or post your reactions in the comments area of this post on the Man-Making blog.


On my 50th birthday in April, I spent the day taking both my parents to two doctor appointments, an exhausting time for them and me. At the end of the day, I went into the basement of their home, the Washington, D.C. house where I grew up, to find a quiet moment. Finding myself standing in front of Dad’s workbench. I got out my cell phone and took a picture.

Later when I looked at that photo, I knew why I had choked up a few weeks before when I stood in my just-built garage in Raleigh, when I was deciding where my new workbench would go. Looking at Dad’s old bench made me realize just how deeply I have always wanted a place to have a home-made workbench like his, one where I could work on household repairs and make things. Most of all I wanted a big sturdy bench where I could properly mount my red vice that I have carried with me from three places I have lived.

I realized, too, that creating my own workbench is connecting me back to the time as a kid when I worked with my father at his workbench. It was where Dad always started house jobs from, and where we ended house jobs by putting away the tools. It was part of connecting with my Dad, who worked a lot but still had time for us to do things. It was not the cleanest workbench and that is part of what made it great. . . .

From the “men’s work” that I have been involved in, to my work with The Triangle Men’s Center, I have learned a lot in the past decade or so about the mental wounds that can occur in men’s lives due to an absent or abusive father. I have met so many men who never had this element in their life, who never had a Dad who included them in house jobs, or experienced a family workbench that held the tools they used together. . . .

Even though my father is on dialysis and much weaker now, I know he will be glad to see a picture of the workbench I am going to build in my garage. It will be ready to photograph when I attach that red vice that mounts with 4 big bolts on its right-hand corner. Over time, my workbench will collect its own holes and nicks from the projects I imagine happening on it. I’ll have to remember to take a picture years from now.

Thanks Dad, for introducing me to the workbench. You weren’t just teaching me handyman skills, you were modeling patience and confidence, and how to carve out a small space for peaceful enjoyment . I hope to keep sharing this valuable message with other men who might be missing the importance of a workbench in their life.


Martin Brossman is the founder of The Men's Inquiry and the author of Finding Our Fire: Enhancing Men's Connection to Heart, Passion and Strength. He can be reached at: Martin@CoachingSupport.com

June 9, 2009

Working on the Man-Making Front Lines

What follows is an exchange of emails between myself and a man named Richard Cole-Garner. He is working with high risk young people at an organization named The CYDS Project (Community Youth Development Service), in the United Kingdom. Richard talks about getting down at times under the onslaught of problems and challenges facing the kids he serves.

If you know someone in this work, please support them. If you can find a way to actually be involved, in even the most minimal ways with the young people they serve, the positive returns for all the males involved will be wonderful.

After you read this exchange, tell me what YOU would say to men like Richard? If you'd like, you can send Richard a note of encouragement!


Hello Earl,

I work as part of a local young person's project supporting mainly 13-19 year old kids from mostly difficult, deprived backgrounds. Usually, this involves negotiating the treacherous paths of alcohol and drug abuse, and the dangers of underage sex. So basically, we provide advice, guidance, counseling-if wanted, or just somewhere they're welcomed and approved that they can hang out.

The boys especially seem to be missing some vital ingredient. Some combination of challenge, wholesomeness, ancient wisdom, and structure . . . these are all descriptive words that come to mind. I need to find a way to engage their intense energies within the context of their lives in a way that engages them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Thank you for the wonderful contribution of the Man-Making book Earl.



Greetings Richard and thanks for your kind words.

Your work with young people makes you one of my heroes. I do understand how powerless it can feel when faced with what I call the "epidemic of under-male-nourished boys." You really are one of the battlefield medics, doing what you can. I both honor your work and have compassion for you around the pain and dysfunction you must see everyday.

I also understand what you mean when you talk about the absence of something for these boys. I think it's a clear and positive path toward manhood that's missing. That and caring men like you to be there for them. Men willing to intentionally set them on and support their journey toward a positive manhood. Those resources would help fill in some of that, "vital missing ingredient" you're referring to.

I believe this is not, however, a lost boy problem, but a lost men problem. Filling in those missing pieces for boy is "men's work." Sadly, men are absent this work in droves and the consequence is lost and confused boys.

Please don't ever underestimate the importance of your involvement, with the actions you describe of, ... "supporting," "advising," welcoming, and approval. Those are powerful tools and while maybe not "enough" to make the critical difference, you must trust you are having positive impact. In the lonely, adult male-deficient world these boys inhabit, I'm sure you're a total ray of sunshine.

If you could gather a core group of men to work with your boys . . . some form of regular and on-going involvement, you could increase your positive impact, maybe even save some lives. The secret of this work is that the volunteer adult men get completion . . . healing of some their unfinished adolescent pain. Men also get a better understanding of both the rightness and importance of this important men's work. But for that to happen for men, some form of involvement needs to take place. I do know how hard that can be to organize, get money, approvals, etc. But one passionate and motivated man, like yourself, speaking up, might possibly make something amazing happen for the young males in your care.

That is my wish for you, and know that I'm happy to support you in that work any way I can.

Blessings on your caring and efforts,

Earl

June 2, 2009

Reading - FRED - and Man-Making

Here is a great Man-Making program suggestion from Lowell Johnson, a Minnesota subscriber.

Earl, I think you and your readers might be interested to know about the FRED program here in the Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota. Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) is a national program which encourages men to connect with young children by reading to them regularly. We are in the third year of programming and will have almost 2000 participants at 11 different sites by our June 30 year's end. We have expanded the standard FRED format to include an option called Run and Read where we play a lot of active games as well as read to kids and give away free books. A new FRED development this year has us doing parent/literacy education to inmates of the Crow Wing County jail.

I believe FRED is a great Man-Making program because it's a non-threatening way for men to connect with young children in a positive way. If any of your readers would like more information about FRED, they can reach me at ljohnson@brainerd.net. Keep up your good work!

I have lots of fond memories of being read to, mostly by teachers. I especially liked when the stories were done in a serial fashion and you'd have to wait a day to get to the next exciting installment. We do the same thing on a boys to men weekend utilizing a storyteller. That last thing to happen prior to bedtime on both Friday and Saturday night is that a man will read or tell the initiates a compelling and relevant story. Don't ever under estimate the power of a good story to interest, inspire, and calm down a group of adolescent males. A campfire doesn't hurt either.

FRED was originally developed by Lynn Bourland White and Stephen Greene in 2001 at the Texas Cooperative Extension at Texas A&M University. The program was named for Fred Bourland, who read to his children as they grew up. For more information on this program, you can contact Lowell Johnson at his email above or you can contact Steve Green directly at Texas A&M at (979) 845-6468 or s-green@tamu.edu

Lowell is right! The idea of men reading to kids at home, as volunteers in schools, in support of young fathers in prison, on a rite-of-passage weekend, or in any setting, is indeed first class man-making.

May 23, 2009

Men on a Mission.

Kai B., a subscriber to this blog, recommends the following book, Men on a Mission - Valuing Youth Work in Our Communities, by William Marsiglio. Kai says, . . . It confirms many ideas you’ve been working on for the past years.

Marsiglio did a study of 55 adult men who engage in youth development activities. He summarizes the motivations behind these men’s choice to mentor boys and how they were moved by the experience. The book offers many stories of men who have life changing experiences as a result of their mentoring. He also discusses some of the barriers men feel to working with youth. Barriers which are similar to those I discuss in my Man-Making book and describe in my (downloadable) article, Why Men Don't.

This book speaks to the way men care for and about those they mentor, and in doing so, clearly confronts the male-phobic generalizations that men are dangerous, violent, or predatory. Most men have a memory of a non-parental, caring mentor who made a difference in their lives. The author does a great service by letting some of these stories see the light of day. When that happens, men remember their mentors, they are reminded that being mentored was wonderful, and some of their fear about being a mentor goes away.

Marsiglio estimates there are 20 million boys in the U.S. who have no significant non-family male role model in their lives. That number and his book together are another loud call to action for men to step up.

You can order Men on a Mission from Amazon.com at this link.

May 14, 2009

One True Joy in Life - Service

One of my man-making heroes, Mark H. in Tucson, brought this wonderful reading to my attention. It's from George Bernard Shaw's work, One True Joy in Life (partly from the Dedicatory Letter, in Man and Superman).

While it will have broad appeal, for me it perfectly describes the call to man-making I and so many others feel.

One True Joy in Life

This is the one true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one;the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances,complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I've got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.

May 6, 2009

Yes... The last post, May 5th, WAS meant to be satire.

I learned a valuable lesson when I published the Onion video in the last post. I thought it was a creative way to point out the dangers and costs of over-involvement with video games for kids. Some of you thought I might actually be endorsing that behavior and were kind enough to check it/me out.

I'll be much more careful to state my intentions up front next time.

To those of you who have asked for clarification, thanks for caring so much about this topic, kids, and making sure I'm not crazy.

Blessings,

Earl

May 5, 2009

Critical survival skills for boys will need in the future!

In response to a post last month about the impact of media on boys, a contributor (and awesome man-maker) named Charley M. sent along a recommendation to view the following clip. It describes some of the important survival skills boys are learning from video games today which they many need in the future.

As a man invested in calling other men into service for boys, I think this clip has an important message for all of us regarding the impact of video games on boys. Let me know what you think in the comments section.



If you have problems viewing this clip, click on this link:

April 30, 2009

Honor and Fruit Trees

The wave of impact from the April17-19, 2009 Tucson Boys to Men Rite of Passage Adventure Weekend are still reverberating. I want to share two items that were passed among the staff after the weekend . . . along with many expressions of gratitude and joy.

The first is from the movie Rob Roy, and it's about honor. It is especially fitting given the lessons about life we were holding up for boys, and what they were witnessing in men's behavior that whole weekend:

Son: Father, will the MacGregor’s ever be kings again?
Rob Roy:All men with honor are kings - but not all kings have honor.
Son: What is honor?
Rob Roy: Honor is.. what no man can give ye, and no one can take away. Honor is a man’s gift to himself.
Son: Do women have it?
Rob Roy: Women are the heart of honor - and we cherish and protect it in them. You must never mistreat a woman, or malign a man. Or stand by and see another do so.
Son: How do you know if you have it?
Rob Roy: Never worry in the getting of it. It grows in ye and speaks to ye. All you need to do is listen."

The next was sent by the man who was the weekend's storyteller. It's a beautiful reflection of the attitude to take into man-making work of any kind:

THE FRUIT OF LIFE
Hazrat Inayat Khan once said that every thought, every impulse, and every word that is spoken is like a seed that falls into the soil of life and takes root. Thus, every expression of love and every act of service will someday grow into a tree and bear fruit. It is our goal to arrive at that state of heart and mind where our every word, thought, and action is blended with love and contains the capacity to bear fruit. Does this mean fruit for oneself? Trees do not bear fruit for themselves; their fruit is an offering that benefits others. Living for the benefit of others through love and service is the fruit of life.

Our storyteller went on to say, "I feel blessed to have done this ‘seed planting’ with all of you. You touched my heart many ways and many times. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to plant seeds with you."

April 24, 2009

Boys to Men Initiation Weekend

You'll just have to forgive a few more than usual posts this month. You see I've been working with a band of brothers, 27 very solid man-makers, to put on a weekend long Rite of Passage experience for 17 adolescent males.

We had to find a location in the Arizona outback, identify and qualify the boys, and call the men to action. There was a small mountain of logistics, raising some money, deciding on the different experiences for the boys, and getting clear about what our messages about manhood we're going to be. To be sure, Spirit was present, and the gifts of inspiration, materials, location, and all the "right" men unfolded before us.

Once the weekend was launched, our version of a very ancient theater unfolded. The boys were delivered onto sacred masculine ground in the dark of the night. They were relieved of the "stuff" of the outside world and provided with enough clothing and essentials for the weekend. To the sounds of drums, the wild-eyed sons of mankind were introduced into our transformational and sacred masculine container.

For the rest of that night and for the next two days, the initiates were asked powerful questions, faced physically and emotionally challenging experiences, sang songs of strength and unity, played wild but meaning-filled games, spoke their truth to men, and faced the purifying heat of the final rituals.

When it was over, as is always the case, the boys were bonded by their common ordeal and the truths shared. They knew they had been witnessed and powerfully blessed by men. They knew they now had strong male allies and, going forward, the world would be less frightening. As new but intentional Journeymen, they stood stronger in their new selves and on the uncomfortable middle-ground between boyhood and manhood.

The men to were transformed. Their hearts had been captured by the boys and softened by tears of joy and old pain released. Men understood, at their core, the rightness of this work for them, and their place in the natural male order was made more clear. As is always the case, stronger and more open men, with wet eyes, sent the boys off in a powerful and silent goodbye at weekend's end.

The weekend was just the begining really. The Tucson group will be doing monthly group mentoring activities with their new Journeymen brothers. But for now, I and I suspect many of the males that attended, it's time to rest. A time tofigure out how to pull all these new feelings, experiences, and friends into my notions of who I am and my life. This is a very nice problem to have.

In this photo are good and "weight bearing" men, doing what ever it takes for a boys to men weekend to work.

I was saluting them in the photo and I again salute all man-makers where ever you are. This is a high and holy calling and there is much work left to do.

If you or your community is called to this work, send me a message.