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 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.



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: