March 3, 2017

Taking A Stand In A Changing World

I haven't been posting for a long while and you deserve to know why there has been so much blank space and quiet on the Man-Making Blog.

My truth is that as a result of the election outcome in the US and what's happened since, I've had my world view pretty severely shaken up. It appears that much of the world I inhabit is more angry, fearful, and willing to be more selfish and mean-spirited than I used to believe.

I personally know about the danger of being sucked into a vortex of negative thinking. In an New York Times article titled, "The Year of Conquering Negative Thinking," psychologist Rick Hanson reminds us that “We were built to over learn from negative experiences, but under learn from positive ones.” Part of my personal life's work, as the article describes, has been to, ". . . learn to disrupt and tame negative cycles."

I think the dissonance stirring in me
is what growth feels like.

So very simply stated, it's taken me a while to understand and accept the magnitude of what, for me, is a new reality. Yes, I do know there are plenty of loving, tolerant, generous, accepting, and courageous people around. Yet it's still taken some time for me to find some solid ground to stand on and to begin to figure out what I might want to do differently in the storms of confusing messages. I think the dissonance stirring in me is what growth feels like.

What is already very clear to me is my new world, more than ever, needs good and solid men and women of conviction and character. It needs people who are willing and able to stand strong for themselves, their beliefs, and everyone's rights. Our country and the world need people willing to step forward into visible, vocal, and action-oriented positions in support of what they believe in and value. For me, continuing to publish this blog, encouraging men to be man-makers, and working in communities to support young men as I'm able, are all ways I can do my part to help create a better world.

. . . to ensure fewer boys (and men) are
lost in the never-never land
between boyhood and manhood.

For the last thirteen years, in various forms and across the country, I have been working with brothers in mission in the man-making business. I have been dedicated to doing what I can to ensure fewer boys (and men) are ". . . lost in the never-never land between boyhood and manhood." As a result, I have seen boys and men find the voice of their deep truths, embrace values of self-respect and respect for others, and witnessed them as they developed the courage to stand up for what for them is right and true. I have seen thousands of good men get over their fears and courageously show up for young guys who are desperate for their influence. I know this is good and necessary work and I feel some urgency that it continues.

As I write this, I'm not sure exactly what I can add to what I've been publishing on these pages to communicate to you the urgency and concern I feel for the consequences of having too many lost young men in our communities. Maybe an increase in focus on what men like you can actually do. Maybe stories about how one gloriously imperfect and unsure man changed the world around him by risking some small action in support of some young men. Possibly some interviews from young guys talking about the difference a man like you or group of men made in their lives. Or maybe hearing from one of the many lost young men I encounter telling you about what it feels like to be without a good man around who cares about him.

You tell me!

You tell me! What would you need to hear or see on these pages to inspire you to action? What would it take to get you to step into the arena? How can I help you hear the call to man-making? If you can name it and it's in my power to create it, I'll make it happen. In the meanwhile, I too will be curious to see what shows up here!

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  1. Over the years, I have mentored many athletes. Most of them are still Facebook friends. I would like to challenge some of them (now 30-45 years old) to offer to mentor a young man, possibly an athlete, who yearns for such a connection. Maybe form a group? Thoughts?

  2. Hey Doc, nice to hear from you again. The last time was in 2014 when we did a short post on your interests ( Glad to hear you still have passion for man-making.

    I call the inspiration you're sitting with to be a "call" to action from Spirit, or the universe to act. If, as you say, you are still connected to these men, why not simply invite them to step into the work of supporting young males and give back? You could just put it out in a Facebook post and see what happens.

    You could also form a private Facebook group for a men to meet and consider their options (I'm thinking about doing that too).

    Mostly, I hope you do something! Grand movements and small miracles have happened because one man heard a call to act and did something. Let me know how I can help.


Your response to this blog post is appreciated and welcome.