Fred Boyles Guest Writer
In 1988 during my Men’s Weekend, Justin Sterling promised we would lose in the feminization of the masculine spirit.
My wife said it best: “You like to suffer and I don’t.” My wife was referring to who should wear a warm coat on a cold blustery day.
She blurted this out when I was teasing her: “When is it going to be my turn to wear the goose down jacket I recently bought her?”
What had me say that is she dressed me in a light jacket that was fashion oriented, but with no protection from the elements.
At that moment, she nailed the difference between men and women. She loves luxury and fashion. I test myself with disciples and sacrifice.
Over time, those differences are becoming fewer and fewer.
- There was a time when men would hold two jobs so that their wife could stay home with the baby.
- There was a time when men would fight for their women’s honor. Today the police will arrest you for not running away.
- At times, being on a team with dangerous men is considered wrong. Verbal and physical confrontations are reasons for a man to be kicked off the team. When a man says I don’t feel safe, we actually listen with concern. Years ago I had my feelings hurt when I told my RC that I loved him. He made a homophobic joke on a call. When I told Peter Rosomoff about it he said, ”Of course it’s not safe; you’re on a team of men.” On my team I get my feelings hurt regularly. Thirty years of men’s teams has taught me to love men and keep a shield handy.
I’ve always wanted to be on a team of dangerous men. Men committed to keeping masculinity alive, pure and intact.
Because of this, here are some specific ways-of-being I would like to consistently see within our MDI teams:
- The men get the value of hanging out and sharing their day with their phone buds, beyond team meetings.
- The men learn how to listen and the value of giving their attention to another man.
- The men learn how to listen to new men and tell them the truth about how they are showing up.
- The men learn how to create bonds with new men.
- The men learn how to teach new men the value of criticism. Criticism is the “masculine spirit.”
- The men learn how to care for men, given most men leave their teams overcome by the very problem that had them seek out the help of the men in the first place.
- The men learn how to locate the new men to introduce them to the value of men’s team.
- The men learn how to implement the “team of two,” where you can be in “teamwork” with any man you come across in life.
- The men learn how to not take it personal when other men leave.
- The men learn how to live their higher purpose by supporting AND criticizing men.