The Adjective For Masculinity?

At the beginning of the Mature Masculine Workshop on June 24 in San Diego (and broadcast on Zoom), creator and co-facilitator of the event, Jim Ellis, asked those in attendance to first define the word “adjective” and then to give an adjective for the term “masculinity.”

“Big is an adjective for barn. Green is an adjective for grass. In this day and age, what term modifies the noun ‘masculinity?'”

The term “mature” arose, no doubt, because this was, after all, a “mature masculine” workshop. However the second term that popped up was “toxic.” The point here, and according to Ellis the point of the event, was to shift perceptions and context from a masculinity that is troubled and supposedly “toxic” to one that is empowered and thriving.

Ellis said, “Besides supporting men in going to their next level of success, there was another reason to join in the conversation on this topic. It’s time to bring masculinity back as the honorable and powerful identity it deserves to be.”

Through small group exercises, collective brainstorming sessions and the delivery of a list of 20 Mature Masculine Qualities, the event drew the participation of 35 in person and 21 on Zoom, the first time a Mentor Discover Inspire (MDI) training attempted a hybrid event.

Stewarts – From Top to Bottom.

Dylan Stewart of Los Angeles and Ellis of San Diego led the in-person portion, while Ben Schlosser of Maine (Atlas) led the Zoom room. Small group exercise leaders in person included: Matt Garcia, Chris Christopher, Frank Scura, Matt Coddington and Hammed Ardalani. On Zoom, support came from Paul Tripp and Ethan Feerst.

As stated in the mission statement of MDI – an international organization dedicated to success for men on all levels – members look to “cause greatness by mentoring men to live with excellence and as mature masculine leaders create successful families, careers and communities.” In 2018, an outgrowth of this statement was the formulation of a list of 20 qualities for the “mature masculine leader” through the organization’s San Diego division and the Membership Manager Ellis.  A recent outgrowth was the 1-day experiential event which promised participants a fun and engaging workshop for men ready to embrace their highest natures.

Ellis enjoying dessert first.

For Glenn Minteer, participant in the event, the experience was value added. “I was blown away by all the thought and care that was put into this workshop and learning material. Very valuable information for all men,” he said.

Said Stewart, “The mature masculine workshop was a powerful example about how men can learn to operate at a higher context by paying attention to their way of being. What an amazing tool! It was experiential and eye-opening even for those of us who lead it. I learned a lot the whole way, from helping to create the workshop and straight through it.”

According to Chris Christopher, the San Diego Men’s Division coordinator during the initial development phase of the qualities, the day-long exploration was “challenging, fun and intellectually and emotionally stimulating.”

“We went deep and laughed all day,” he said. “Personally, I reconnected with the importance of carefully making and keeping all of my commitments. I am delighted the work we started while I was DC continues in such a vibrant and effective way.”

In the end, after the event was over, and some competition was completed, and the energy was high in the room, Ellis brought back the concept of modifying the term “masculinity” with an adjective. In conclusion, he took a stand for a masculinity that was … brilliant, fun, honorable, protective, providing, loving … mature.  

The 20 Mature Masculine Qualities

  1. I am a self-sufficient man.
  2. I hold a “no problem” attitude.
  3. I am clear on my personal standards, commitments, and boundaries.
  4. I keep my word – holding integrity high.    
  5. I am responsible and accountable, taking ownership of my life, with no need for excuses. 
  6. I call men out and hold them accountable to their word and to their best. 
  7. I am open to feedback / criticism / coaching; I do not complain, pout or get defensive when challenged.   
  8. I make right any of my broken words or commitments with those I have impacted, without having to be prompted to do so.  
  9. I do not carry grudges or “lists”– and I clear with men swiftly and directly. 
  10. I am confident.   
  11. I give my best even when I can get by with less. 
  12. I am decisive, taking action. 
  13. I am impeccable, precise and thorough. 
  14. I am humble.
  15. I ask for help. 
  16. I show and express care. 
  17. I broaden my context, serving others generously – expanding from “what I can get” to include “what I can contribute.”
  18. I am conscious of how I affect the people around me.
  19. I lift other men up and support them to win.
  20. I am respected by men, a leader who is followed.  

From the Men of San Diego – A definition or two.

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