I was 14 and my friend’s dad was dropping us off at 2 week summer camp when I heard the news on the radio.
Terry Fox has died.
He didn’t cross Canada like he wanted to. He made it halfway – a few thousand kilometres. On one real and one unreal leg.
The point was to raise money for cancer research.
Now 40 years later there are annual Terry Fox runs all over the world raising money, funding research, increasing awareness and strengthening community.
All of this is true because of Terry’s intention to run across Canada.
There is a tensile, human strength in maintaining your intention while you make it happen. Realization of your intention may easily unravel before you in the moment. For most of us it requires we stick with it over many years. That is so valuable in this Twitter age.
The benefits of persistence- staying focused on the objective – are transferable to the next challenge. And are shareable with colleagues and children and spouse.
Elders are slow. Slow walkers. Slow dancers. Slow drivers. Not slow at understanding. Not slow at knowing how to use a very few words to connect young people to the truth of the way forward.
I have no idea how my grandfather did it but he nailed it with his nick names for his grandchildren. Names like ‘ol’ stick in the mud ‘or ‘money bags’. When it came to me and my nick name I think he was bang on: absent-minded professor. The absent-minded part I have down pat. The professor part not so much.
We, each of us, man or woman, will never make it to the role of elder if we take each stage of life personally.
We need to rise above our individual, daily now and see how to participate in the higher, group story. There is no Eldership Certificate. There are no specific qualifications required. Except you have to care enough not to care. Meaning care enough about the process of young men going from one stage of life to the next so that you don’t care what you have to do or say.
Young men need direction. Young men need a reason why to get an education or training for professional life.
Young men are screaming for someone to explain how the levels of energy work so that when they get angry they don’t hit a women.
Just like the levels of energy, with stages in life one leads to the next. With life you don’t have to do any learning to get older. The next stage of life comes because you keep breathing. We all grasp the opportunity and experience of each level according to our psychology and vision up to that point. But to elevate in the realms of energy we have to practice. Practice means maintaining standards. In daily life this means not taking things personally in the moment so you can find a solution to the problem instead of fighting. That is how you grow as a man and build a relationship with your spouse.
In the moment it isn’t easy. In the moment it is too late to want to grow. That’s where the elder wisdom comes in because they have lived the good and the bad so they can share with credibility the importance of growing today for the challenges of tomorrow.
Where are these elders who know how to grow? And who understand the finesse required to manage the non-stop power of sexual energy? Who tells the stories of the various arts,skills and insights involved in pursuing a personal religion?
You are urgently wanted and obviously needed as a resource to be listened to and ask questions. We the previous generations are being called by the next generation to accept the role of elder. So young men can put down the beer, put down their fist or even a gun and pick up their phone – to make the call.
Young men are angry young men because they have no idea about the the mechanics of the female instinct. How it works, why and what to do about it.
Your mother was right.
Your mother is right.
Because she is your mother ? Yes.
Because she is a mother? Yes.
Because she is a woman? Yes.
Because she is smart and successful and fashionable and in a loving relationship, creative and spontaneous and hilarious, sociable and admired?
Well, I don’t know your mother. Still I hope she embodies many of these qualities listed above. Any combination of these traits would help to generate ongoing satisfaction and fulfillment for her and those in her life.
The amazing challenge of motherhood tugs on the ancient history of care that have kept us alive for millennia. Many a young mother is overwhelmed with the weight of responsibility that their tiny bundle of joy represents. They have no idea what to do or what their infant needs.
Yet with the guidance of experienced mothers, a new mother can grasp the thread of maternal wisdom and connect with the natural intuition of motherhood.
Paolo Bendandi on Unsplash
Under the influence of this connection a woman finds a kaleidoscopic fountain of love powering an agility of ability to be the source of happiness and health for her child.
The instinct lives in the core of the moment. And we are invited every moment to accompany the instinct; to get instinctual. The instinct has enough potency and range to radiate beyond the core. Whether at the core or in the ripple effect of the instinct, it’s message is always valid, true and available. So it is up to our discipline and desire to follow it, trust it as opposed to second guessing.
So where we sit now is that men are alienated from their instinct? Their sensitivities have been institutionally diminished and tuned to sex, money, and lame ‘man caving’ habits.
As a result when a woman, married or not, a mother or not, professional or not insists on adhering to the connection with her instinct – men balk! Men don’t get it. But they do get angry. And violent.
Why? He pleads.
Explain it to me! He yells.
What am I missing?! He demands exasperated.
Damn good questions.
Man! You are missing a connection with your instinct. Make that connection and you can have a shared understanding of the situation with your spouse.
The learning is that women and men will maintain their connection with their instinct using complimentary techniques. Women through the management of the three aspects of The Female Friction.
Men will do it by elevating their various expressions of the famous man cave.
Angry young men are angry because their youth and future have been tarnished by lack of vision by weak elders who know fear and lack of resistance.
Young men will hit each other including the closest loved one within striking distance. Be it their mother or sister, girlfriend or wife.
Because they can’t handle life right now, in the moment. Life can get to be too much of not having enough. Too much of not being enough. It’s frustrating. It’s demoralizing. So It takes balls to not succumb to the forces of diminishment – and to want discover want kind of man you are – when the people in charge of the world have run it into the ground.
Thank God a new story is being written by elders-in-training who are:
Forgiving and then immediately use that conversation to take the reins of their emotions to support their mission;
Doing the personal development work to understand the many currents of daily and devotional life;
Elevating the conversations about intricacies and complications of the intertwining of relationships with life stages;
Insisting we appreciate that the planet unto herself is on a development journey called evolution.
And that all of these are powered by potent, far reaching forces. Forces that are received, translated and shared when we refine and simplify our needs and rituals to ‘love and be loved’.
Angry young men might have a valid argument for having anger issues.
Our golden retriever wasn’t very happy that my wife and I only took her on the short route for her evening walk. It was a chilly December day so it got dark early. Returning home from the walk we turn left out of the elevator and our noses catch the smell of warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that fragrants the hallway air.
Once in our kitchen I gulp down two still- soft cookie creations. A Gooey, messy, tasty sugar rush.
My daughter is now watching a movie, having made the cookies and feeling fulfilled at accomplishing the task she set out to bake. In relation to the same event I am in the kitchen breathing the deep breaths of satisfaction, having been cookied.
Meanwhile my wife is savouring a sense of various fulfillments. She was connecting with her husband on the evening walk thus responding to the urge of her romantic(and now married) life. Arriving home to a proactive daughter she fills with pride that cannot be measured but that is vital to her sense motherhood.
All of this after a day of the demands and successes of a full day of work.
We are all responsible for seeking satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives. As children we receive the guidance of parents and teachers.
The gradual acceptance of responsibility for our words and actions is part of engaging adulthood.
If we can engage this next step in life with confidence, curiosity and healthy coping mechanisms then we will find satisfaction with a positive outlook.
If we aren’t ready to manoeuvre in the adult realms then we can feel overwhelmed and look to relieve ourselves of the weight of responsibility. An effective technique for getting that relief is blame. Blaming others. Reacting unconsciously because we haven’t decided to grow into our Best Ego. So we make someone else the creator of our reality. We convince ourselves there is almost no possibility we could have had control of the circumstances that brought us here.
Young men need to be able to watch adults manage life with agility. Meaning a challenge is what happens when you grow. The challenge is not the one we encounter on the road of growth – outside of ourselves. The actual challenge is how we react and deal with the situation.
Do we frame it as a nuisance to pushed to the side ? And as a result do the minimum? Or do we apply belief in our abilities thus converting the same challenge into a springboard for growth?
Seeing the challenge as an external hassle means we are giving the pen that writes our life story to someone else.
However the challenge is actually a light that we can shine on our own qualities. To ensure we are grasping that same pen to decide the lines of our own life story.
Grab the pen.
Believe: in yourself, in your style of man, your kind of confidence, your version of strong, your adaptation of resourceful, your insight about elevating the expression of man.
Speak up about what you want. Speak out about what you feel.
Seek your satisfaction as a young man. Offer to others a young man who knows what it takes to uphold a positive outlook even if the situation isn’t fair.
Angry young men are justified in being angry because they have no real rites of passage that help them mark stages in life while grasping their significance.
I remember at my confirmation the crusty, guest priest went up and down the first 2 pews in the church asking each person being confirmed what their chosen name was. Mine was Peter. The name meant nothing to me really.
Another guy had chosen Michael so the priest made some comment on the meaning of that name.
We were about 30 people to be confrmed. I think all of us were around 13 years old except for a few adults The adults chose to be there. I felt no impending transformation or need to give myself a different name. The name identifies the new you that confirms the belief in God your parents claimed at your baptism. Yet I have never used the additional name and it embodies nothing for me.
When a coming of age ceremony is conducted by someone with dignity there is a transference of the truth based struggle for self – awareness to the participants. The concept of taking on a new name is so it is an anchor for this peak moment of nervous inspiration and cellular refinement. This new name carries the authenticity of life so far combined with the courage and skills that we engage through our transformation.
Generally we have starved our sensibilities to the planet and the journey of human development. As a result the point of rites of passage is lost on most of us.
A man might project confidence, indifference or toughness but in many cases he is not in sync with the role of his soul. The soul is the bridge from child to youth, from youth to adult, from adult to elder. Each of these involves a transformation of you that is witnessed and celebrated. Witnessing allows the man to know that he is supported while he may feel lost or not know which direction to point his daily decisions. Those who support our young men know he must grow as a capable man that finds solutions not excuses. That seeks insights not openings to ridicule. That wants companionship not violence.
Just because he is angry does not justify violence against women. And just because he is lost and can’t find a good guide or mentor doesn’t justify violence against women.
Rather, his transformation into an emotionally agile man is to be celebrated so people can sense he is a unique expression of manhood and tribe.
Rites of passage can be simple. They can be ancient poems or spontaneous encouragements as long as the sentiment is to locate and appreciate the young man in the hyper–now of his life.
Rites of passage can be with just one witness or a ceremony followed by a big party.
Young men can have a conversation at 7:30 on a Tuesday with a man about life, about women and making love, about expressing the urge to love-and-be -loved, about personal religion, about posture and martial arts and The Art of War and oration and humility, about dancing, about making money and doing business and a good sense of humour, about nature spirits and healing and self respect. Any combination of those important topics can do the job of bridging the adolescent into the next stage. We as a tribe need to create these rites of life stage change. Or just connect the ceremonies we already have with a human development journey.
How young men end up being angry young men and probably violent even though they don’t want to be.
A man by design is an authentic, brave, believing expression of the man version of human.
Alas, what you meet on the street or get into an elevator with is likely an insecure jumble of random goals, half baked intentions and unrealistic self-help affirmations.
Regardless of his facade many a man is a cocktail of doubt and aggression. In many of us men this seamlessly translates into very little self-confidence to access our natural emotional agility to be able to listen. We can listen. We listen to deliver satisfaction. However if the person speaking seeks fulfillment, instead of getting either satisfaction or fulfillment, we have conflict.
Men are great at one thing: being men. The art of Being a man is doing that one thing to get many results. Like going to work pays you money but also brings you satisfaction, admiration from your family, peace for spouse/children and life education for challenges ahead.
Society’s life education about men and women is lacking to the point of being harmful. Therefore the level of man in the world today is low when compared to our abilities and innate sentiments.
It is exactly these beautiful emotions a man has for those who surround him that he needs to shine on himself. That way each man can be his own salvation or inspiration or …
Now because women are naturally different they very often arrive at certain insights via different avenues before a man does. Women might assume that men will, and should, have complimentary insights.
Our history of interpersonal conflict illustrates that men don’t work like that at a societal level. We can create a new narrative for men.
A man connected to his natural spontaneity, vision and get-up-and-go will have put himself in the position to observe the similarities with women in the desire to grow and the differences in their expressions.