What does it really mean to be a “man” in modern times? Who are the role-models, the leaders, of the men we are inspired to become? Where are we to turn for guidance during what one might describe as an identity crisis of men?
I hardly know the perfect answer to all these questions. But what I do know is that I am willing to confront these questions head on. To take responsibility and even leadership in navigating these troubled waters. The one thing I am certain of is that we men, myself included, have a pivotal role to play in changing the course of history of men.
In a recent op-ed article from the New York Times, titled “The Boys Are Broken” comedian, author and actor, Michael Ian Black, made a call to arms. The article explores how the model of masculinity we operate within is no longer current - and a crisis is brewing if this topic doesn’t gather attention. There are points made around the rise in violence we see amongst young men in America, and where this stems from (gun debate aside). While Black’s courageous piece makes me both sad and worried, I am inspired at the same time. It is composed of heart and meaning and ultimately, a call for action. That action being, conversation. A conversation around a new model of masculinity. If you want to read the full text article, access it here.
Much of my work with Wyld Joy is centered around the concept Black proposes, creating opportunities for men to gather in community and share in conversation. In my work, the conversation usually starts on the topic of purpose. By purpose, I mean, what I am put on this earth to contribute and to be remembered for. There is no right or wrong answer here. And it can be as creative as you want it to be. It’s simply a starting point and a compass upon which we navigate our lives. Put another way, it’s awareness. A check-in and personal inventory of how well, or not so well, we are living a life of purpose.
As an example, my purpose is to create vision and leadership of the heart. What this means to me is that I live my life from a place of love, hope and possibility. I use this purpose to guide me in my career, my relationships and my personal health and well-being. It’s also bigger than me, becoming almost spiritual. It is both surrender and a practice.
How do you define your purpose? Have you considered this conversation on our current model of masculinity? I would love to invite you to join me in this work, that which is the heart and vision of Wyld Joy: to build a community of purpose driven men.
You’re invited to get involved however you’re inspired. Whether it’s joining the Wyld Joy community of men at a Freedom Feast (March 15th), working with me 1:1 to develop your own purpose and vision or working out in community at my weekly Courage Fitness class, I hope to see you take up arms in your own way.
I want to close by simply stating my hope. My hope is to create meaningful content that supports creative conversations around a new model of masculinity. For those men who seek one. For those men interested in exploring a fuller expression, understanding and creative practices of male strength. I too am on this journey.