A Man’s Role in Social Change

Tony Porter references “the man box” as a list of assumed characteristics of a man that are imposed upon men through socialization. He talks throughout the video about this stereotype of men that they cannot show weakness because this shows vulnerability, and this leaves the individual’s identity susceptible to attack. Therefore, the remedy provided by this stereotype is to stuff down emotions repress them, and the repression of emotion is a prized characteristic among men; it illustrates what means to be a ‘man’ because it is supposed to illustrate strength. However, I believe it does quite the opposite.

Suppressing emotion does not show strength, it shows cowardice. The acceptance of emotions and walking out into the uncharted waters of vulnerability show courage and bravery. Real strength lies in the ability to be comfortable and secure, while simultaneously being vulnerable. I believe we should be fostering the traits of resiliency, sensitivity, hardiness and adaptive self-regulation in both men and women. However, the dominant narrative self-perpetuates through culture.

My mom was the strongest caregiver of my life and my most influential role model. She encouraged the idea that there are times to be tough and there are times to sensitive. But toughness was not strength and sensitivity was not weakness. Instead, she prized perseverance as strength. It was not about never having problems or being invincible to struggles; it was about addressing them and handling them properly. It was not about not having fear; it was about handling fear with courage.

However, I still have to work to overcome what feels like a built in script of this “man box.” It serves as a point of reference – a template for ‘manliness.’ A template that I believe has largely been impressed upon me through a combination of cultural influence and socialization. I think much of this idea of “manhood” is transmitted unconsciously and, therefore, only resolved through awareness. However, awareness alone is not enough to uproot erroneous world views. It also requires action. Tony Porter’s uses his horrific anecdote to demonstrate how all men take part in this “collective socialization” which allows for violence against women. Therefore, it is the impetus of all men to change this social paradigm.

Reference: https://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men

Placing A Focus

All nature passes away with time. But we are not mere nature. We are also spirit. And through this spirit we can transcend to another realm of life devoid of nature. But this is only attained if while living here in a dualistic world we choose to place our focus and our energy into the part of ourselves capable of enduring time; that is, only spirit. We become what we dwell upon and if we dwell upon the material, that is what we become; and nothing material can transcend. Therefore, we should fix our eyes on the intangibles like love, mercy, grace and beauty letting these aspects of life consume us so that we may transcend through them.

A Prayer of Communion

Jesus of Nazareth
Christ our Lord
Hallowed by thy name
“I am the Way,
The Truth
And the Life.”
The Way
He who is the Gate
Through which to enter
“Flesh and blood will not inherit God’s Kingdom,”
Only through the flesh and blood of Christ
May one pass through the Door.
“One who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood does not have life within.”
So, eat this for it is the flesh and Word of life.
And, drink this for it is the blood and Spirit of life.
No one can meet the King while naked
But only through the flesh and blood of the Son of Man
Are we clothed
Amen.

God Is Everywhere

I am a node in a sea of God.
God flows around me
And I float in Him.
The flow of God pulses through me;
And I do with it what I please.
But I do not control the flow.
I am a subject of God
To help manifest awareness of our utter dependence on God.
God is the intangible connection which binds us all.
God is the source of life that springs from within.
It is our job to bring forth Life to this life.
It is our job to become aware of our inseparable connection to God.

Independence?

I have never done anything that is entirely my own. This sounds absurd, right?

But, let me ask, that breath you just took…is that you?

Did you breathe in you?

That makes no sense.

Well, if I don’t breathe, I die. But, if what I breathe comes from something that is not me, then I am not living alone.

I never have been.

I did not ask to come into being. Something, whether it be God, chance, science or just simply my mother created me. I did not give life to myself.

Therefore, you can never claim absolute dependence. ‘Something’ caused you, because the idea of you causing you is preposterous.

The Impossible Question

“Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly I awoke, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.”

Thoughts?

Comments?