5.22.2007

Dreams His Dreams

"To every man the mystery
Sings a different song
He fills his page of history
Dreams his dreams and is gone."

Dan Fogelberg, River Of Souls, 1993

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How will you fill your page before you are gone? Will you reach for your heights? Will you be a mentor of boys and other men? Will you walk in peace and peacefulness?

Time is passing to fill your page in history.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

5.16.2007

The Gift in Arizona

Today we look at a great program in the Arizona Mankind Project Center where the New Warrior Training Adventure is attended for no fee.

Read on and stop putting off the training because you don't think you can afford it.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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From Warrior Space; MKP Arizona's Community Place

Imagine a time when the NWTA is available for ANY man to attend... Imagine a time when every MKP Center is filling weekends with 40+ men... Imagine a time when there is such a demand for the NWTA that centers worldwide are holding 10, 12, or even more trainings per year to accommodate the demand...

Imagine inviting a man to the next weekend and when he asks, "what is the registration cost" and you say, "you do not pay for your weekend, another man has paid for you already". Imagine what you can do without dealing with that money shadow!

This is my vision of what the power of the GIFT program that we are developing in AZ has. The GIFT program is simple. There is no cost to attend a Arizona NWTA (New Warrior Training Adventure). Upon completion of the weekend, each man is asked to support the next man on the next NWTA. The support is based on what the man got out of the weekend and what he can give.

There have been three GIFT weekends in Arizona in 2006 and 2007. The next one is in April.

The GIFT committee is working to tweek and adjust the program a little more every weekend, to make it as successful as possible. The committee was formed prior to the January weekend on Mt. Lemmon, and we are very pleased with the results. Coming into our second GIFT weekend as a committee we are planning on another success!

This program is NOT just for the council and the GIFT committee, but for the Arizona community as a whole. We all need to be supporters of the program as we talk about the weekend and enroll the men in our lives. It will take the commitment of all of us to see this program grow into something that is sustainable.

I was thinking this morning as I was driving to the grocery store, what would happen if every man in our community gave just $10 a month to the GIFT program. I know I spend far more than $10 a month on needless stuff! Imagine how many men could be paid for with something so small... It's about thinking out of the box. It's about commitment to this work. It's about creating a world of men living in mission. Imagine... WOW!

I invite any man in the community or elsewhere to get involved in the GIFT program. There are many ways you can help! It's exciting, and it's building momentum! We have already been contacted by several centers to find out how we're doing it, and I've heard buzz from a few others. Change is happening!

In Service, Roger Webb

5.14.2007

Four Quick NWTA Questions -- 2; Agustin Gurule

Number 2 in a series of New Warrior Training Adventure interviews of men in the ManKind Project.

I am posting these interviews to show how men experience the New Warrior Training Adventure.

Thank you, Agustin!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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Four Quick NWTA Questions

When and where was your NWTA?

March 2002, Camp Krem in Northern California

What motivated you to attend the NWTA?

While working on a men's retreat planning committee I witnessed a man on the committee who is a New Warrior. I admired his insight and demeanor. I wanted that for myself. I asked him where he got that. He invited me to the next NWTA.

If a man asked you why he should attend, what would you tell him?

You should attend if you want to transform your life to be the man you have always wanted to be. Attend if you want to take personal control of your own life NOW IN THE MOMENT instead of living based on your childhood coping mechanisms. Attend to experience what it is like to actually feel all your emotions.

What keeps you in the ManKind Project?

I keep attending my weekly meeting with my circle of other New Warriors because they mirror for me what I must do on a week to week basis if I am to be fully conscious, full awake in my life.

I keep volunteering to staff NWTAs because of the sheer joy I get out of my own personal growth and the transformation that I see in the men attending each NWTA.

I am a blessing to other men as they bless me. That is why I stay.

5.08.2007

The Skeptic Returns

It is with great joy and honor that I publish this piece, today.

A man contacted me yesterday using the new meebo chat feature to tell me he has returned from his New Warrior Training Adventure.

He tells me of his gratitude for my blog and how his world has changed. So, I ask him if he would share this with you. He says yes and here it is.

Another man steps into the world of change and possibility. Are you the next man?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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By Keef Roberts; King Lion; May 2007; Camp Monroe, Greater Carolinas Center

I'm harsh and cold by nature. Very cat-like. And I'm salty (you, gentle reader, have been politely warned). I will not take garbage from anyone, unless I deserve it, and they can prove that I deserve it. I'm the one that happily risks home and security for a principle, rightly or wrongly. You mean I get the short end of the stick with the job and the compensation? Right. I'm out. Find another joker, I'm not your man, you don't deserve my sweat, you can't pay me enough to put up with that crap.

Please do not confuse this, gentle reader, with "my way or the highway." I actually really dislike people like that -- and that *is* a righteous hatred. I am rigid, but I will happily change my view if you can account for it. Otherwise, if you're not accountable, get the hell out of my face. And I have found our society never to be accountable.

Of course it comes as no surprise with that attitude that I'm perhaps the ultimate skeptic. I was invited to join MKP, so I read up on them, devouring any information that I could find, because, as with many groups, there is controversy outside of it, that I'm sure people considering the journey are aware of, if they're not thinking the same things themselves on their own. I'd read them all and regarded all information with the utmost suspicion, which I held as a virtue. I did not even sign up for the training until the very last moment possible, out of sheer suspicion.

Speaking in grand, sweeping generalizations, a dangerous game if there ever was one, I distrust all media and all marketing as biased, with an underlying "agenda" for lack of a better word. I truly believe down to my toenails that it is a rare thing (if not impossible) that any information regarding any product or organization is 100% accurate -- simply factual, without a capitalist aim – due to the connotations of the language required to disseminate the information. I am hard, snobby, and jaded in the extreme. Politically I might be far to the left of Noam Chomsky! I grow so frustrated at what I see as a lying, thieving, insane culture that I would drop out of it without blinking, if I thought it were possible. But the purest soul in that sense that I can think of is none other than Ted Kaczynski -- the Unabomber. I believe his saga is a perfect example of what happens when one attempts to drop out of society altogether and not to accept the paradox it is in at least some form or fashion. The isolation gets worse, and then one gets into some really bad shit.

Yet there's a hunger to make things better in my life, and in the lives of others who live in sync with me. My ideal world might not be yours, but there is room for a win-win situation (I hate to use the word compromise, because it implies the only solution is for opposing sides to both lose something, which often can be avoided). It's simply a given that we're going to fight a little bit about making it happen.

As I read and attempted to make a decision I thought, well, there's me, the pro men's group claptrap, and the anti men's group claptrap. Two of those are deceptive, if not three. I definitely qualify -- that's a given as well – I'm ignorant, so any snap judgment I make is going to be biased. So which one is closest to truthful? My decision to attend was largely based on sheer distrust of both sides, thinking, well, I will have to experience it to make an intelligent decision whether this will work for me ultimately.

Is the verdict still out? Does my harsh generalization apply to MKP? We're off to an unbelievable start and I'm still drunk with joy that I attended, but I will have to wait through several months of post initiation work before I can answer that question with ultimate honesty, completely unhampered by personal desire or sentiment -- and I may never get there. I know which way I want it to go but I'm wise enough not to steer it. But I welcome the work involved in finding out the answer, and from the looks of things I already know it today. You'll note, by the way, that there are no plans to stop the journey.

So what got me to attend, holding such a pessimistic, despairing view of society, and not being likely to discard it? There were two basic ideas that got me to say yes.

First, I realize that one cannot receive without giving. If you do not push the boulder, it will not roll down the hill, as it were. If you do nothing, nothing will happen. Void begets void, but action begets reaction.

Second, Tom Waits once wrote about traveling that the pleasure was in the chase and not the apprehension. Or more succinctly, when on a journey, treasure that you're building your memory bank – don't waste valuable energy moaning that they don't make the tea properly, or the food is too spicy or bland for your taste. Keep it interesting by keeping it changing – relax and enjoy the ride.

Having what I needed to say yes, I gave it a fair chance. So I cheerfully stepped into the unknown, knowing that I would be challenged and it would not always be comfortable. It is healthy to do so with the bullshit detector firmly in place. It helps me to hone it even better than it is now, and to seek truth wherever I may find it.

I jumped in, with both feet, to find unbelievable joy and happiness. Know the outcome was there all along. It is important. Without the start of my journey, I'd still be looking for that outcome today.

One of the joys was finding out that my view was welcomed and discussed rather than covered up. It was debated, not fought with marketing, considered a valid argument, and no one bombarded me with well-rehearsed rhetoric. There was no sales pitch. No one gave me "what I wanted to hear", or attempted to pacify my view in any fashion. Instead, we engaged in a true argument (in the diplomatic sense), one in which all parties could learn and take something from. This was *impressive* to say the least. My skepticism is harsh, unflinching, and extremely cold. Yet it is welcomed as a manifestation of one facet of human experience, and I got the message that it is not a negative trait of my personality – it actually helps me to be a better man in the long run provided I know how to use the energy with accountability.

So I'm hopeful that you, dear reader, have some background to understanding the power I've experienced from MKP. It is from the heart, pure sentiment, pure soul, staring down the face of my own neuroses. I seek truth. And truth is to be shared freely, never sold. Sounds like so much rhetoric doesn't it? It's not. Words fail me, gentle reader, in describing the rewards. Those will have to do.

Chris Squire of the rock group Yes once wrote a song that said "hear me when I say to you it's really down to your heart; it's the beginning of a new love inside – could be an ever opening flower ... Now without a trace of doubt I feel it in every hour." I've never seen truer words. While I still remain healthily skeptical, I can honestly say this is the direction I'm pointed in, and I'm drunk with happiness. More, please. All conciliation is indeed possible.

5.03.2007

Reuters News and Their Choices

When I went through my New Warrior Training Adventure, back in October 1999, my life changed dramatically. One of the changes was that I learned to fearlessly speak my piece when it was time to. This is one of those times. I don't very often comment on the outside world (mostly I keep it about me), but today I need to step up for something that just makes no sense to me.

An article was posted today on Reuters.com about a South African man who was kidnapped at gunpoint, forced to take the perpetrators to his home, was stripped of his clothes and super-glued to the seat of an exercise bicycle (along with his hands, feet, and mouth!) while his house was robbed. The man remained on the bike for three hours until help came!

Now, this saddens me to no end. Why do men torture and terrorize each other like this; to anyone?

What really got me though is the incredible insensitivity and shamelessness of Reuters' choice to use a photo to accompany the news piece that shows dozens of naked bicyclists cycling in Madrid.

Are you kidding me here? Can Reuters step any further into the abyss of poor choices. Reuters makes the case for truly lacking any clear vision of compassion and respectful journalism being the norm these days. Somewhere at Reuters a person sat and thought that that picture was the right one to go with this painful story.

I have tried to find a way to contact Reuters, but that is proving difficult. I will keep trying. I found the form to send my comment.

In the meantime, what do you say you step up when you need to.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf