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?
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.