I am always scouring the Web for articles that echo my experience in the ManKind Project. Today's post is an article reprint from the Northfield News.
Changing the world, one man at a time
From Northfield News of Northfield, MN; 1/1/2008
By John Owens; Guest Columnist
A Cherokee grandfather, teaching tribal ways and philosophies of life to his grandson, spoke, "A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false-pride, superiority and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith." Looking straight into his grandson's eyes, the old man continued: "This same fight is going on inside you and every person in the world." His grandson, thinking about this phenomenon for a moment, asked his wise old grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The Cherokee grandfather replied, "The one you feed."
In this day and age, many see a great confusion of our values and purpose. I call this the "Age of Gotcha!" It is a time where men are living in their heads, not their hearts, a time where getting ahead and staying ahead, accumulating 'stuff," seems to be our purpose in life. And everywhere we see evidence that males are not doing well: drugged in youth for ADHD, repressed in our emotions, worked excessively, addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex or something else, sent to war and physically or mentally traumatized (or killed), jailed for crimes or mistreated in a thousand ways. Men as a whole are not doing well. We die younger and in poorer health than women. Many of our boys look at what it takes to be a man in today's society and want no part of it. This is not true for every male. But take a look around, and you are likely to see boys and men that are deeply disconnected from their emotions and from their authentic selves.
When you come to the ManZone event this Feb. 1 at the Community Bank, you are likely to be greeted by a New Warrior, a man who has had the opportunity to see clearly the two wolves inside himself and who has made a decision to feed the good wolf. New Warriors are members of the Mankind Project, an international order of men, some 35,000 men strong, who are dedicated to reclaiming the sacred masculine for our time, through initiation, training and by living personal missions of service to others through action in the world. New Warriors have each experienced the Weekend, also known as the New Warrior Training Adventure, or NWTA. The NWTA is an intense inward journey that, for nearly all men who have experienced it, is a life-changing (and life-giving for many) weekend journey. The NWTA weekend provides an amazingly safe "container" where a man can consciously look at the essence of what it is for him to be a man in this world, what is working for him and what is working against him. Through deep exploration, each man creates his personal Mission of Service, and ongoing support though small groups, called Integration Groups, gives him the encouragement and support he needs to live his mission more fully each day. Northfield has two such groups, also known as I-Groups, meeting on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.
So when that man approaches you on Friday, Feb. 1 at the ManZone Event, take a moment to look into his eyes and see what is there. Is it the "gotcha!" look of a man in his head, trying to sell you something, or is that look of a man who has touched his heart, his core, and offers you a solid, authentic connection from that place of being? Men, are you looking for something more real, more authentic in your life? Are you still looking for something you can passionately dedicate yourself to? Are you looking for relationships inside and outside your family that are trusting, healthy and close? Do you want to live a life of integrity, connection to feeling and connection to community? Mankind Project is changing the world, one man at a time. We are non-denominational, non-religious, non-sectarian. All beliefs and non-beliefs are welcome, as we sometimes say.
If you are interested in visiting one of our weekly Circles of men, contact John Owens or Mark Mueller-Dahl to make arrangements to welcome you without a sales pitch or obligation.
-John Owens is a member of the Mankind Project.