“You Should Meet Someone!”

This Saturday, the team and I invited men ages 16+ to attend the second annual Mastering Manhood Conference. The purpose of the Mastering Manhood Conference is to empower for personal and professional development. We seek to inspire and encourage men to embrace community, responsibility, education, family, and legacy. To challenge and strengthen our men and young men to be leaders. What does that mean?  We believe reclaiming the individual’s ideal of his manhood will redefine his community. At the intersection of reclaiming masculinity and redefining community, you’ll find a man walking a journey to a healthier version of himself.42591497_10214755145865230_1062392463114633216_o.jpg

In this day and age, we see many terms thrown around to define certain things. We’re not interested in aligning with those buzzwords. What we want to see is for men to be, who they are meant to be at the innermost of their core.  Too many times, that is lost through life a person’s experiences, i.e. absent father, broken relationships, chasing success, etc.  Through these experiences, the man loses his purpose. And, a man without a purpose is a danger to himself and society. We desire to change it.

The “Art of the Comeback” was this year’s theme for the conference. I don’t think anyone left away disappointed. The speakers and men in attendance were in one accord on this day.  And, it was a tremendous time of inspiration, reflection, connection, and compassion.  Words not, often, associated with men.  It is, however, what we aimed for when we thought about creating this event.  It has become an exciting and safe space for men to be men without their masks. Vulnerable! Hungry! Passionate for change!

How, exactly, did this event come into existence. It started with a follow through on “You should meet someone!” and a challenge to “Dream Big” after two different meetings. Those two statements uttered two years ago, set the stage for three friends to take on the task of designing the Mastering Manhood Conference. As we followed the recommendation to meeting someone, we came face to face with our own vulnerabilities, hunger, and passion for change.  Totally in alignment with the vision, we stumbled upon an actualization of our purpose as you can see in the picture below. This young man flew from the Midwest to Texas to participate in the conference. Unsure of what to expect, he arrived with an open heart. He left filled, and ready to accept the challenge of “meeting someone” and finding his own purpose.

Photo credit Big Sarge

Mastering Manhood

As of late, there’s been much talk about masculinity and what it means to be a man.  Considering all of the negative statistics related to behaviors from men, it is wise for our society to think about the impact of masculinity. With focus and intention, masculinity on display is a very constructive force to be reckoned with.  For instance, a husband loving his spouse as she battles through a terminal illness.  Although he’s been pushed to the limits of his emotions, he continues to love her unconditionally.  His love births in us a desire to be more loving to our own family.  When left unchecked, it is as destructive as a wildfire on a windy day.  His tongue is uncontrollable, and everyone is tip toeing around the house to avoid setting off a ticking time bomb.  Let’s flee as fast as we can from being like the last father, and flock to becoming more like the husband.

man in black crew neck shirt taking selfie
Photo by Arvind shakya on Pexels.com

Walking this journey to becoming a man is a long, arduous process.  Becoming a man is  full of up’s and down’s.  It’s littered with contradictions as to who he really is and who the society wants him to be.  Constantly striving to reach the pinnacle of manhood, men of all ages are navigating the idea of what it means to be a man.  Can one really Master Manhood?  What does that really mean?  If you go to Mastering Manhood, you’ll get a glimpse.

My friends (Joshua Banks and Isaac Rowe) decided that we needed to do something in our city to build up our men.  As you may recall in my first post  (Can You Hear Me?), Frederick Douglass suggested that “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”  However, it doesn’t mean that we don’t try!  We went well past try, and DID THE THING in the form of a conference.  We feel wholeheartedly; in order to redefine community, we must reclaim masculinity.  It’s our desire to empower and inspire men to embrace community, responsibility, family, education, and legacy.  A man, who isn’t willing to tackle those five areas in his life, is doomed to crack on the pressure.  The Mastering Manhood Conference is designed to bring men together to play an active role in their personal and professional development.  When we focus and create a powerful intention, we heal ourselves and those connected to us.  Now, that’s what it means to be a man!