At last monthís Wisdom Council a man asked for the Talking Stick, walked with some trepidation to the center of the circle and said, "I have to speak out. There are few men of color here." He continued, "And, after a while, just listening to other menís stories is not enough. What are we doing to take our work, our hearts, our selves out into the community where we can make a difference?"
His words were well spoken. Many men came up to him to thank him for saying what was in their hearts.
When we broke up into small groups, a small group formed to discuss his concerns. Well, not a small group. The largest group in the room. But then we were stuck. What do we actually do to be more inclusive and to go beyond telling our stories over and over again? Nobody had any ideas as to whatís the next step.
By coincidence, Mike Dorsey of the Boston Menís Center called me a couple of days ago. The Center has been moribund. He and a few other men are working hard to revive it. We talked about the need to include people other than middle-aged white men, and the need to expand out "inner work" out into the community. He was impressed with the work that Michael Meade is doing with juvenile gangs.
The image that came to my mind after out pleasant, then disturbing chat was not a pleasant one. Grow - or die. The musings of Shepherd Bliss in an interview in Mentor, our brother publication in Portland haunts me. Is "menís work" dead? Died of its own hand? I donít know if we can find a way to meet the concerns of the brave man who spoke out at the Wisdom Council. But we have to.
Return to Where is Men's Work Going Special Issues page