Albert Einstein said, “Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”
Einstein acknowledged his failures as a husband and as a father in moments of candour in his private letters. To his credit this is more than most men will admit to. Thoreau was right to say, “most men lead lives of quiet desperation”.
I would argue that most men desire change but encounter a challenge to find either the motivation or the opportunity.
The goal for the team at Dads4Kids is to provide both the motivation and the opportunity. As I have said before, “I love men”. I know it sounds a bit weird, but I genuinely mean it. I can see the goodness in a lot of men, more than they can see it themselves. My job is to call that goodness out of them for their own good and the greater good.
Every week, when you read this newsletter, every picture and every article is speaking to the real man inside of you and calling you forth to greatness as a father and as a husband.
I guarantee if you read this newsletter every week and try to put some thing small into practice you will be changed.
True masculine change comes when men are challenged as men ‘to grow the hell up’ as Jordan Peterson is wont to say. Most men are still boys in men’s bodies. Life is all about me, myself and I. That’s what a boy thinks anyway until he is initiated into manhood.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Again, Jordan Peterson puts it very well, “Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous . . . Thus emboldened, you will embark on the voyage of your life, let your light so shine, so to speak, on the heavenly hill and pursue your rightful destiny. Then the meaning of your life may be sufficient to keep the corrupting influence of mortal despair at bay. Then you may be able to accept the terrible burden of the world and find joy.”
The Men’s Leadership Summit is another place where Dads4Kids provides both the motivation and the opportunity. It constantly surprises me how much change occurs in men through attending and being part of a Men’s Leadership Summit.
A friend of our family, let’s call her Jean, after suffering for over a decade in an abusive relationship with a man addicted to porn had remarried. Jean’s new husband was, in my mind, a fine upstanding man and attended last year’s Men’s Leadership Summit.
Jean pulled me aside a few weeks after last year’s Men’s Leadership Summit and asked, “What have you done to my husband?” I found the question quite concerning, particularly in the light of the devastation of her first marriage.
I was greatly relieved to hear that her already good husband had just gotten a whole lot better by attending the Men’s Leadership Summit. To my query she replied, “David is more considerate of me. He is taking responsibility for his young teenage son. David is disciplining him more and yet David is giving him more time and attention, something he was craving and yet David could not see it. All I can say is that David is a different man since he went to the Men’s Leadership Summit.”
The strange thing is that he was never told to change. The Men’s Leadership Summit merely provided the motivation and the opportunity.
I heard another story of masculine transformation about a young man who also attended last year’s Summit, so I rang his wife to get the full picture.
Mary, a young mum, was lost for words. Matthew had gone to the Men’s Leadership summit as a brash, self-centred-at-times, angry young man (boy) and had come home a less self-centred man whose whole mission in life was to care for her and their children. She felt validated; however it all came about because her husband was validated in the presence of other men at the Men’s Leadership Summit. I repeat, he was validated, not denigrated.
Sadly, we live in a world that de-validates men. The hate for the male of the species is almost visceral, hence the term ‘toxic masculinity’. Continuing hate and derogation do affect men, as men also suffer their own shame from the fall. Adam has a lot to answer for.
All men long to hear those words said by every Jewish father at his Bar Mitzvah celebration in front of his father, friends and family: “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, listen to him.”
Just as the team at Dads4Kids provides the motivation and opportunity for masculine transformation for men as fathers, so we must provide those same moments for our sons, no matter what their age.
We have been able to acquire ten extra places, in the last few days, for our booked-out Men’s Leadership Summit, 9-11 August 2019. This is good news for ten Australian men.
Maybe you are not coming, but would you pass this message on to someone who needs the motivation and the opportunity for Masculine Transformation. Please be quick as these remaining places will disappear fast.
With your help, we might not only change a life, but change a family and put a smile on a lot of children’s faces.
Yours for our sons