I’ve been wrestling internally since this past weekend to find solid ground in response to what unfolded in Charlottesville, which has awakened all Americans to the need to stand resolute in the face of the racism that has always lived at the core of our country, that laid the foundation for the American Dream.
I’ve read the eloquent and fierce writing of many, listened to others doing their best to bring some kind of meaningful response to the injustice and cruel hatred. I keep asking myself what ‘new possibility’ could possibly result from this chaos, what gold is asking to emerge from this lead as our populace continues to grow more and more divisive by the day, as our leaders perpetuate values of intolerance and denial in protection of their white privilege?
Seth Godin got at something for me in his daily blog earlier this week when he wrote:
“Your DNA is virtually identical to that of the hordes that accompanied Ghengis Khan, as well as most Cro-Magnon cavemen–pass one on the street and you wouldn’t be able to tell that he’s different from you. The reason you don’t act the way they did is completely the result of culture, not genes. It’s culture that pushes us to level up, to dig deeper, to do things that we might not otherwise do. It’s culture that finds and encourages and pushes people to become better versions of themselves than anyone else expected to find.”
I don’t have answers. I keep trying to ask better questions.
But what I see is that the hate we’re witnessing is largely driven by men. Lost men. Hurting men. Deeply wounded men. I believe we must stand for the possibility of healing and change, never condoning racist behavior and actions, as key to realizing a different culture. The ManKind Project states as its reason for being, “We believe that emotionally mature, powerful, compassionate, and purpose-driven men will help heal some of our society’s deepest wounds. We support the powerful brilliance of men and we are willing to look at, and take full responsibility for, the pain we are also capable of creating – and suffering. We care deeply about men, our families, communities, and the planet.”
As I prepare to help staff for the first time an October weekend workshop offered by the ManKind Project, I’m heartened to remember that we get to create culture every day by our choices, our beliefs, our attitudes, our relationships, our actions. A new culture is aching to be born. We are the midwives.
You can read Seth Godin’s blog, Sloppy Science, in its entirety here.