from MKP USA Chairman, Julien Devereux
As part of the new elected leadership team at MKP USA I have been reflecting on how we as men project different attributes onto leaders and unintentionally limit the term leadership to only certain roles in the Project or the larger Society. This is part and parcel of the old command and control model that leadership belongs to a few people with the knowledge and power to make decisions, allocate resources, change structure or apply consequences, in short, those with power over others.
I would like to expand our notion of leadership to what I believe we are moving towards as a society, a model that allows for diverse voices, cultural experiences and perspectives. John Heron uses the term “abdicating our spiritual authority” to mean the ways in which we don’t own our own power and project onto those in traditional power roles the role of perpetrator or more positively, those in charge. This conveniently lets me off the hook in making my own decisions about my own life and purpose.
A big part of our work of initiating men is to help each man who attends an NWTA or other training understand how much power he has over his own situation and his life’s purpose and to encourage … no … insist, that he take responsibility for what he wants and to ask for it – even if he doesn’t get it.
Each of us has had his own journey on this path with varying degrees of success and failure but what we all share is the trajectory of our common Hero’s Journey that begins on our NWTA weekend and continues throughout our lives. What we share in circles is the quality of the fight, what works, what doesn’t, our terror and our joy. What we also share is the understanding that I am “The Leader” in my own life regardless of my circumstances as lived by the men we mention in our Context Presentation – Nelson Mandela, Harvey Milk, and Martin Luther King. I can assert my truth in a way that will make a difference. When I do that, other men see me as the kind of leader that they want in their own life.
For a few years now I have had several men who went on an NWTA tell me that they went because they knew me but I had never invited them. They said, “I went because of who you are and how you live your life.” The men who live “the change that they want to see in the world” are the good men that I am looking for to lead MKP USA into the next phase of our growth and development. I think the time is now for The Mankind Project to begin to lead others into difficult and controversial issues that are limiting all of us from fulfilling our purpose.
One issue we should address that harms all of us is violence, in all its forms, towards self (suicide, addiction), towards other men (crime, racism, homophobia), towards family members (domestic violence, child abuse), towards random strangers (war, public shootings), and economic violence, (poverty, homelessness). It harms all of us with a sickness of fear that all terrorists who are against a free society encourage and applaud. Men are the only ones who can stop male violence and they can’t use violence to stop it. Our statements against Racism & Oppression, Abuse, Reparative Therapy, and other statements to come are speaking our truth but living our truth will be more difficult.
So I am challenging all of us initiated men to find our authentic truth and purpose so that we can take action to manifest our vision in the world. The world is in great need of men who live on purpose in an authentic way. The world needs New Warriors to take a stand against the very things that some of us have been guilty of in our lives. It is much easier to be an angry, hostile, violent and bitter man than it is to have the courage instead to be a kind, compassionate, loving and free man that we all admire and strive to be.