If you like a rose, you pick it; if you love a rose you water it.
by Ed Gurowitz
Last night I attended the Homecoming Celebration for the September NWTA in NorCal. I had staffed on this weekend, and wanted to be there for this completion. We had 12 brothers who just went through in September, one brother who did his weekend in June down south and had not had his celebration and a brother that did it two years ago and had not yet celebrated as well. We had a total of 89 Adults, 9 children and 1 dog in attendance. It was a magical night, with a bunch of the children playing in the center of the circle a couple of them only 1 year old
As I listened to the new brothers and their friends and families share, I was reminded of why I love MKP. Here were 89 people come to honor and appreciate 12 men doing their work. Visitor after visitor – mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and girlfriends stood up to marvel at the transformation of these men after a 48 hour experience. What I heard was what a gift the NWTA was to all of them – men who were happier, more confident, more open, more loving and giving.
As initiated men, we know that the weekend was only the beginning for these men – they are now men who know what it is to “do their work,” to “live in mission,” and to be “one good man along with other good men.” They will join I-Groups, staff, and many will go on to be Leaders, Elders, and Lodge Keepers. They will do trainings such as PIT, Staff trainings, Leadership trainings, etc.
In all of this they will be supported by the almost invisible infrastructure that is MKP USA.
For 30 years MKP USA has supported men in their transformation, their growth, and their work. That’s why I love it. The men of MKP USA and of all the areas give of themselves so other men may heal. Even the small paid staff work for very little pay and the greatest part of membership and other donations go to supporting the programs and the men who participate. Many men who have the means to do so donate considerable sums to MKP USA, some as legacies after they complete their work here on Earth. But there is a way that all of us, no matter how limited our means, can support the work, and that way is membership.
Some years ago I consulted to the Board and the Executive Team of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club has 2.4 million members who pay from $25 to $150 a year in dues to support the Club’s work. Like MKP, the Sierra Club is a membership-based organization, and I’ve rarely if ever met a Sierra Club member who did not, as a matter of course, pay dues at some level. Their dues go to support an infrastructure of staff, publications, and programs that have a major social impact. Sierra Club members belong for what they can give, not what they can get. The Sierra Club has a culture of membership.
I invite you, my brothers, to create that culture in MKP USA. I get an enormous amount from my work in MKP – fellowship, brotherhood, a place to do my work, men who have my back when I need it. If all I did was to consume what I get, that would be like picking a rose, enjoying it for as long as its beauty lasts, and then going back for another until the rosebush was picked clean. When I give of my time, my energy, and yes, my money to MKP, I water the rosebush, tend it with care, and it keeps on growing roses.
How will we create a culture of membership? It starts with being a member – join for what you can afford – I’m not suggesting any sacrifice here. It’s the act of putting your hand up – of saying AHO! I belong. It makes a difference.
Till next time, Aho!
Out with Gratitude,