The ripple effect

June 2, 2010

in From the Chair

Dave Bauerly

My roommate hanged himself on May 6, 1976, just a few hours after he told me “we had to switch to these” as he held up a can of Bud.

He went into his mother’s basement, tied a scarf around his neck, shot up enough heroin to pass out and died.

May, which just ended, is a difficult time for me because of this event. Often when I am attending a New Warrior Training Adventure weekend in April or May, I will tell that story of my roommate.

I ask the men in the circle to look at the men around them. I tell them, “these men have come for you.”

Then I say, “Nobody came for my roommate; nobody was there to support him.”

Telling the story tears at my heart. For years I became very depressed when May rolled around. I had a constant question of “why me? Why did I survive? Why did I get so lucky? How did I dodge so many bullets, figuratively and in reality?”

I can’t remember when, but it finally came to me that “there is no understanding grace.” There is no answer to my question.

But, from that question has come a hunger to live life to its absolute fullest. I have been unbelievably blessed and, when I am at my best, I am living in gratitude for just how fortunate I am.

The work we do, this transformational work we do to help each other find that we are enough — and  find that we can be unbelievably magnificent just as we are — gives me one way to live my life to its fullest.

The past few years the chair of MKPI has been using the theme of initiating a million men. That just did not have any impact on me; it just went hhhhmmm, so what.

Then one day I was thinking that if a million men were to do this transformational work and got a glimpse of the wonderful gifts they have within, think of the ripples.

How many people would the ripples impact? How many children would have a father who is present? How many wives, partners and significant others would see their intimacy deepen and be more powerful?

How many missions of service would ripple out into the world? What would that do to the communities of those million men? Can you see what the possibility of that happening would look like?

Now that hits me. It hits my heart. It brings tears to my eyes.

I want to live to that day. I want to live in that world.

David Bauerly



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The ManKind Project is a global nonprofit [501 (c)(3)] charitable organization that conducts challenging and highly rewarding programs for men at every stage of life. The ManKind Project supports a global network of peer-facilitated men's groups where men mentor men through the passages of their lives. The ManKind Project empowers men to missions of service, supporting men to make a difference in the lives of men, women, and children around the world. We help men through any transition, men at all levels of success, men facing almost any challenge. Our flagship training, described by many as the most powerful men's training available, is the New Warrior Training Adventure. The ManKind Project (MKP) is not affiliated with any religious practice or political party. We strive to be increasingly inclusive and culturally aware.