Number 151-152 - October-November 2014
In this issue:
Revenge of the Dorks
Mythic Warrior Training
International Men's day
Hot Links: Men's Wisdom Council; Strong Fathers-Strong Families
Revenge of the Dorks
This may come as a shock: To get ahead in your career, marry a dork. Yeah, a dork.
Washington University conducted a five-year study of 5000 married Australians ages 19-83 and showed that having a dorky spouse was connected with job promotions, raises, and job satisfaction.
How does this work?
First, a definition of "dork." The word is usually taken to mean someone who is stupid or inept. But in the study, dorks were described as people who are reliable. They follow the rules and control their impulses. They work hard. They're predictable. In other words, they're the kind of conscientious people you'd want for an employee - and apparently, a spouse.
Conscientious spouses - whether they work outside the home or not - help out at home. They're someone you can lean on, rely on, who will reliably take on chores so that the other spouse doesn't have to do everything. If both spouses work, the dorky one often serves as a role model: their work ethic and good work habits rub off.
Uhh . . . isn't a dorky spouse likely to be kinda dull and unsatisfying in other aspects of a marriage? Apparently having a reliable partner makes for a happier marriage. In fact, that happiness can spill over into job satisfaction.
Besides, there's nothing in the research indicating that dorky partners are unattractive and unsexy.
So if you think you're a dorky type, take heart: as a partner, you're a great catch.
Here's an article with more details: http://tinyurl.com/Marry-a-dork.
Mythic Warrior Training
For two decades, Sparrow Hart has been leading Mythic Warrior, a monthly series of eight weekend events from November to May. Mythic Warrior is based on the cycles of events in the hero's quest - a unifying theme in much of mythology:
Severance from childhood and the familiar stories and wounds we have inherited from family and culture. Men cross over from the familiar into the unknown.
Journey into the unknown and the underworld, the unconscious core beneath the surface of things. Men wrestle with inner dragons, seeking treasure - a gift - to bring back from their journey.
Return to the circle of men and the circle of life. Men discover the sacredness of their masculinity and reenter the world they left with greater purpose and passion, able to bless by sharing their gifts.
The eight-weekend training costs $3000, payable in installments. The first weekend training is November 14-16.
Here is one of the several testimonials on the Mythic Warrior website:
I wanted to thank you for these weekends. My life has been changed greatly for the better. I am a better father, husband and, in general, a better person. I have released some painful memories and opened up pathways for more healing.
I have known Sparrow and his co-facilitator, Blase Provitola, for over fifteen years. Although I've never been able to participate in the Mythic Warrior, I've experienced the passion and compassion and deep wisdom of both men over the years in other retreats and gatherings. They are truly the real deal: men who have walked through the fires and climbed out of the dark abysses of life and who have developed a deep understanding of the challenges men face and the hidden strengths they can discover in themselves. They have the generosity, knowledge, wisdom, and zaniness to create a safe vessel for men's interior journey.
I've also experienced many of the men who have already gone through the Mythic Warrior training. They are as varied as any group of men you'd chance to meet - funny, serious, zany, pompous, warm-hearted, withdrawn, and more. But they all have about them the look and feel of someone who has found an inner strength.
Normally, I do not promote products or services in this space. But Mythic Warrior, despite a name that may conjure up images of cults or national movements (and entreaties for more and more financial commitments), has been a one- or two-man operation all along. It is a modest attempt (but powerful and well-founded in mythology) to give a few men a chance at becoming true to themselves, their families, and their communities.
The website for Mythic Warrior is here: http://tinyurl.com/Mythic-Warrior. Even if you don't think this is for you, it's worth having a look.
I can't begin to say (oops, I just began, didn't I?) how grateful I am to the many inspiring, sober men who have been my role models since I gave up drinking 14 years ago (as of November 8). They, and my loving family and other friends, have provided unstinting encouragement all that time.
At one of the men's gatherings I attended long ago, someone said we weren't alone. Standing in back of us were hundreds of generations of men ready to support us. That's the way I feel as November 8 approaches.
International Men's Day
International Men's Day (IMD) was founded in 1999 by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh from The University of the West Indies at the Families in Action headquarters in Newtown, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. From this modest beginning, IMD has spread to over 60 countries, including the US.
This year's theme for IMD is "Working together for men and boys."
The IMD website (http://www.internationalmensday.com/) has this to say:
Objectives of International Men's Day include a focus on men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them.
The November IMD is a significant date as it interfaces the popular 'Movember' charity event and also with Universal Children's Day on Nov 20 with which IMD forms a 48 hour celebration of men and children respectively, and of the special relationships they share.
The ability to sacrifice your needs on behalf of others is fundamental to manhood, as is honour. Manhood rites of passage the world over recognise the importance of sacrifice in the development of Manhood.
Men make sacrifices everyday in their place of work, in their role as husbands and fathers, for their families, for their friends, for their communities and for their nation. International Men's Day is an opportunity for people everywhere of goodwill to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all.
Even if IMD seems not to have widespread recognition and celebration in the US, I invite you nevertheless to pause on November 19 for a few minutes to honor yourself and all our brothers worldwide and feel a part of men's struggles and victories.
Men's Wisdom Council
It looks like the annual Men's Wisdom Council has been reborn at a new location after a one-year hiatus. This is the first notice I've seen of it; I'll report more later.
For articles on previous Wisdom Councils search for Wisdom Council in the Menletter archive: http://menletter.org/articles.htm.
Strong Fathers-Strong Families
This is a commercial venture aimed at schools, churches, Head Start, and other organizations to create and facilitate events and training involving fathers and their kids.
From the website:
Strong Fathers-Strong Families is a training, technical assistance, and facilitation organization that is focused on strengthening children by strengthening fathers and families.
Strong Fathers-Strong Families plans and facilitates events at the campus, organizational, and community level to bring men together with their children in the presence of other men to discover their true strength as fathers.