It’s difficult to think of a time when men and masculinity have been under more scrutiny. In his role as senior editor of the Good Men Project, Mark Greene is confronted on a daily basis with the complex challenges facing men today. He’s convinced that the problems begin from birth when boys are conditioned to lose touch with their emotions.
Culturally, we need to let go of this idea that emotional expression is a sign of weakness, or in case of men, that it’s a sign of being feminine. It is not. It’s a super power. It’s our capacity to connect and operate in the world, and to create trust and connection and meaning.
He also blames an epidemic of isolation which our culture has forced upon us and says that men in particular suffer from a lack of real connection with friends.
If we begin to form connection and communication….If my son can pick these skills up when he’s 12 …he’s got the ability to begin connecting, self regulating, forming community, self empowering….. he won’t fall prey to peer pressure…..all of these capacities will give him the ability to feel like he has a place in the world and he has a community that he can be in connection with.
He also says that we’ve lost the art of truly listening to each other with an open heart and mind. He encourages both men and women to practice changing their listening habits.
If you set your mind to listening with the expectation that you’ll be surprised and that you’ll learn something, you pull more threads of the conversation than you would if you were listening with a reinforcement of what you already think.
Listen here to Mark Greene’s thoughts on Remaking Manhood.