This month’s issue, Balanced Man and Cultivating Compassion, aims to bring us closer to the men in our lives: their ailments and issues, hopes and fears, celebrations and secrets. We hope to expand the cultural conversation to include more of the personal experiences of our husbands, brothers, fathers and sons.
The recent, critically acclaimed book Remaking Manhood, The Modern Masculinity Movement: Stories from the Front Lines of Change, written by Mark Greene, talks about how men have been raised to disconnect with their vulnerability, leaving them feeling socially isolated and shut off from their emotions. The personal essays in the book describe how this damages the psyches of boys and men and is detrimental to families and communities. Greene’s nonprofit organization, the Good Men Project, gives voice to the modern masculinity movement, which suggests that the archetype of manhood be reconstructed to eradicate notions like “boys don’t cry” and replace them with models of expression and emotional empowerment for men and women alike.
Watching my husband and my friends’ husbands with their kids is a testament to the progress being made. Unlike many fathers and grandfathers in generations past, for whom changing dirty diapers was beyond the pale, in many modern families the guys are just as likely to be cuddling, coddling and coaching their children—in the process smudging out outmoded stereotypes about what’s “natural” to one particular gender.
As usual, Natural Awakenings is on the cutting edge of the conversation, nationally and here in the Philadelphia suburbs. Our feature pieces delve into “new” fatherhood, ways to improve emotional intelligence, and communication strategies for long-lasting relationships by renowned relationship gurus Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks. Our local subject matter experts address massage for decreasing stress and pain, as well as compassionate divorce. We’ll hear also from the “leading men” creating innovations in green pest control and green burial, where compassion for people and planet are the motivating ideals.
With you in Awakening,
Karen G. Meshkov