We do not honor other men. Not nearly enough. You have to be a sports star, a business mogul, or a war hero to be celebrated in our culture.
What about the “little things,” though, that are so important?
When was the last time you honored a man? When have you sought out a man to tell him what impact he had on you? I don’t do it often enough, but occasionally I really get it right.
A few years ago, my old teacher Ron Kurtz came to mind. Back in the mid 1970s, just after Ron published his first book, he started teaching students. I was lucky to be in his first class. He changed me as a man, and seeded my entire life personally and professionally. He taught me about how our bodies and emotions are connected. He taught me mindfulness before it was hot. He taught me that I was OK. I wanted him to know how much he had helped me before he passed away, so I emailed him my appreciation two years ago. Last summer, he had a sudden heart attack and died. I was just in time.
My last words to my father were my words of love and honor. We were both in tears. I never said it as directly as I did kneeling at his feet as he sat in his chair dying of pancreatic cancer. I made him hear it. I learned my non-expression of emotions from him, but I wanted him to see that his fear of speaking love was not going to hold me back. I knew he felt bad that he never spoke of his deep love to us kids–but he felt worse that we had learned to live those same strategies. My last gift to him was this one time I could break the family contract to not speak.
Why do we hold on to such a precious gift so tightly? You think we were giving away our fortune when we are just giving away our love.
So, if you want to change your life, give. Give your appreciation to another man with as little expectation as possible. Be as direct and as personal as possible. Be specific with what that man gave to you or did for you.
Lay it at his feet, and then step back. Breathe. Let both of you take it in… and let go of any expectations. You have no idea how he will react. There’s no “right” way. But his reaction is not important for you. For you, the act of giving, the expression of that love, is what’s important.
I am willing to bet if you do this regularly you will see a change in your life. You certainly will see others honoring you.
I created a short video to further inspire and guide.
Do it. Then encourage a friend to do it. Spread the honor and appreciation. We all could use some in this recession.
Let me know how it goes.