If there weren’t already enough reasons to shift how we show up as men, Steven Chong in his article speaks about how a father’s absence increases the risk of poverty and crime.
The principle cause of poverty in the U.S. is absent fathers. Fathers in households build the self-esteem of children, pulling them out of the cycle of poverty. However, non-resident responsible fathers can do the same.
The direct work of organizations like the Fatherhood Educational Institute and indirect work on this issue with such organizations as the ManKind Project is shifting this. We are teaching each other how to be men and fathers even if we didn’t have role models. When you think about it, this is a huge task. It would be like building a house when you had never built nor seen a house being built. You are learning on the job. We are all learning on the job.
My heart goes out to the thousands of men who are teaching themselves and other men how to be men and fathers. There is no one way. In fact, one of the things we are discovering is that we need to learn to be men and teach boys as a community. The days of men going it alone are dead. Be it the social Internet or be it that we are at the end of the epoch of the old masculinity – we are changing.
We need more fathers…we need more men to show up. We need to shift how we raise boys so they grow to be the fathers we need. We need to be the men who can teach these boys. One group that does this is Boys to Men.
How are you different than your father? How are you the same?