Wanted: Wise Men

On March 22, 2018, Donald Trump sent the following tweet:

“Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”

It received 241,000 likes. Donald Trump is 72 years old.

My heart goes out to children growing up in a world where these words can be expressed by the most powerful man on earth. I am particularly saddened for boys – who need positive male role models more than ever.

Many strong women have risen up in the past few decades and done so much to change society. Girls have so many role models of wise, courageous women who are trying to make the world a better place.

Who can boys look to?

We need wise men, not men who still act like children.

Becoming wise takes a lifetime, but it’s never too late to start your training.

We need fathers, grandfathers, male teachers, male coaches and all men to take up the task of becoming wise.

  • Do the inner work. Deal with your unresolved pain. Men have lots of it.
  • Get to know who you really are apart from the roles you play.
  • Move beyond your own personal goals (money, status, possessions) to work for larger social goals.
  • Ask the big questions, and then look for answers.
  • Spend time with your children and discuss things that really matter.
  • Spend time with your partner and discuss things that really matter.
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
  • Allow yourself to be compassionate.
  • Allow yourself to be nurturing.

Boys are watching you. Yes, and girls are watching you too. They both need you.  

We are living in the age of the bully. Until we have more wise men, until we re-define what masculinity is, until we re-define what strength means, the bullying will continue.

In the meantime, my advice to kids:

  • Find someone wise you can look up to and model yourself after.
  • Put a shield over your heart. Do not let the darkness in. Better days are coming.

The great American poet, Maya Angelou, gave this advice to her son:

“The best advice I’ve ever given — I hope — is that which I gave to my son when he was growing up. He said, ‘I don’t have any friends. How can I get some friends?’… I told him two things. I told him, ‘In order to get a friend, you have to be a friend…’ And also I told him, ‘There’s a place in you that you must keep inviolate. You must keep it pristine, clean, so that nobody has the right to curse you or treat you badly. Nobody. No mother, father, no wife, no husband, nobody.’”

For too long, women have carried the role of nurturer alone. We are entering an age when both genders will be permitted a broader range of behaviour. Women will be allowed to be strong, and men will be allowed to be loving and kind.