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It’s Time For A New Conversation With Men

Written by: Michael Taylor, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

As the war in Ukraine continues to escalate and innocent people are being senselessly killed daily, now is the time to come up with solutions that could eliminate violence around the globe. On the surface, it may appear there are no real solutions. Since the beginning of time, there have always been wars. There have been wars over women, wars over oil, wars over land, and of course one of the greatest sources of war, which is organized religion.

If you study the origins of war, there is one common denominator in every single one of them. That common denominator is men. Throughout history, men have always been the greatest perpetrators of war. This isn’t to say that women aren’t responsible for starting wars, but you can rest assured the overwhelming majority of wars have definitely been started by men.


Therefore, if we’re going to create solutions to end wars and other senseless acts of violence, it’s important that we begin by addressing what is the root cause of wars and violence. To fully understand the origins of war we must go back to the days of cavemen.


Try and imagine the daily life of a caveman. During this time, there was no language. Men communicated with pictures and sounds. The caveman had three primary responsibilities. Protect, provide, and procreate. His primary responsibility was to protect himself and his family from the elements. Therefore, he learned how to live in caves to shelter his family from inclement weather. Next, he had to learn to protect himself from wild animals and he learned how to create weapons to ensure he wouldn’t be eaten by sabre tooth tigers or a host of other deadly animals.


Next, he had to learn how to provide for his family. He learned how to hunt for meat, he figured out which plants were safe to eat, and he figured out how to use the skin from animals to provide clothing for him and his family.


Most importantly, he learned how to propagate the species by procreating and having children. These are the 3 P’s that laid the foundation for what it meant to be a man. Protect, Provide, and Procreate.


Once men mastered these 3 P’s, they began to explore their surroundings and ventured further and further away from their caves. As they explored new terrain, they came across other cavemen who may have looked different than they did. Since they looked different, they were perceived as threats and the caveman’s instinct was to protect himself. This is the origin of war.


War is the result of men believing if someone looks different than they do, or holds different beliefs than they do, they are a threat. In order to eliminate war, we must change the minds of men around the globe to embrace the idea that all men are the same and though we may look different and have different beliefs, we are all human beings and belong to one race, which is the human race.


To do this, we must engage men in a new conversation that challenges them to embrace a new paradigm of masculinity. In this new paradigm, men will embrace the fact that the roles of masculinity are changing rapidly for the better, and by embracing these new roles, they will live happier and more rewarding lives.


This does not mean men are the real problem in the world, because the overwhelming majority of men are actually very good men. The problem is, too many of them are trapped in an antiquated paradigm of masculinity and they are unwilling to break free from the antiquated paradigm. A paradigm is simply a rigid way of believing, thinking and behaving, so we must encourage men to challenge what they believe, how they think and how they act like men. To do this, they must be willing to embrace new ways of thinking, believing, and behaving.


To embrace these new roles, it is important to accept that men have been conditioned to believe their three primary roles as a man were to procreate, provide, and protect, but what has been missing is to teach men how to connect. What most men are truly hungry for is the connection, yet the current paradigm of masculinity does not teach them how to do that.


In order for men to learn how to connect, it is important for them to understand there are five illusions of manhood that actually keep them from connecting. Here is the list of these five illusions.

  1. To Be A Man You Must Be Non-emotional And Disconnected

  2. To Be A Man You Must Use Sexual Conquest As A Gauge For Manhood

  3. To Be A Man You Must Have Money and Material Possessions

  4. To Be A Man You Must Have Titles, Positions and Power

  5. To Be A Man You Must Constantly Compete With And Outdo Other Men

These illusions cause the overwhelming majority of pain and suffering in a man’s life. In order for a man to be genuinely happy with his life, he must be willing to wake up from these illusions.


Let’s break them down so you fully understand them and how they negatively impact men’s lives.


1. To Be A Man You Must Be Non-emotional And Disconnected


This is the most harmful and destructive illusion. It perpetuates the illusion that men aren’t supposed to feel. Men have been culturally conditioned to believe that feelings are for women and therefore, from a very early age, boys begin to suppress, repress, and deny their feelings. We’ve all heard things like, “big boys don’t cry, suck it up and be a man, and don’t be a sissy”. It is this repression of emotions that contributes to depression, addictions, loneliness, and senseless acts of violence. It is my contention that men who perpetuate senseless acts of violence are trapped in this illusion and have not learned how to authentically express their emotions. In order for us to remove violence from our world, we must create the space for men to learn how to honestly feel and express their emotions appropriately and in doing so we lay the foundation for removing violence from our world.


2. To Be A Man You Must Use Sexual Conquest As A Gauge For Manhood


From a very young age, young boys are taught that having sex is a way of validating their masculinity. This is driven by the constant barrage of sexual images and messages perpetuated through our media, our culture, and even our families. Marketers have relied on the “sex sells” approach for generations and most young men are constantly attempting to gain notches on their belts to prove they are men as a result of this sex sells mentality. The focus of using sexual conquest as a gauge for manhood is why so many men struggle with intimacy and connection. They are conditioned to believe sex is purely a physical act when in fact it should be an emotional and spiritual act.


3. To Be A Man You Must Have Money and Material Possessions


It’s been said that “he who has the gold makes the rules”, and it is this way of thinking that has promoted the illusion that a man must have money and material possessions in order to be seen as a man and to be happy. As a result of this illusion, too many men attempt to buy love by using lavish gifts and material possessions to express how they feel rather than being able to express themselves without buying “stuff”. Too many men feel inadequate and unlovable if they don’t have money or material possessions.


4. To Be A Man You Must Have Titles, Positions and Power


In our current masculine culture, it is believed that a man who has a PhD is somehow better than a man who has a GED. This is definitely an illusion because your educational background and your titles and labels do not necessarily make you a better man. There is obviously nothing wrong with having titles and labels, but when a man only identifies himself with those labels, he will be unfulfilled and unhappy. Titles and labels will not make you a better man. You do not have to have advanced degrees to have high morals and values.


5. To Be A Man You Must Constantly Compete With And Outdo Other Men


There is an unwritten code that says men are always supposed to compete against each other. This is the origin of the “keeping up with the Jones” mentality. It is this illusion that drives materialism and consumerism and it is the reason some men love to brag about their “stuff” because, in their minds, they are winning the masculine game by having more and better stuff than other men.


If you really stop and think about it, these five illusions are the source of a lot of dysfunctions in the world. Once we get men to wake up from these illusions you can rest assured that a large percentage of all social ills will be eradicated.


In order to end wars, we must be willing to have a new conversation with men and support them in creating a new paradigm of masculinity that allows them to embrace new ways of being and relating to men.


Although most people may not believe this is possible, I believe that it is. So, I’ll leave you with the words from John Lennon, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope one day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”


Coach Michael Taylor


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Michael Taylor, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Coach Michael Taylor is an irrepressible optimist with a passion for the impossible. He is president and CEO of Creation Publishing Group and is the author of 10 books designed to empower men and women to live extraordinary lives. He is the host of 3 podcasts, (A New Conversation With Men, Don't Believe The Hype, and Shatter The Stereotypes) and host 3 television channels on the Roku network.


He was featured in the bestselling book Motivational Speakers America with legendary speakers Les Brown and Brian Tracy. He has won numerous awards for his dynamic speaking style and says being on stage speaking, lights him up and ignites his soul.


When he isn't speaking or writing books, you'll find him hanging out with the love of his life Bedra, who he has been blissfully married for 19 years. His hobbies include going to the movies, listening to old school 70's and 80's soul music, and reading Calvin & Hobbs comics.

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