This is an image of a man in command of his life, fully vested (having the rights to) and invested (contributed effort) completely in it. He’s become a remarkable man, living a notable life because of it. He didn’t start that way. Few of us do, but years back he took agency of his life and sought to seek and to verify his own truths, find his own way through life and to strive to become the individual he is today. It is truly remarkable due to the sincerity, conviction and conscious determination to do just that. Equally as remarkable, is that he openly shared his experiences, understandings and realizations with others and then brought together so many of us from different ages, passions and places to join him in doing the same (this blog is a direct testament to that).
It’s called leadership when you live by example and then inspire others by words and deed in efforts to support them in achieving their personal potential. It’s what makes Anthony such a valuable friend and mentor, he just doesn’t say what he knows or believes, but lives them. I intentionally created this blog to share my experience, knowledge and awareness of cultural and political context of the sexual market place, because of his influence. A very large and unspoken portion of what personally drives me is to make personal atonement to not only the people I hurt romantically in my past, because I wasn’t the man I wished I could have been and didn’t have the knowledge to voice what I can now, but also to also soothe and reassure my own insecurities, fears and anxieties about the very real risks, dangers and dis-incentives men face when facing committing to relationships in our current environment (and they are quite severe). What I am faced with by his example is a clear understanding of just how jaded, defensive and armored against living life I have become, especially with being trusting, vulnerable and open to real intimacy.
Anthony has in the past and continues even today to lavishly shower me with praise credit for sharing with him, what I knew, understood and believed about life and relationships which help lead him to Marilee and I am deeply touched by that recognition and sentiments. To be fair our relationship is far from one-sided and if anything the pendulum is now clearly swinging the other way. The stated goal and objective of this blog project for me was to “provide a stepping stone for men who desire to shape and author their lives and embrace the responsibilities in having committed relationships. In effect, those wishing to ‘Man Up!’, but doing so with wisdom and honed ability. I hope to be one voice, reaching a thousand lives, that will drive a revolution.” Tomorrow when Anthony and Marilee marry and commit their lives to each other, I will count them as my ‘first’ step towards that thousand, not because I haven’t helped others, or their level of commitment to each other, but because I have witnessed first-hand, thus know it to be true what happens when a man is determined to create the life he desires and in part I know I’ve been some of the steel that’s sharpened that man.
Ultimately what I am struck by is that as individuals we must be prepared for the realities of our world, but also learn to lay down our shields, to put down our spears, to feel the sunshine upon our faces and take our place under the sun, if we are to really live. Look again at the photo above and tell me you don’t see a remarkable man, living a remarkable life, because I sure do. …and he’s showing me by example. Our world needs far fewer Leonidas’ of the Men’s Rights Movement and more Anthony and Marilee’s. What an amazing gift they are giving each other and us as a consequence tomorrow.