There is very rarely anyone to organize for the organizers. If you are one who facilitates community or feels called to it, you may already know this to be true. I’ve had a few conversations with some wonderful men over the last few days that have made this very clear in my mind.
You see, in an ideal community, led by elders and leaders who have earned their leadership and authority by virtue of their years and their life experience and giving, ceremony and ritual would flow naturally. For a man in my place, a soon to be first-time father, the community of men would naturally be planning an initiation into fatherhood… a blessing rite… or something of the sort. But in this time, if I (or anyone else) want to encourage the ideal, I am the one who has to do the organizing or subtle (or not so subtle) hint, hint, hinting. I’m sure there are others who can share this sentiment. No hard feelings… it just is what it is right now.
We have a long way to go… as a community and society. I am realizing that peer pressure, in a positive way, can be very beneficial and very transformational. In a village society, where we are having rites of passage, ritual, and are led by true elders, the community-push for men to participate fully is natural. But in our current context, men want to do their own thing and worry about their own direct families. We don’t want t o take off work, drive to a remote site, be asked to show up fully, fast, and then sit in the wilderness alone for 24+ hours. What man is going to step out of his comfort zone to do this? Not many. Because it is hard work. So there is a huge chasm between the place and time when peer pressure can be a positive thing and now when a man can just say, “What?!? Are you crazy? I’m staying home.”