"KINDNESS FOR MEN!!"
ON THE COMMON
The natural reaction to a question about kindness for myself is: Of course I am! What could be more obvious? But, this Fall as the Village of Brothers gathers amidst the beauty of Camp Hi Rock, we will ask ourselves: Is that really so?
How used am I really to treating myself with compassion? How used am I to treating other men with kindness? Do I usually expect to receive understanding, warmth, kindness from other men?
There are many signs that say I do not accept myself with kindness. They are not always easy to read. Am I constantly driving myself to feel better, do better, find happiness? That sounds like kindness. But is it really?
Am I so driven to do well there is no time for myself? Do I work endless hours, without feeling truly connected with what I'm doing? How is that kind?
Do other people's needs matter, while mine are the last to be met? Or, maybe I never think of them at all. After all, what do I need?
Above all, do I just naturally assume happiness and feeling good are out there somewhere? ...that special someone out there, that special something out there is finally going to make me feel better about myself!
How about: "I'd really like to join the men on the retreat but I'm just too busy. Next time...maybe."
Then again, would I recognize kindness if I did receive it? Would I know how to feel it?..take it in?..believe it? Can I say I experienced it during my young years so that I truly know what it feels like? Does it inform my relationships now?
By this time, most of us know our OTCG retreats are not about forcing a belief on anyone. The goal for this one is kind experience. If I attend a retreat that centers on the issue of kindness for myself and other men, what in fact is my experience? What are my answers?
Can we come together as "relations" in the Village of Brothers to see how deep our kindness for ourselves as men really is? to experience how well we actually take in kindness extended to us, above all from men? How well does kindness we have within ourselves pour out to other men?...women? ... the earth?
No question is closer to where a man really lives. Each man's answer is important to us all. Please join us.
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