Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finding Manhood - Real Men and Meaningful Conversation

Nice post from a new-to-me blog, Finding Manhood - men seem to have a hard time with meaningful conversation. One of the things that I loved about being in community at the Integral Theory Conference was having meaningful conversations - not just with women, which is how it often is in my life, but also with men. I need more of that in my life. This can be one of the many way men's groups might help us find more and deeper community.

Real Men and Meaningful Conversation

Yesterday, I got together with three other men for lunch. It was the first time all four of us friends had been able to match schedules for a meal and a visit, and I am really glad it worked out. The meal reminded me of the value and importance of developing friendships through conversation with other men.

We were a bit of an unlikely grouping: Each of us four represents a different season of life, a different occupation, a different personality. But we are united by a shared understanding of the value of getting together as men to a.) have a good time b.) talk about meaningful things c.) encourage each other on our journeys as leaders in our workplaces, families, and churches.

As men tend to do, we initiated conversations between and among each other with talk of work. But I was really pleased to hear the conversation take other directions as well. Our discussion ranged from the nature and function of formal vs. informal language (or “registry” if you want to get technical) to the persona taken on by many pulpit preachers. All four of us know each other because we attend (or did attend in one of our cases) the same congregation, so the conversation also turned to the diversity (or lack thereof) among congregations we’re familiar with and then to the purpose and character of worship in those same congregations.

But more significant to me than the topic of our conversation (which was refreshingly meaningful and never turned to sports, something particularly unusual for me) was the tone of it. It really felt like all of us were transparent and engaged. No one was trying to impress anyone or hide anything. The brief nature of the meeting as well as its location (a local deli) meant we were never going to get into serious soul-searching or anything. (But as I said, our interaction was the exact opposite of superficial.) And while men also need to have intimate, deep conversations with other men, the intensity of such conversations dictates that they can’t be held all the time. So it was good for me to participate in a kind of middle-ground conversation, one in which I could be honest and real and truthful but not feel forced to bare my soul at that particular time (which, again, is valuable to do, admittedly).

Read the whole post.

1 comment:

David said...

Thank you for the link, good sir.