I’ve written about this before, but it’s worth repeating.
As a boy and a young man, most of my adult, male role models were staunch supporters of the concept “real men go at it alone!” There were variants that included others like “behind every successful man is a smart woman” or “there’s no ‘I’ in TEAM!” Make no mistake, though, James Bond, Superman, Albert Einstein, Nolan Ryan and thousands of others in every arena were lauded for their singular, heroic accomplishments. The message was – and still is – this comes down to YOU.
This week, three things happened that upend this seriously limited view of manhood (or personhood).
First, my old friend, Laura, came back into our lives and promptly impressed me with two things: her musicianship and her attention to detail. Her musicianship at Paul and Sandi’s Hootenanny was displayed as one of two drummers who know how to keep the beat and keep it in proportion to the other instruments. I’ve seen this done really poorly, but Laura and Ellen are masters at it.
Laura’s second contribution was to identify a glaring mistake on this blog platform. There is no subscription block (other than a pop-up) . This is being corrected due to Laura’s keen eye AND her willingness to bring it to my attention. This is key, especially for girls and women. Speak out and be counted!
Paul, one of the Hoot hosts and our benefactor who allows us to park here, twice gave me gifts this week. The first was to suggest that my new CD, “Create Without Caution”, might be divided up into separate EPs for folks who like ballads, stories or rockers. IMHO, Paul gave sound reason why my diversity might work against me with some listeners. Done!
Paul also played the part of loving referee (not the best word but it’ll do) during a highly contentious discussion between his wife, Sandi, and I. He has an ability to seek out people who are hurting or need support without being a caretaker. Kudos Paul! I’ve witnessed you do that for all of us many times.
(Again, props to Sandi for speaking her mind and heart to a white male like me with strength. I promise to consider her points.)
The last example I’ll offer is that during yesterday’s John Lennon Real Love Project taping, a big team of people supported one another and the students. It was glorious to accept the support of Beth, Joe, Gary, Marty, Ro, Naum, the teachers, administrators and students.
In all of the above examples, I put aside my old model of singular heroism in favor of accepting the support and wisdom of others around me. I’m fortunate to have these people in my life and even more so to allow them to do what they do best – to love.