Social media has become for me what 24-hour cable television first brought to us in the 1980s: a choice between non-stop bad news and mindless diversions. Politics aside, the fear of nuclear war in the 1980s felt real, exacerbated by the airing of the movie The Day After. My son was two years old at that time. I related all too well to the mother in the movie cleaning her young radiation-affected child. I turned off my television. For good.
Still, that scene cannot be erased from my mind’s eye. The same is true for the photos shared on social media depicting abuses of power against animals, women, people of color, and children near and far, as well as photos of war-torn regions of this real world. But unlike a fear-based movie, perhaps I should not unsee the realities of greed, hate, and supremacy of this world. Perhaps I should be part of the solution.
As it was with television in the 1980s, I’ve been struggling emotionally with having my eyes open to the current events that seem evil. Sometimes I feel as if my eyes are being held open with toothpicks—something my stepfather joked he would do to keep me awake during Creature Features when I was a child. To this day, I close my eyes at the scary part of any movie.
But to close my eyes to the atrocities and turn my head is no longer an option for me as it was when I turned off the television and subsequently refused to have a TV in my home. Then, I was raising a toddler and was already suffering lingering postpartum depression. Now, I am an empty-nester as emotionally healthy as a sensitive empath can be in this violent world. As a mature woman with life experience, diverse friends continually remind me not to turn my gaze from the truth, not with their verbal requests but with their social shares.
As the adage goes, “If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem.” Ignoring the problem does not make it go away. I am reminded to “Be the change you want to see in the world!” It’s so hard not to become overwhelmed. It’s harder to recover from overwhelm. I seem to remember from entrepreneurial training a couple years ago that there is hope in overcoming overwhelm when we do one thing: Do what we can. When I am strong enough to keep my eyes open and acknowledge the badness, I focus on what I can do.
When I was a young adult, I served on committees for social justice, community centers, and public schools. I volunteered whenever I could make a difference. Sometimes I joined a coordinated effort. Sometimes I led a small-scale initiative; my son and I took lunch bags to the entrance of Chicago’s tunnels where hundred of homeless lived. That was what I could do then. I made a difference in a small but not insignificant manner.
What can I do now to stop the pain and suffering, to affect positive change in this world? I can use my voice through the written word: I am a contributor to The Good Men Project. Today, I make a difference from the comfort and relative safety of my own living room.
I started as a GMP reader, just like you. A mentor encouraged me to contribute my own story about fatherlessness and the end of my relationship. I became an active Premium Member of the GMP community and frequently participated in the weekly calls with the publisher. During those calls, we discuss how to be part of the solution, both in our immediate circle of influence and via the platform that is Good Men Project Media. My mind came up with a list of friends and acquaintance who were thought leaders, educators, and social justice activists—people with a message worth reading. I knew that if I became an editor, I could help them get their voice published on GMP.
I eagerly completed my Rising Stars training with Lisa Hickey, the Publisher of The Good Men Project. I was ready to be a new GMP editor, eager to lift and empower others by publishing their stories—just as you can.
Some of the stories I have edited that make me know I am in the right place include one on drunk driving, one on a common but overlooked mental illness, and another on a mother’s honest look at her contribution to her adult son’s behaviors. I’ve had the pleasure of editing posts on gun control, #BlackLivesMatter and LGBTQ issues, the importance of voting, and plenty on the subjects of relationships and self-esteem. These stories have already touched thousands of readers; if each story helps one person, my effort is worthwhile.
What if you were to join us; what future authors could you encourage and empower to reach our 3 million readers every month? What essays can you prompt others to write that will impact social change in this troubled world? As an editor, creating writing prompts and Calls for Submissions means you can invite material on topics that are of particular interest to you.
Here are some of my Calls for Submissions:
- Human Trafficking
- The Language of Fatherless Scenarios
- Plastic Bags
- How can Good Parents Effectively Reduce Fatherlessness?
- Coping with Chronic Pain
The Good Men Project is different from most media companies. We are a “participatory media company”—which means we don’t just have content you read and share and comment on but it means we have multiple ways you can actively be a part of the conversation. As you become a deeper part of the conversation (Which really is “The Conversation No One Else is Having), you will learn all of the ways we support our Writer’s Community—community FB groups, weekly conference calls, classes in writing, editing platform building and more.
While there are opportunities to monetize this gig, don’t think of it as a job; you are not going to pay the rent on what you earn as an editor for GMP. Instead, think of it as a business opportunity. This business opportunity requires an investment of your time and energy, not money. It is compatible with your social justice volunteer work and with your entrepreneurial work as a writer, editor, publisher, or consultant-coach. If you would like to give serious consideration to joining our editorial team, please begin your research below.
Here are more ways to become a part of The Good Men Project community:
Request to join our private Facebook Group for Writers—it’s like our virtual newsroom where you connect with editors and other writers about issues and ideas.
Click here to become a Premium Member of The Good Men Project Community. Have access to these benefits:
- Get access to an exclusive “Members Only” Group on Facebook
- View the website with no ads
- Get free access to classes, workshops, and exclusive events
- Be invited to an exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” with other Premium Members 4) Free commenting badge, listing on our Friends page, and more.
Are you stuck on what to write? Sign up for our Writing Prompts emails, you’ll get ideas directly from our editors every Monday and Thursday. If you already have a final draft, then click below to send your post through our submission system.
If you have not previously contributed to The Good Men Project, please feel free to request me, Lisa M. Blacker as your preferred editor. If you are already working with an editor at GMP, be sure to name that person.
Join our exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” — where community members are encouraged to discuss the issues of the week, get story ideas, meet other members and get known for their ideas? To get the call-in information, either join as a member or wait until you get a post published with us. Here are some examples of what we talk about on the calls.
Want to learn practical skills about how to be a better Writer, Editor or Platform Builder? Want to be a Rising Star in Media? Want to learn how to Create Social Change? We have classes in all of those areas. Classes are included free of charge with our $20 a year Gold Membership.
However you engage with The Good Men Project—you can help lead this conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Join us!