Grant Williams talks about the organization The ManKind Project, which is part of the mythopoetic men’s movement devoted to maintaining the sacred element of masculinity and building character.
Grant Williams responded to our call for submissions from men over 50. He began by talking about The ManKind Project, an umbrella organization and non-profit originating in the mythopoetic men’s movement. Williams wrote, by way of introduction:
I have been very active as a warrior for over 12 years now. The ManKind Project has been a major part of my development for the past decade. I was active with Boys to Men (a mentoring organization for adolescents), and have been on many humanitarian missions in Africa, Haiti, South America, and at home in the United States.
Characteristic of the mythopoetic men’s movement are storytelling and the renewed relevance of classic archetypes of myth and psychology. New Warrior training adventures are weekend “hero’s journeys” of initiation and self-examination. The New Warrior Network Identity Statement reads:
We are an order of men called to reclaim the sacred masculine for our time through initiation, training, and action in the world.
The MKP Facilitator Manual that Williams sent a page from describes the intention of one organization, New Brothers:
The continuing empowerment of New Brothers to greater integrity, accountability, truth, emotional literacy, and individual mission clarity.
To provide the group with the tools to form a strong container, in which each man considers himself safe to do his personal work.
To provide each man with skills that will serve him in his personal growth, thus helping him to be of greater service in the world.
To fully welcome men into their local Warrior Community, and bless them as their journey continues.
Williams says, “My biggest dream right now is funding The Edge, an organization that helps young people gain greater emotional awareness.” He is the organization’s founder and director.
“It has taken me more than a decade to realize who I am and what I want. It is like something switched on and I just know what to do, say, and decide in order to feel right about my choices. I am a leader now: I have led men many times in circles of trust ranging from kids in middle schools to maximum security prisons. I love this work. It has defined me and I will take my gratitude to the grave.
“My attachment to MKP is not one of unquestioning patriotism. I have had some difficulties with the organization over the years. I don’t think my inner rebel will ever die, and I like that about myself. I will always depend on a part of me that is about my core, about who I have always been as another man/human on a unique path, with or without a men’s organization. However, without MKP I don’t think I would have achieved what I have, so far.”
Williams also wrote about death and aging:
“The other piece I wanted to share is about the changes I feel as a man my age. As stated, I will be 69 in less than two months. My anger issues seem relentless. I meditate a lot and talk about it in my group but the triggers are always ready and even the small things can set me off. I have little patience in some areas. It’s almost like I set myself up as a target. I watch my thoughts more, see the patterns and would be embarrassed to reveal all of those thought patterns. My memory is definitely getting worse. I see that something needs to be done, I go upstairs and then stand there asking myself why I just went upstairs. Addictions are also relentless. For what it is worth, my control is strong.
“I also think a lot about death (did I mention this before?? see what I mean?). I can handle my expiration, it is that I am part of something that we call infinity. My mind cannot grasp that and I feel a dread, a palpable fear that can be unnerving. How can there be no end and no beginning? How can I even contemplate the fact that our sun, compared to the star Arcturus, is like a bb to our moon? It is more staggering than fascinating. I am transfixed with three unanswerable questions…..What is the origin of the human species? Why are we here? What happens when I die? So, I follow my heart, speak out loud my gratitude every day and do my best to stay healthy.
“Incidentally, I am probably in denial of my elderhood. I am too much of a doer, not a be’er. I am uncomfortable in a circle of old farts….and I am one of the older ones. This is probably more than you asked for. Forgive me. It all seems self-indulgent but it is authentic. Be well.”
Photo credit: Flickr / familymwr