We started Social Interest Groups at The Good Men Project because we believe the world has a need for deeper, more intimate conversations with actual humans. So we have weekly phone calls, and build small communities, and talk about all of the critical issues we talk about on The Good Men Project about the changing roles of men in the 21st century.
One of the groups we have is “Re-Building America, By the People, For the People.” It’s designed to transcend politics, transcend labels, transcend stereotypical cultural roles and norms—and look to what we can build together.
As part of that group, we are asking a simple question. Does it have to be me against you? What do you think?
You can comment below, or email [email protected] and we will add your paragraph to the post below. 200 words or less please.
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Here are what some of the participants had to say on the subject:
Daniel Tyler Pohnke, Group Leader:
1. I spent many years in my relationship battling against my own wife, basically, just to be right! Sometimes I would catch myself taking sides on something I didn’t even believe in just so that I could have an argument and fight to be right. It was only when I decided to let go of the emotional attachment to being right that I began to actually enjoy a mindful debate. I truly believe the disabling separation that wreaks havoc on our society is due to the fact that we have not been trained in healthy debate practices. We will never all agree on everything, but when we can agree to disagree and stop taking our differences personally, we can co-create a society that respects and honors personal beliefs and, in turn, at a core level, we will all co-exist peacefully.
2. It is always you against me when I am not at peace, completely rooted in security in my own beliefs. I lash, prove and undermine your every thought in some sort of vengeful stance against my own insecurity. For me, To know deep peace is to know our own truth, to know who we are and what we stand for. I believe that when we are rooted in that depth of self-understanding, the fighting for position turns into the immense power of curiosity.
As a nation of immigrants of all colors and persuasions, we have encouraged our diversity and cultures as it adds to the richness of our shared experience. Since January 20, 2017, our county’s leadership is failing to protect the rights and freedoms of the American people in favor of corporations. For the corporate giants to retain control of our government, they must stop the American people from unifying. So, they fund shell not-for-profit groups which keep racism, bigotry, and misogyny alive to keep me against you. If we, the American people, are to get our country back — government for and by the people. you and me must become us.
Every day I see “me against you” conversations happening. Does it have to be me against you?
Do I have to be a Christian or a Democrat or a man or a woman? I just want to believe what I believe and live in peace. I want my kids to go out and play with other kids and experience the diversity my community can offer. I want my wife or partner to be able to go down the street without fear that people are going to judge her because she wears a “Peace Symbol” on her lapel.
For me—very rarely is there an us against them. My only caveat is that you believe in “first do no harm”—not to me, not to other people. That is my boundary. But beyond that…there is no quality of humanness that would put you into a “them” category. No race, religion, political affiliation, age, gender, income level, physical attribute or anything else I can think of. You simply have to come to the table believing in human rights and liberty and justice for all. And do no harm.
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