We live in a time when the chances for heroism are far and few between. The days of the fearless warrior are far behind us, and the prey once hunted is for the most part on the edge of extinction. Frankly, in many places and for many people, just finding a job that sustains your family is nearly impossible. In the absence of purpose and opportunities, alienation and anger predominate. We woke up to that reality this very morning.
After yesterday’s elections in America, the biggest question on my mind is what does it mean, where do we go next and what can I do about it? After a season of insults and ignominy, how do I repurpose my life so that my commitment to a more hopeful and just existence isn’t just a hollow promise?
I do what I always do, find a good fight to be part of and focus on the positive. Today, I’m in Kenya. There are just 9 days to go before World Vasectomy Day. I am struggling to keep my spirit up knowing that my loved ones back home are suffering, but I’m on a path that cannot be halted by others choices. Perhaps you think WVD is just a gimmick or another “world – day,” but in fact, we are honoring the most powerful and compelling way a person can commit to a brighter future.
I tell the men here that making a baby is easy and usually comes with pleasure. Deciding to take control of your fertility, on the other hand, is a hard choice, but one which can be truly heroic. For our entire life, we’ve abdicated our responsibility and let women take charge. When a man chooses a vasectomy, he is saying, “this one, and forever more, is on me.” Sacrificing the capacity to make a new life when so much else about what we control these days is a powerful statement that we honor.
Our event began with a simple premise; that one man by choosing to do what others fear, could make a difference in history, that each of us mattered and that our choices would impact not only our lives and the lives of our children but their children as well. As I work in Kenya where survival for many is both day to day and hand to mouth, you might think that concern for the future, let alone concern for anyone beyond yourself and your family is abstract, but here people are acutely aware of the pragmatics of existence. And they are joining in numbers no one could have predicted.
So, while there are plenty of things men do wrong, on World Vasectomy Day, we embrace what it is we do right. Please join us during the next 9 days, as we call upon men of all ideologies, of all creeds and cultures and countries to commit ourselves to be of service to our children, our families, and our future. Now is the time to step up and be counted.
We can’t do it alone. Join us. Visit our web page, like our Facebook page, connect with us on Twitter, and if you can, please consider supporting our crowdfunding campaign. Share your vasectomy stories, get a vasectomy if the time is right and help us spread the movement as we commit to building sustainable vasectomy programs the world over.
Donate to build a sustainable vasectomy outreach program in Kenya! We’re looking for $35,000. Will you help?
Photos: Sheila Gabeya