What is Community?
There is not enough focus on building community for men within the Black and Brown communities. There is often a negative connotation of men building relationships with one another. The relationships we create with other men are often involve emotional, verbal and physical (outside of aggression or competition)”distancing”. If we want to build stronger communities, we have to start with the people who live within those communities. We are fathers, partners, brothers, sons, friends, etc, expected to fulfill various roles within our families and communities without much consideration for our growth and well-being.
According to Merriam Webster dictionary community is:
The Come Up for Men
I wrote The Come Up for Men as a tool to help men become better people and better leaders. We, fathers, partners, brothers, sons, friends, etc, are an integral part of our communities. As such, we are aware that our communities are experiencing an increase in broken families and decrease in leadership in all aspects, from homes to schools and from neighborhoods to governments, we have to encourage one another to fulfill the roles necessary to help strengthen our communities. An important part of this, which is covered in the book, is building relationships. Not only is it important to have a network, it’s more important to make sure you choose the right people for your network. They must be honest, like-minded and have your best interests at heart to say the least. No man is an island. We have to work together to succeed.
I personally have benefited from a strong network of intelligent, thoughtful, resilient men who care enough to help others become better. They are unafraid to tell me when I am wrong and it’s not always pleasant but I am eternally grateful for it. I am who I am in part because of what I have learned regarding business and life from this network. I’m fortunate to be able to bring these lessons and experiences to other men in my book. It is my hope that the book, at the very least, creates dialog between men. The goal is for men to use the book for the tool that it is. As this tool and these discussions spread and men begin building community for men that will empower them to be the men they desire to be, we will see greater results in ourselves, families and community.
Building Community for Men
Building community for men is an important topic because I often see the stigma attached to men building relationships with men. If men remain distanced from male relationships, they will not learn how to care for other men. If they do not care about someone enough to tell them when they’re wrong or encourage them to do better, then there will be no change within our communities. There’s only so much women can do for us. If it is considered difficult for a woman to raise a man, then why do we expect them to take the place of male relationships?
It’s possible that I’m in the minority regarding thing concept but I’m not alone. Grant Wallace wrote a post about it over at The Good Men Project. He discusses how the lack of community for men contributes to depression in men. It results in isolation and eventually failure. They say your net worth is your network for a reason. We cannot do it all alone. We cannot grow alone and not every one has ill intent. Usually men can relate to men’s struggles and wins, more than women can. No disrespect intended. It’s no different than women having networks of women who can usually relate to their struggles and wins more than men can. I find aside from work, fraternities, sports and