When I know Better, I do Better

With the #MeToo phenomenon being ‘Front & Center’…

(& rightly so) I’m hearing a lot of “he Should Have”… known better, done this or not done this, etc – and YES, he should have. Folk with an ounce of common sense (or should I say, ethical common sense) are pretty much in agreement on this – and…, here’s the rub. Many really don’t know better.

I grew up with Han Solo pushing and pressing (verbally & physically) Princess Lea until she finally acquiesced. In essence the message of the time was… she probably will say no until you get her to say yes. This was the entirety of what the concept of consent looked like to me. A yes was required but the ‘how’ of getting it was wide open interpretation and a lot of gray. Fortunately in my case, it was also somehow clear in my mind that violently, sexually attacking someone was rape (that understanding has since been revised). Sadly, anything in between was also part of the ’Game’. These concepts never were challenged in any significant way so they followed me well into adulthood. I imagine the whole philosophy of what “Good Girls’ do or don’t do might have been equally confusing for young woman.

Over the past decade I have been sooo lucky to have been places, been with people and been in circumstances that have fostered (and even forced) self growth/examination. I now have skills and perspectives that I had never possessed. Though I’ve pretty much been a ‘Nice Guy’, I had huge blind spots supported by wrong or skewed information. Nowadays, when I know better, I do better.

For example, I remember a person where there was a mutual chemistry. On occasion when things would head toward intimacy, it became what seemed to be the dance of ‘hard to get’. Though it was frustrating at times, I stayed in integrity which was fed by that very chemistry and the promise of things to come coupled with my newer foundation of inner query. We finally did get together… and it was at her invitation, at her place. I can proudly say this is one of the times I did it ‘right’. It was a sweet and fulfilling time. To my now horror, there were times I didn’t act appropiatly and for that I am truly sorry.

If you’e a man reading this I encourage you to seek out knowing better, and, subsequently doing better. Here’s a few places you might check out:

If you’re a woman reading this, I ask for a just little more grace, especially for the guys just starting to get it dialed in. I realize it takes a herculean effort to grant this request and acknowledge its absolutely not your responsibility… but if you seek out the dudes that are evolving/woke – positive change will snowball because you participated infostering a solution


Make It Personal

Hey, I’m 57 and just beginning to understand some things…

I am not stupid but I am finding that I am ignorant (or at the least unaware) on some rather big issues.

I am learning, because I’m willing to, and more so because…
I am lucky & blessed to have women who have come through my life that dared to share..
…their stories, with their vulnerabilities, their fears and even their judgments. They made it Personal… and because of these amazing woman, I have been given the opportunity explore and challenge myself toward change.

The current ‘me’ pretty much doesn’t fit the ‘in you face’ attributes of the stereotypical white male living under the patriarchal umbrella. I am a very lucky fellow.

Here’s what’s so special and valuable about making things Personal. It gives US the opportunity to relate – because it’s a person, sharing their experience(s), not the relating someone else’s experience or parroting someone else’s words – its so very real. When I hear a catch phrase, a slogan, a rant or some such thing over & over, relatability starts to fall away. I tend to start to numb under the info barrage and the message eventually becomes just words or noise amidst all the clanging of social & mass media.

Given the opportunity to connect with YOUR experience, it can ignite empathy in me. It makes it Personal. If you (a person), talk to me (a person) and don’t automatically lump me in with ‘them’ (men et al or maybe those that hurt you), the conversation becomes more pliable, and with that, receptivity expands.

I remember my first experience of this type of thing with a lovely woman willing to lead the way and to practice this with me. I had just begun my ‘conscious journey’ and was struggling with admiring pretty woman (because I had the idea that spiritual people didn’t do such things). She smiled and said “its ok, its natural and normal. Where guys get into trouble is they camp there (energetically & in action) – don’t do that”

With the ever changing Tribe of Woman I’ve encountered, we’ve covered such volatile topics from rape to abortion and the trials of female puberty. I can tell you that sometimes it was not pretty and never easy but I walked away with better understanding than I ever would have the anger and blame filled words that readily fall from people’s mouths.

I am truly sorry for my role in all the hurt, for the times where I acted out of integrity or ignorance. I hear you… on your (repeated) hurt – really. I acknowledge it’s not your job to fix this or train men… yet making it Personal to another person, could change the world