This week on Valentine’s Day, February 14, I will join women and men across the globe as we stand and dance as part of the One Billion Rising event. I will be at Delta College in the morning and then at the Tridge in Midland at 5:30 p.m. to rise up against the global pandemic of violence against women.
But, what happens on February 15? I believe that until men reclaim their manhood and define a useful and productive masculinity, then our mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives will continue to live in fear. So, I propose a Men’s Manifesto to do just that. I hope that men everywhere will read this and sign on to this redefinition of our gender.
I will be Strong, applying my body, my character, and my will to productive pursuits. I will care for my body through exercise and diet; my character through moral commitment; and my will through a proper balance of purposeful action, creative expression, and intentional relaxation.
I will be Wise, using not just my body but my mind to resolve conflicts nonviolently, solve problems creatively, and build upon the world left to me by my fathers.
I will be Responsible, caring for others, especially those in need. I will own my actions and do everything I can so that others do not suffer because of my choices.
I will be Visionary, looking beyond my own immediate needs and gratification. I will strive each day to think beyond that day, toward building something greater in my own life and in the lives of others.
I will be Forceful, working with purpose, but forsaking violence. I will teach my children and mentor for others the power of ethical reasoning, controlled energy, and the proportional application of my abilities to any problem.
I will be Honorable, keeping my word when given and holding others to their commitments. I will live with integrity, obeying the rules of my societies, while living according to my personal moral code.
I will be Passionate, unafraid to show my love openly and in healthy ways. I will work tirelessly, giving my time, energy, and commitment to causes I believe in.
To this end, I vow never:
- To take what is not mine;
- To strike another person in anger;
- To intimidate through the threat of violence; or
- To abuse others through my position, control, or influence