Welcome to Writer's Workshop Wednesday! This is my way of paying it forward to all the people out there who want to start writing, but don't have their own blogs yet, or who are established writers that are looking to appeal to a different audience. I have also opened this up to those who would like to post anonymously about topics that are too difficult to write about publicly. Each week, I will host one or two posts by different writers.
I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them.
This piece today comes from my good friend, Jon. He's the kind of guy that I can have long drawn out discussions with about anything from parenting to professional sports to faith.
Like so many of the other submissions in this series, his piece is about a childhood that wasn't exactly ideal, musing about how different things might have been and how he intends to make sure his own children don't ever have to face the same struggles later on in their lives.
You can find him here on his blog, or here on his Facebook page Movement 6.
Without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jon.
I often times wonder how it would feel to know that my Father loved me. To know that he ever took joy in who I was, am, or could be. I would love to know what it’s like to have knowledge passed on from my father. To have a healthy inner voice that tells me I can overcome.
I am part of a group of men that would be called "Self-made". We had no one to show us how to set up a quick release system for a hose, how to change the oil in a car or how to build things with our hands. In society today, this "Self-made" image is celebrated like it is an accomplishment. I have heard things like "good for you, look at all you have accomplished on your own", and "Wow, a man who stands on his own two feet, you owe nothing to nobody". Yet I can’t help but constantly feel handicapped. I feel like the self-made man is comparable to a man with one arm, you can do everything a guy with two arms can do, but it just takes longer to figure out how to do it, because your tools and skills are limited in comparison. What I do know is this, I am not alone but I am ready to try and make a change.
I want to share some statistics with you all about fatherlessness. You can add the words "come from a fatherless home" to each of these statistics.
* 71% of all High School dropouts
* 90% of all homeless/runaway children
* 63% of all Youth suicides
* 71% of pregnant teenagers
* 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders
* 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers
* 80% of anger motivated rapist
* 85% of all youth in prison
* 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions
* 32x more likely to runaway
* 20x more likely to have behavioral disorders
* 20x more likely to go to prison
* 9x more likely to drop out of school
* 9x more likely to end up in a state operated institution
* 5x more likely to commit suicide
* 10x more likely to abuse drugs and/or alcohol
* 14x more likely to become rapist
* 73x more likely to be fatally abused
Each and every time I read these numbers, they floor me. You see, Fatherlessness is a cycle that must be stopped. We have a bunch of broken men, raising broken boys, who become broken men, who raise broken boys... and the cycle perpetuates itself over and over. How can we as men, be so selfish? We all need to recognize the broken past we have been party to and in that recognition choose better for our future generations. Too often I see men choosing the victim card. They use their broken past as an excuse to stay broken and to behave like a child.
If you are a man reading this... Go read the stats again. Your decisions are important, and affect so much more than just you. Our decisions as men who have children, ripple out for generations. How I treat my kids today will impact how they treat their kids and then that will repeat with our grandchildren.
Men, the foundation you choose to build today is what your lineage gets to stand upon. Something must change.
This topic is my heart and I ask myself over and over, how can I help fix this massive issue? What can I do as one man to combat fatherlessness? It starts at home. I have tried to be for my wife and my girls what my father was not for me. I want to break that cycle. Beyond that, I want to help other men break that cycle as well. I want to start a movement, a "Whole Man Movement" if you would. This movement will begin small, probably 6-10 Men committed to their families and the wellness of other families, they will have individual skillsets to bring to the table but all will share a deep passion for men acting like men and families being complete. It would have to start out grass roots in the community and then move into the educational and political systems of our country. I am going to attempt to break this movement down into 3 parts for how I believe it will look.
1) The Grassroots Project -A progressive effort consisting of speaking engagements, educational demonstrations, and events which reveal the importance of having healthy relationships and effective mentorship programs to facilitate the healing of the fatherless epidemic. Focal Groups: Universities, Community Organizations, Education Systems, Churches
2) Communicate the Issues - A massive communication forum facilitated by "Project-Z" across the USA, bridging gaps of communication among educational facilities and their workforce along with government representatives and their constituents. Focal Group: Corporate Organizations, Local, Regional, and National Government Agencies/Offices.
3) Events- A crusade of partnerships and social alliances designed to promote social responsibility and its effect on local communities. Focal Areas: Religious, Cultural, Educational, Health, & Community Enriching Initiatives.
The movement must happen, it must effect all of these areas, and it must be something easily accessible and readily available. I am just dumb enough to believe I can change the world, I wonder who will help me.
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