Every Man’s Journey

Every Man's Journey

From 12-35 young men are told to climb the ladder of success and pursue work, family, career, and success. They embark on a heroic journey of doing to achieve their destiny. Somewhere in the middle of life, typically in a man’s forties or fifties, he faces a crisis of limitations. This is often called a “Mid-Life Crisis”. He climbed the ladder of success only to find that the ladder was leaning up against the wrong building (or no building at all). By this time, most men have experienced some pain: loss of a loved one, a broken marriage, career changes, job loss, addiction, death of a parent or the premature death of a child or friend, or some health problem. The Heroic virtues of his youth don’t work anymore. He has reached his limitations.

Some men’s egos make them immune from feeling the pain of their own limitations and they continue on blindly seeking more power, more prestige, and more possessions. They become one dimensional, shallow materialistic people. We call them “OLD FOOLS”.

Some men take a second path where they feel the pain of their limitations, but they never come to terms with it. Rather than transform the pain with honesty and humility into “sacred wounds” of change, they transmit the pain to others. They continue to look for someone to blame. They remain negative, critical, and unhappy people. We call them “EMBITTERED FOOLS”.

The third path men can take when confronted with their limitations (and often their own finality) is to embark on a Wisdom Journey. We call these men “WISE MEN”. They transform their pain by surrendering. They undergo a spiritual transformation. They stop trying to ascend the ladder. They drop out of the rat race. They enter a “Being” stage where they enter a spiritual sphere whey they embrace others and their story. This spiritual transformation often involves a “time in the wilderness” where we go through a dark place and emerge into the light. Wise Men take what they learn on their Wisdom Journey and give it back by mentoring younger men. Wise Men have realized that its not about “My Story” (subjective, personal, worldly) Nor is it about “Our Story”(traditions, community, country), but it is about “The Story” (a role greater than ourselves, interdependence with others, our world, and God). Some Wise Men learn a lot on their wisdom journey but internalize it all and never share it through mentoring younger men, we call them “HOLY FOOLS”.