Like most people I am learning to be still in a world that has become magnificently silent but for the sounds of nature. No more heavy traffic on the not-too-distant highway, no more planes flying overhead at 6 a.m. en-route to the airport. No more cacophonous crowds in the local Westfield Shopping Centre, no more crowded train trips into the city.
And in the silence I am rethinking my life and the way the world chooses to view life.
I am wistful for a life, or rather a way of life, I remember from the past when I lived in harmony with Nature and in peaceful cooperation with others whose primary concern was growth and creative expression. Yes, this was when I lived as a river guardian in the Kingdom of Nature. I have few recollections of this bucolic time other than to say it felt safe and when I see rivers and lakes and brooks dancing over rocks and hear their song of joy, I remember being at peace with the world.
I miss being part of a community that fiercely protected the rights of every living thing, including water and sunlight and those great majestic expressions of well-being, trees, to fully live and partake of Nature’s bounty.
In that idyllic realm the hallmark for health was balance.
Now I am human and forced to live in a world so cock-eyed and skewed with imbalance and injustice I despair of the young and idealistic surviving long enough to create a way of being in harmony with Nature and the wider Universe.
I look for a simple sentence that sums up the insanity and creates a starting point for healing. To date I have believed that the main social issue, the root cause of the world’s insanity and imbalance was misogyny, however, watching the teetering rise of leaders like Trump and Johnson whose misogyny is well-known and tolerated I have come to believe, for now, that perhaps the issue is not hatred of women but rather the way we perceive men.
WHAT MAKES A MAN A MAN?
Last week I had lunch with three women. We discussed these issues and whilst three of us were in agreement one woman defended men’s right to dominate, indeed, she said men were “built” that way.
Are they? Or are men allowed to be that way by women who enable them and a society that intoxicates them with the illusion of superiority?
I pointed out to her that men ceased to hunt centuries ago. Her repost was that men went to war to defend freedom and, my word here, rut national borders.
She countered that with the old trope, “Would you want men to stand by and do nothing if foreign soldiers landed on our doorstep?”
I stopped arguing. What was the point? Right there was centuries of brainwashing encrypted in a few lines of spin.
Men go to war.
Right. Men are trained to love fighting. Men are brought up to believe that dying for your country is a great achievement. Men are taught that only rich men get the best women, the best cars, the best houses, the best lives. Only rich men are entitled to the privilege of an opinion. And God knows they must be listened to and OBEYED.
So, in peacetime, little boys who will grow up to be soldiers, bankers and leaders are built up with the best food, the best education, first rights on everything because at some stage they will have to give up their lives to preserve an indecently-drawn border on land stolen from people who lacked the military skill to fight.
Did it never occur to those ancient, mainly white, settlers to negotiate peace and live in harmony with the existing population?
No. Because men have been taught to dominate.
A man is defined by his willingness to exert his will over territory and family and women and children. A man, a real man, marks his territory by leaving traces of himself everywhere – flags on the moon, boots in the hallway, clothes scattered all over the bedroom for the women to pick up and launder, his scent in every room of the house and his presence in every quarter of the world.
Stephen Schwartz wrote a brilliant lyric in Pocahontas when she addresses the white invader, John Smith, “You think you own whatever land you land on.”
A man dominates. If he fails to dominate he is weak. So says the rudest example of masculinity the world currently has on offer – Donald Trump.
And following a close second – herd immunity says Boris Johnson even after he falls sick and survives due to the care of dedicated doctors and nurses who refuse to dominate.
Who else is utterly heart and soul sick of a world dominated by ego-driven bullies who fail to serve the spiritual and emotional well-being of the community?
In Nature there is balance, cooperation and respect for life. Nature is also ruthless in her determination to sustain the brightest and the best. She will kill to save the planet. But she will NOT destroy. There is a huge difference. And the culling is done on a physical level that does not impact on the spiritual well-being of her guardians.
But back to humanity and the mess we are in.
Humanity is struggling to redefine men and the qualities that serve them best because the age of male domination is over. It has been tried and tested and it has failed. Dominating men do not make the best leaders.
Let me show you another type of man altogether – one who refuses to dominate but instead fosters the weakest and most vulnerable members of society – dying children whom nobody else wants. He does not carry a weapon. He does not impose his will or his religion or his superior strength on those in his care. He gives love and selfless kindness to little children who lack the physical and mental ability to survive in the type of male-dominated world we passively condone and facilitate. He looks after these little angels until they pass mercifully and quickly to a brighter Kingdom.
This man, this wonderful man, makes sure they are not alone.
Tell me which kind of man you prefer – the bombastic bully who dominates or this unassuming saintly man who gives unstintingly with no thought of ownership or reward?
Let us redefine what makes a man a man before it’s too late for humanity.
Aren’t we over these types of men yet?
Do we really want to keep bracketing masculinity in men like this?
And a word to the women who enable this stereotype of manhood.
You are the problem.
You are the ones who validate them.
You are letting yourselves and your daughters down.
This is Nature.
She would never stand for the lionizing of pedophiles or soldiers who destroy her empire.
She would never tolerate a bully who takes more than he gives.
She would not allow the dominance of one gender or one species over another.
She is the exquisite guardian of the forests, groves and rivers.
She works with her brothers to protect the citizens of Nature. She is LIFE.