Building a… Thunder
Megan Jo Wilson, my dear friend, professional colleague, and sister-from-another-mister, has created a group of like-minded peeps she calls her “Army of Light.”
If you know Megan Jo, you also know she’s an author, a rock star, and a creative force of nature. And a wildly fun human being to break bread and hang out with.
Today, though, I’m taking a cue from Megan Jo and her army.
Because, in all honesty, I want to create an army, too.
As an appreciator of all-things dragonish, I think I’m leaning toward “thunder”, the term for a group of dragons coined by Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle.
A thunder of dragons. Works for me!
A thunder of men. Conscious, integrated adult men.
And true to a couple of Megan Jo’s book titles, as I tapped out the previous line, my oh-so-helpful ego jumped in (without even asking!) with one of its greatest hits questions: “Just who the @#!% do you think you are to have that kind of vision?”
It – my ego – also wants me to toss Paolini’s word away because I didn’t think of it first and it’s too loud. Like it thinks “army” is more subtle?
Thanks for sharing. Very helpful. Not.
Thing is, this vision of a thunder of men has been rattling around my head and heart for years.
I see the impact my work has on the men who’ve been through it. It’s not small.
Hell, I can see a day when men who’ve been though my programs are in positions of organizational and governmental leadership. When I let myself go there, which I do quite often, I imagine a few of “my” grads on the floors of the Senate and House. Just one thing they’ve done is reawakened the lost art of genuine, curious, adult dialogue.
They make it a point to look at the interconnectedness and interdependence of people and their environments. They’re also committed to being responsible beyond the narrow limitations of their bases and parties.
They know that the thunder needn’t be loud. After all, voices grounded in adulthood are rarely, if ever, the loudest or fastest in the room. Grounded in awareness and wisdom, they don’t need to be.
Truth is, I – and yeah, thunders of others – ache for the emergence of these kinds of men in positions of leadership.
I’m not the first to point out that the old models of manhood have run their course and left behind messes both literal and figurative.
Going back to what didn’t work in the first place, back to what got us right where we are now, is no more useful than rewinding a video. The action and ending won’t change an iota.
How’s creating this thunder of men going to happen?
I don’t yet know.
Yes, I have strong opinions that, in the face of the warped adolescent and childish behaviors regularly out there on display, tapping into states of conscious adulthood is badly needed. It’s a key piece of a large, complex puzzle.
I also know I won’t create a thunder by trying to pull it off as an off-off Broadway, secret one-man show.
I suppose, then, that this public admission is a bit of pre-thunder. A rumble over the horizon, mayhaps?
There’s one more thing that takes me back to Megan Jo and her Army of Light. I don’t have the slightest concern that her ego is driving anything she’s up to. There’s plenty of boldness, willingness, intention, and heaps of vulnerability. But no ego.
When I look at what she’s created, I feel enthusiasm, admiration, and buckets of inspiration.
This thunder of integrated, adult men can become a real thing.
And thanks for the language, Christopher!