The biggest idea I was introduced to during the Men’s Research Weekend in Copenhagen last weekend was actually something I had been expriencing in my everyday life: the idea of a global brotherhood.
As a Managing Director of my own small business, I am fortunate to work with men from many different countries and cultural groups, and I get many chances to meet my conditioned beliefs and interpretations of men and culture. At many occasions, I have been talking to coworkers, and they have been saying things like “OK, Brother, we’ll meet at the address, see you tomorrow.” As an employer, I am very sensitive for grooming from the co-workers, and of course, this was going on in some cases. But, at one particular time I did ask one of the men what he meant by calling me “brother” and his reply was kind and compassionate, but I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time. He said, “I am a man, you are a man, and because of that you are my brother, it is as simple as that. We are both men and we need to help and support each other, as men, as brothers.” I thought this was a great philosophy about manhood and how to be a man among men in the world, not dividing men because of various belongings: all of us men belong in the circle of men, in the global brotherhood.
At the Men’s Research Weekend I had the privilege to meet, play and work with a wide diversity of men, from different backgrounds, with different opinions, with a variety of ideas about what it means to be a man in today’s society. What struck me the most was the openness towards, and profound respect for, the opinions and views of the other men in the room.
In many countries in Western society, the idea of a strong brotherhood is limited to extreme circumstances where the protective function of brotherhood is necessary for the survival of the individual. Some examples are the military and criminal gangs. As I have been doing research on men’s issues and gathering mental health resources for men for a couple of years now, I have come to be more and more convinced about the importance of informal mental health resources in our everyday life for the promoting of men’s mental health on a global scale.
As we use the idea of a global brotherhood in our lives and see all other men as our brothers we immediately receive three key benefits:
1. We park the exhausting, always ongoing competition with other men. This parking has two significant advantages; first, it makes the opportunity of co-operation and co-creation available and second, it relaxes the body and the nerves system as we no longer have to be on guard towards other men all times. Other men are no longer the threat they used to be; our brothers now become a resource in our life, a resource for nurturing, intimacy and support.
2. We become more caring neighbors, co-workers, and more active participants in the lives of our brothers in our larger personal circles. It doesn’t cost that much to ask how someone is doing and be ready to sit with the deeper story if there is one at the moment. To see, meet, confirm and support is not that difficult and the social and health benefits are huge.
3. We increase the diversity of your network of brothers; we get a broader and more nuanced understanding of what it means to be a man to different men with different personalities and the diversity of gender expressions.
We let go of the constant competition, we can initiate co-creation, we develop a caring attitude, and we open up our larger circle to diversity. We can now take a deep breath, relax our shoulders a bit and let them fall in the presence of other men, we now have access to the possibility to reach out to any other man. We are more available to other men, physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. This condition is increasing the quality of our life and the quality in the lives of the men around us. This is some of the inpiration I got from the Men’s Research Weekend and I encourage you to try the practise of a global Brotherhood for yourself. Welcome to share any new thought or insights at mensmovement.com
David Pilbäck - Founder of the Men's Movement Community
David is the founder of Mensmovement.com. David is a public speaker on mental health, traditional masculinity and corporate culture. He is an author with the forthcoming book "Follow your fear" about his upbringing as the little brother in a family struggling with the mothers psychosis. In 2014 he decided to follow his vision and create a men's mental health on-line community. The aim is to bridge the gap between men working with the improvement their mental health and all practitioners, NGO:s, and service providers in the mental health business. He is humbled by the reception of his work and has the conviction that there is major changes in contemporary culture about masculinity, mental health and self-care. One of his biggest wishes right now is for this site to be of service to people searching for the mental health help they need. Feel free to drop David a line, feed-back about the site, questions about partnership. Perhaps you are a content provider of some sort. You may also reach him at david [a] mensmovement.com
Website : https://mensmovement.com