In western society we determined a long time ago that in order for us all to get along together in community, we need to focus on getting ourselves right and from that place, authentic co-operation (reciprocity) can emerge. Growing up requires us to fully experience and understand various lessons, which in terms of getting along with others are

  1. Dependence
  2. Independence
  3. Inter-dependence

Dependence: Boy

The first is when we are Boys, Dependent on everyone in our community. We must, because we do not have the knowledge or resources to do otherwise. Being well cared for enables us to understand what it means to care for others, it also give us the sense of safety, which – if not created excessively by overbearing parents – can embolden us as we step into the next stage of development.

Independence: Man

That is what I call the Man stage, where we need to learn the lesson of Independence from the community we were once dependent on. We necessarily become self-centred at this point. Narcissism is – afterall – a normal stage of development. We start to see the world as our playground as we learn about how to enforce our Will in the world. This – though – inevitably teaches us the limitations of such behaviour. Most priminently, being a lack of deep fulfillment and meaning.

Inter-dependence: Patriarch

It is then – if thoroughly educated in these lessons – that we start to turn our minds toward Inter-dependence – the lesson of the Patriarch. Here we learn to balance our own desires with the needs of others. We are able then to become good parents, capable of caring for others, but also not becoming such a slave to others that we aren’t able to bring our unique gifts into the world. We can lead in our community, because we have found a balance and can be trusted to make deicions that are in everyone interests (to the best of our ability).

Wout Vanacker on Unsplash

The current state of our Western community

It’s a shame that there aren’t many genuine Patriarchs in the world. There are however many Boys and Men in adult bodies giving men and masculinity a bad name. I’m not just speaking of the guys who are committing clearly criminal acts. There’s also all of those men in seemingly legitimate offices, with power, do not behave as good leaders. These juveniles need older (maturity wise), wiser men to keep them in line. That’s one of the key aims of Purpose In Action. To create those Patriarchs.

Do you know where you are in your development toward this ideal for all men? If you want to, please head over and watch the video I’ve made about our Map to Personal Sovereignty.