The shift away from domination in creating a better human experience.
"I could never reach my father,” the 60 year old lamented. “Well, he hits me and Mom sometimes,” the 8 year old shared. “Why doesn’t he listen?” parents and children complain.
Why do I want to work with boys and men? I think I can make a difference in their lives and the lives of their partners. I listen, empathize, reflect and collaborate on relational solutions. On another level of truth, I am healing the wounds of my own inner child, by providing for your family, what my father would not provide for ours.
For the longer part of our history adult men have regarded themselves as dominant, and acted accordingly— the rulers of the world, the ultimate authorities. In the last 50 years or so, the then-’inferiors’ have challenged that stance. Over time, among many, the dominant/submissive relationship has evolved into a more cooperative enterprise, with power shared between each other rather than held over the other. This change has not been swift nor is it a straight line. It is met with resistance as many institutions and individuals still hold on to the old notion of white male dominance.
In an intimate relationship, partnership, marriage, or family, the power-over premise does not meet the needs of everyone in the relationship. Some invariably feel lessened, disrespected, and abused…essentially ‘less than’. Effective relational skills are rising up into awareness for men, and promise to play a large role in creating a better human experience — one where we are all more likely to fulfill a need for connection between equals — neither dominating nor dominated.