Journey to Manhood
From the Headmaster’s Desk
We were very fortunate to have Craig Wilkinson at College to address the boys at assembly last Friday. Craig is an inspirational speaker, best-selling author and social entrepreneur. He has written two books on fatherhood: the best-selling “DAD – How to be the father your children need” and “It’s a DAD! – Every man’s guide to pregnancy, birth and becoming a father”. His recent booklet on Gender Based Violence (GBV) with a foreword by Dr Mamphela Ramphele, forms the basis of the award winning #NOEXCUSE programme. In it he examines the reasons why GBV is happening on such a large scale and what we need to do to stop it.
Craig founded and runs ‘Father A Nation’ (FAN), an NPO that restores and equips men to be great fathers. He believes if we can restore men and fathers we can heal the world. He has also done a number of workshops on the theme of toxic masculinity which is of course extremely relevant.
Craig’s address focussed on the following:
There’s something in a man, there’s something in every boy’s heart – the desire for three things: a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to pursue. The battle does not have to be a physical battle but it has to be something.
On the journey to manhood you will meet some obstacles along the way. Masculinity is a beautiful gift that you have been given to use well to serve society. We all believe it. How do we use this gift?
A . What are some of the obstacles?
- One of the obstacles that you are going to face as a young guy growing up is this line that says that you are not enough. A crucial message – true masculinity knows that I am enough and I do not have to prove myself.
- Peer pressure. It is a terrible thing. Psychologists say there is a stage in your life between 13 and 19 where being accepted by your mates and your peers is actually more important to you than life itself.
- The message that you have to be tough and cannot be vulnerable. Society tells us you have to be tough and you cannot express vulnerability as it is a sign of weakness. Vulnerability is not weakness – the ability to share with somebody, and it does not have to be everyone, that I am going through a really tough time and really struggling right now – that can be a lifesaver.
- Do I have what it takes to be a man? Do I have what it takes to be everything that the world wants me to be? Do I have what it takes to be a man number one and please show me how to be a man? You need a good male role model and mentor. Seek one out!
- False messages – media pressure sex, power, money and ‘boys do not cry’.
B. What does manhood and masculinity look like?
- A true man has a True North – a man has a sense of his value system. He knows what he stands for. I stand for this and if something comes along to pull me of my course I am not going do that.
- He uses his strength well . ‘What do I do with that strength?’ How you use that strength determines what kind of man you will become.
- Men are conquerors. They don’t conquer and overcome other men. They don’t conquer and overcome women. They conquer and overcome themselves.
- True masculinity treats women very well. A true man treats a woman with tremendous respect.
- Finding your masculinity is about being authentic. You see every one of us is a very unique individual and quite different.
- Know that you are enough
- Establish the right habits now: physically, mentally, spiritually and relationally
- Be a good mentor to somebody else
- Be real
- Be vulnerable
- Make the world a better place