Trust Honor and Deep Respect—Decisions and Choices

trust honor and respect

What does it mean to trust someone? What is honor and how is it related to deep respect? Is it necessary for them to do what you think is right? What do they need to do to gain that trust and respect?

The answer seems to be that they do not need to do anything. The key to trust is what you do yourself and how you view other people. Your ego can destroy your ability to respect others and can fool you into thinking that you are right and the other person is wrong—therefore untrustworthy.

Continue reading →

Men And Women – The Shifting Dynamic At The Extremes

How do you see what is happening in the world? How do you see it changing? How do you see the shifting dynamic between men and women?

Why do I upset both men and women at the extremes when I write. What am I doing that scares them so much. Why can’t they acknowledge what is really happening in the world and join to make it even better.

Continue reading →

If You Can Keep Your Head – You’ll Be A Man

'If' by Rudyard Kipling is a poem that speaks to the heart of a masculinity that is rare today.

The idea of being a man, today, has been caught up in a gender discussion that is purely political. It was started by the feminist movement to help women stake a claim to equality in a male dominated world.

There is nothing wrong with that discussion, indeed it’s one that is necessary, but it should not dominate all thought and discussion about men, manhood and masculinity.

In the poem Kipling does not talk about men in relation to women, he does not discuss male domination or patriarchy. He does not mention loving a woman. He discusses men in relation to other men. He explores the concept of being a man as opposed to not being a man.

Continue reading →

How To Be A Man – How To Be Present and Focused

How to be a man? Most men don’t think they need to know. Most men just carry on as if everything is OK. Can’t you see how you are losing out?

I am organising an evening event, here in Spain, on ‘Sizzling Relationships’. It’s based on the work I do with men, helping them learn how to be a man. There are lots of women signing up, even though my work is mainly with men. They are having difficulties, however, getting their men to come.

I am also having difficulties getting men to sign up for my course on ‘How To Love A Woman’..

What’s happening? Where are they? Where are the men? Don’t they want to know ‘How To Be A Man’?

Continue reading →

Getting Old? Absolutely Not!

I refuse to get old and expect to become a cantankerous old man.

My parents-in-law are visiting: it’s their first trip to Spain. They have the resigned look of people waiting for life to fade out. They fit in here, in this seaside town full of English ex-pat pensioners wondering what to do with their lives and their money.

I am just a few months away from becoming an official ‘Old Age Pensioner’ (a UK term for the more gentle US term ‘Senior Citizen’) myself. I will be grateful for the State Pension, having paid into it my whole working life, but I don’t feel old. I am the same age as many of the tired people I see in ‘Koi’, my favourite cafe, but I feel as I’m from a different planet.

I am overweight and find hill-walking difficult. I no longer run, perhaps more through laziness. My hair is white and I enjoy more rest than I used to. I need glasses to read but I don’t feel my body failing. I don’t see age sucking me down into its abyss. I don’t think about death or what might have been.

Continue reading →

Bushido Code – The Samurai For Todays Men

bushido code

The Warriors Way was the code the Samurai Warriors lived by.

The Warrior’s Way of strength and rigour amazes and frightens others at the same time. Men feel a desire to follow Bushido Code but the western world seems to work against it. The context, particularly of today’s world, does not seem to allow for its existence.

Continue reading →

Seven Ages Of Man – What Are They Today?

The Seven Ages of Man is one of Shakespeare's most famous speeches. It begins with the famous, "All the worlds a stage".

This conjures up for many of us a fabulous picture of life as an act, where we play our parts behind our masks. This is a potent idea that explains the way people deal with many of the problems they face in life.

I found that almost the whole of the first half of my life I lived behind a mask. Only when I realised what was happening was I able to change. Once I came out from behind the mask I was able to live an authentic empowered life.

The Seven Ages of Man

But back to Shakespeare and his 7 Ages of Man.

The speech lays out his, humourous, view of a man’s life from the cradle to the grave. Is there any modern equivalent of his ages, are they applicable today? Let’s look at his ages and see if we can find equivalents.

Seven Ages of Man 1 – The Infant

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms

Things have clearly not changed here. I remember this from my own two boys.

Seven Ages of Man 2 – The Whining School-Boy

With his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school

Well that was both me and my children, and, I suspect, my father too. If we ever get to school-boys not whining then I think something will be very wrong with our education system!

Seven Ages of Man 3 – The Lover

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress’ eyebrow

I think this has changed a lot. It sounds like sex was either unheard of (yea, right…) of it was kept well hidden. Today lust is far more the issue rather than poetic swooning.

Seven Ages of Man 4 – A Soldier

Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth

A ‘pard’ is a leopard. ‘Seeking the bubble reputation’ probably refers to the soldier’s desire for fame based battle record, even when it means he faces death.

I’m sure we can all recognise this man in Iraq or Afghanistan. The nobility of a soldier has always seemed a little thin to me, it clearly was in Shakespeare’s time as well.

Seven Ages of Man 5 – The Justice

In fair round belly with good capon lin’d, with eyes severe and beard of formal cut, full of wise saws and modern instances

A ‘good capon lin’d’ refers to a castrated cockerel, suggesting his days of being a lover are over. ‘Wise saws and modern instances’ are up to date examples of wise sayings, suggesting a life of experience.

We jump to older wise man who seems to have lost all speed and passion. His wisdom has deprived him, almost, of life.

Seven Ages of Man 6 – The Lean and Slipper’d Pantaloon

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; his youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide for his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound

He is completely defined by status and money. He is at the top of the social order. His fear of death makes him try to defy his age, but we all know the foolishness of men with wigs and face lifts. Certain celebrities jump immediately to mind, Donald Trump, for instance, or even Bill Clinton. These men are dangerous because they have everything to lose.

Seven Ages of Man 7 – Second Childishness

Mere oblivion; sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything

Everything’s gone, he is left as a slobbering old man, deserted by family, dumped in a home. So true of today’s society.

The ages left out? The working man, the father and … What do you think?

To finish let’s look at the whole speech:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”
—As You Like It – Act II Scene VII – William Shakespeare

Be A Man – When I Let Go I Became A Man

The Grand Canyon had always been fascinating to me, the scale, the emptiness, the unexpectedness of it. We sat on the edge amongst the crowds and gazed at the empty space. A great place to be a man?

The sun was high, the shadows were small, the heat was intense. It was my first time here. After years of seeing pictures here was the reality. I became absorbed in the light, its colour, intensity and movement. Light has been my passion for over forty years. It has been my profession and has been the bridge between the outside world and my inner world. Here I was in front of one of the greatest examples of the dynamism of light and all I had to do was sit and enjoy it.

Continue reading →