Friday, 26 November 2010

Good Man Profiles - Year 7's insights

In this week's Good Man series, we are asking what are the characteristics of a good man.

Today we tap the insights of some Year 7 boys from a school in Ballarat. At a Time & Space event last month, these young blokes were asked if someone had given them the space to 'step up' or they had taken an opportunity to step up and show their capabilities, their maturity and show that they are on their way to becoming a fine young man. There are some great examples here...

When my dad had an injury and I said I would do the mowing for him. And now it's a regular thing.

Yes because I'm good at moving the sheep on the motorbike.

When ____ first let me use the 'Whipper Snipper'.

Last year I stepped up to helping my friend when he was not really happy.

There's a palpable pride in these boys' comments. At the evening, the boys really understood that concept... they had an intuition about moments in their life when they 'stepped up'. When young people are invited to be generous, fill a gap when they are genuinely needed, the foundations of adulthood are made stronger.

In the next post, you'll see how the dads and mentors have noticed the acts of kindness in their boys that show the characteristics that will help them become fine young men. Did you have a moment where you where invited to step up?

Feel free to write your thoughts below.

Bill Jennings

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Good Man Profiles # 2 and 3

Here are two more short, sharp insights about good men in the view of a couple of dads from Ballarat.

My Brother, (name withheld), honoured and loved his wife and showed real integrity watching her die for five years.

When my son-in-law came to me telling me he wanted to marry my eldest daughter.

A couple more examples of a good man thanks to the fellas from Ballarat. Unstinting and loving sacrifice in the first instance and a bit of old fashioned honour in the latter.

Next post, we'll tap the wisdom from the Year 7 boys (13 year olds - their ideas of who/what makes someone a good man). But don't forget... you are welcome to offer your own opinion in the space below.

What do you think make up the characteristics of a good man? Who is a good man you know and why is he is a good man?

Bill Jennings

Monday, 22 November 2010

Good Man Profile # 1

This week I'm passing on the insights of some Year 7 boys (about 13 years old) and their dads (or mentors) from a school in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

In the last blog post, the question was raised, 'What are the characteristics of a good man?'

Here's what one dad wrote...

I remember as a small boy my family travelling in the car & my dad stopping to help a drunk woman on the footpath. It spoke to my heart deeply & I have never forgotten the impact in regards to loving those in need.

What are the characteristics of a good man? Or, who is a good man that you know and why is he a good man?

You are welcome to write your thoughts in the space below. Give your answer. Share your story.

Bill Jennings

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Copping a good question

I copped a real poser recently - a great question that has seeped into my mind and heart. It went something like this...

What are the characteristics of a good man?

I was asked this during a phone interview for The Mercury in Tasmania.

So many questions shoot off from this. Can't the same characteristics be those of a good woman? How is it possible to be definitive?

I remember running a panicky inner dialogue something along these lines, "Oh no, that's a tough one... c'mon Bill you're the parent-child program guy... you should know the answer... all your work started in the father-son area... she's trying to write some good news about the two boys' schools you work for in Tassie... c'mon Bill, say something profound and expert-y'.

My recollection is suggesting something about how a good man can regulate his anger. A lot of blokes push all of their emotions through the funnel of anger because paradoxically, anger feels 'safe' - it is standard 'bloke' mode.... and just because your blogger runs parent-child programs, doesn't mean he doesn't go 'off-tap' on occasions. C'mon - I've got two teenage kids!

I think I might have said something about the man, who is a dad, giving his kids time... not even quality time, just time.

That'll do I thought. In one sense, the answer given captured the two things I have to say (at this stage) to parents...

1. No one is perfect.
2. Half the battle is 'being there'.

But many men are not parents. So the question... 'what are the characteristics of a good man?', has stayed with me.

The thought has occurred that many would have their own answer to this question. So this week, I'll be blogging a fraction more than usual. The journalist asked a fine question. I suspect that my own answer will always be incomplete but I'll give you what I've got after the next few posts. The next posts will present the answers some others have offered - some men and some Year 7 boys who wrote their thoughts on this theme at a recent Time & Space program in Ballarat.

And feel free to offer your own answer here in the space below - 'What are the characteristics of a good man?'

Bill Jennings

Friday, 5 November 2010

A Selfless Act

Bumped into a former colleague yesterday - top person. She had just received some bad news that she had missed out on a promotion. Tough when that happens - vulnerability is exposed. In the time I was chatting with her, someone else came up and said, 'bad luck'.

You probably recall a similar experience. You put yourself out there, experienced disappointment and everyone wants to commiserate with you. They're being kind. You know that. All you want to do though, is crawl under the nearest rock.

I remembered that her Aussie Rules team won the premiership this year. Asking if she managed to get a ticket, she said she did have one but she passed it up. From little girl and now as a young woman, she had always gone to footy with her dad.

"One ticket doesn't get you two seats... I decided to watch the game with my dad on the TV."

That is kindness. I do believe the universe looks after us - something even better should come her way soon.

Thanks for taking the Time & Space to read this.

Bill Jennings