The Uncommon Man

November 09, 2006

James Arana: Can you believe it? It is all coming together

Years of planning with anticipation and trusting the energy and direction from the universe have all come together to our being here in this place, in this village, at this crucial time in the development of the relationships in this community in Abakaliki. I am sitting in this quiet place reflecting on our first and second day of the training — a discussion about holding everyone accountable. They continue checking us out (MRI) to evaluate the validity of our work to their community experience. And each time smiling with amazement in its relevance, smiling with appreciation, and joining in the celebration of their visions and desires for a more balanced sense of their men — strong in their commitment to a harmonious family, balanced in the nurturing of relationships with women, and unified in the raising of their children. I see the struggle to look at the gender roles in their community and culture are holding, to see how the roles are benefiting only one segment of their community, and to assess the community experience they want for themselves. There is no easy way for the dialog that community says it wants to have with its self, for they are often too close to the mirror to see the whole face. My heart smiles when the men and women find their meeting point in balance and in challenging each other in the direction they are going. Thanks must go out to the community that have come together to challenge itself, and Ugo Nnachi who has been strategic in bringing together a rich cross section from the different segments of her community (chiefs, elders, politicians, lawyers, polices, military, scholars, clergy and lay people). They’ve challenged and supported each other in their journey to accomplish their vision of the community experience they want their women and children to have into the next millennium. DOVENET is poised to support Nigeria in helping to create consciousness of its people. I see the passion, vision and commitment to helping its varied communities reach its benchmark of more supportive, balanced and nurturing masculinity in their young boys and men.

My heart is filled with joy, for my sister, Ugo, has truly welcomed me back home to Mother Africa. My eyes overflow with salt water as my heart is filled with the warmth of the sun and the bosom of the land. This symbiosis was never there in the land where I was born. The welcoming of me by my sister and brothers is overwhelming, and I can only hope that this community is benefiting from this journey as I am.

This is a great time for both of us — Nigeria, Africa and me. We struggle and challenge each other with compassion as we nurture our vision for a kinder and more companionate world. It is only through the belief in human kind and our brothers and sisters that we commit to walk hand in hand on this path to holding the possibility of positive and healthy masculinity that will take our countries and people into the next millennium.

— James Arana, Associate Director
Men's Resources International, USA

Posted by Daniel at November 9, 2006 01:17 PM

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