10 Hilarious Quotes My Son Used to Break Down Gender Barriers

From the beginning, it seemed pretty clear that our little baby boy was probably cisgender. He shied away from strangers who were men, but flirted and giggled with strangers who were women. He was fascinated with all things on wheels and I have no idea why. He even adored the pizza cutter and would zoom it around the table, making car noises with it.

But, as all children and humans truly are on a spectrum of personality and gender, he is also a delightfully well-rounded person. He occasionally likes to wrestle, but on the whole, isn’t too rough and tumble. He’s very sensitive to conflict and loves hugs and kisses. He adores his stuffed animals and cares deeply for his cars. He thinks farts are the funniest thing in this world and, really, they are.

Here are 10 of his funniest quotes that broke down gender barriers and at the same time had us rolling in the aisles:

  • “I pick flowers, that’s what I do.”
  • “I love all the colors in the rainbow! I love all the colors in the WORLD!!”
  • “Oh, yeah? Well, I’m a Bommy! Which is a mom who’s really a young boy.”
  • “Look, Mom! It looks more like a goddess house now!!”
  • “Did you say quiche?! I LOVE QUICHE!!”
  • “Mom, I think the same way you hug a plant is the same way you hug a puppy…see? Petting it!”
  • “But, Brian Hotcakes [his baby doll] is gonna miss me!!”
  • “Looook, a pretty rainbow!”
  • “This is a song that only guys can love. And girls can love it, too!”
  • “Crocodiles are as strong as ladies in boats.”

None of us is any one thing, after all. As Dar Williams sang in her song “When I Was a Boy”: “And you were just like me, and I was just like you.” If you haven’t listened to the song, I highly recommend it, but grab a tissue before you settle in to listen. https://youtu.be/iRIDdyefo9U

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The post 10 Hilarious Quotes My Son Used to Break Down Gender Barriers appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2IdHpyY

The Heart of Sports: Use Your Platform

“The Heart of Sports” is a weekly column that curates the stories, pictures and moments that provide a window into the beating heart of sports:

  • The father-son bonds forged in sport.
  • The tender moments among teammates.
  • The heart-stopping speeches from coaches.
  • The thrilling moments from your childhood that you never forget.

It’s why we watch. It’s why we play. It’s the stuff that rises up out of sports and settles down into us.

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This week’s column comes from long-time Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Muffet McGraw.  During her press conference before her team’s appearance in the Women’s Basketball NCAA Finals, McGraw seized the chance to hold court on an issue she has been a proponent of for a long time: gender equality.

McGraw used sports as a platform to address this larger social issue in an incisive speech:

“When you look at men’s basketball, 99% of the jobs go to men, why shouldn’t 100 or 99% of the jobs in women’s basketball go to women?” she said. “Maybe it’s because we only have 10% women athletic directors in Division I. People hire people who look like them. That’s the problem.”

 

The whole two-minute speech is well worth a listen:

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If you have a moment that you think should be featured in the Heart of Sports, please contact me at mkasdan@gmail.com or @michaelkasdan.

The post The Heart of Sports: Use Your Platform appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2XdBpdf

Simple Meditation Techniques To Enhance Your Productivity

At times, the workplace can be a stressful place to be. Whether you are faced with demanding clients, even more demanding colleagues, or just the incessant activity of the environment itself, the workplace can at times feel like it is exerting a pressure down upon your shoulders that is difficult to extricate yourself from.

Not only is this unhealthy and detrimental to your wellbeing, it is also highly counterproductive for your organization. A stressed or unhappy employee is, for the most part, an unproductive employee who you do not necessarily want interacting with valuable clients, while its difficult to forge fruitful relationships with co-workers.

However, with these easy-to-use techniques, you can help turn your business space into an oasis of calm, boosting your work productivity at the same time.

At-desk meditations

It may be that you want to invoke some form of meditative state, but the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself from wide-eyed colleagues. If this sounds like you, then there are a number of at-desk meditations you can perform which will not only assist in destressing and boosting performance, but will do so without attracting unwelcome glances.

Here are a few of the most easy to use:

1. Tap your fingers to the rhythm of time

Put both of your hands on your thighs or on your desk, and proceed to start tapping each finger individually, starting with your pinky finger. It is important that you use a sequence, and time it effectively to a slow rhythm. The last part is to then recite a five-word mantra that relates to time.

There is an infinity of options here, but you could go with ‘I do have enough time’ or ‘Time is my best friend’. The idea is to create a zen-like state where you are breathing regularly and focussing on the small activity at hand (literally). Continue until your breathing has become regular and the repeated-mantra has eased though you to your core.

This is an immensely achievable meditative process that I love to utilize in any number of situations because it is so private.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. Shake it off

Now is the time to focus on exactly what or who is causing your stress. Take some time out, sit quietly on your chair, and take a few deep breaths while you think about the origin of your stress. Next, start to recite to yourself a mantra along the lines of ‘It’s OK and I can move on from this.’ Then, start to take a few deeper breaths and use the time you breathe out to really sigh away your frustration.

Finally, shake your body to release the tension from you. There is no need to make any deep noises or draw unwanted attention to yourself, but that really shouldn’t be a consideration anyway, and will only exacerbate your stress in the process. This is about breathing and release.

3. Eyes to the flame

If you are feeling a little braver, and you understand that an open flame will not cause any undue disquiet in the workplace around you (or that you are breaking any health and safety regulations), using a candle can be a wonderful tool to help create a meditative state. Start by switching off your computer. In fact, this is a good place to begin with any meditative activity as the glare from the screen will distract your attention.

Light the candle and then bring the flame towards your eye level, holding it approximately 20 inches away, or into a position that is comfortable. Then, stare into the flame for up to 2 minutes, remembering to breathe regularly as you do so.

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” – Dalai Lama

Meditations for a private space

If you have access to a private space in the workplace, there are other types of meditative positions which you can undertake, including, lying on the floor. Lying down immediately helps to put you in an unfamiliar position for work, which is helpful in itself, but a familiar position for feeling comforted and relaxed.

Close your eyes and then once again, start to breathe in a rhythmic manner. It is essential that your breathing becomes your primary focus, so you breathe in and out with a deep concentration on what you are doing.

When starting out, five minutes is more than apt, as long as that’s five minutes of a concentrated nature. You can then start to push out those times, and there is no reason why before long you shouldn’t be able to manage 20 minutes of perfect meditative calm. This can easily be done during a lunch break or even a mid-morning break.

There are also walking meditations for more adventurous types, which involves focusing on your steps and breaths simultaneously, concentrating always on a forward motion, both literally and figuratively. Emotional calmness and wellbeing in the workplace is just around the corner.

Have you tried meditation? If so, do you like it? Let us know your thoughts about meditation below!

source https://addicted2success.com/life/simple-meditation-techniques-to-enhance-your-productivity/

Are You Looking for Love or Addicted to Conditional Approval?

What does true love mean to you?

Unfortunately for a lot (most?) of us, there is a very warped idea at work here—something that stands outside of windows with a boom box over its head or “forsakes all others” and fixates.  The true love of fiction is more often than not a very isolating and sometimes dangerous paradigm; the fact that one (or both) or the lovers might end up DEAD in the end should tell us all we need to know about the mythology of love.

So let’s rewind a bit:  for starters, every generation born before 1980 (and some folks born after) most likely experienced “conditional love” as a parenting style.  I approve of you IF you eat all of your vegetables, clean your room, get good grades, don’t talk back, follow my lead, embrace my beliefs, typify heteronormative development, etc etc etc.  This was not cruelty or neglect; it was actually considered GOOD PARENTING.

Our parents were there to “keep us straight” (literally and figuratively) and when we strayed off the path, approval was withdrawn until we “righted” our course.

Okay, so those of us who are “good” conformed to the standards and rules and therefore gained our parents’ love conditional approval.  Those of us who were “bad” didn’t get either.  In either case, we grew up and tried to form healthy relationships with members of our gender preferred sex and guess what happened?

I am not writing this to vilify parents or even the “way things were” but rather to point out an obvious stumbling block that many of us may have when it comes to seeking healthy love…we don’t know what it looks like.  So we watch movies or TV or listen to “love” songs or read books and boy, guess what?  They lead us even farther away from what “true love” really can be.

Then we enter into relationships as adults and we hear terms like “toxic” and “codependent” and “abusive” but how can our relationship be a bad thing when we “love” each other SO much?  So much that we throw jealous hissy fits when our partner interacts with a member of their gender preferred sex?  So much that we monitor their every move on social media and elsewhere?

So much that we would just DIE without the other?  Isn’t that just like “Romeo and Juliet”?  Isn’t that TRUE love?

Honestly, the older I get, the more I realize the aversion most people have to truly being loved; because if someone TRULY loves, trusts and respects you?  First off, that must mean that they are too stupid to see your flaws, right?  And secondly, that means they won’t be clinging to you and breathing down your neck and they will actually encourage you to be yourself and go your own way and follow your bliss and BOY is THAT a LOT of PRESSURE and RESPONSIBILITY.

Much easier to jump through hoops to prove to my insecure and clingy lover that I would, in fact, DIE 4 U.

So how can you tell if you are “in love” or simply “addicted to conditional approval”?

Here’s an easy litmus test—your beloved is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pursue their dream (whatever it may be), all expenses paid and whatever fiscal needs you might have in their absence are also covered.  But here’s the catch—they will be away from you for one calendar year.

Do you cheer this unbelievable opportunity and throw them the bon voyage party of all time?  Or do you undermine this one time chance in order to keep them under your thumb?

And now vice versa it for your partner:  Would they cheer you on or try to undermine you?

This is relationships 101; ANYONE who deliberately tries to UNDERMINE YOU does NOT LOVE YOU.

And whether that undermining is insisting you have no relationships with members of your gender preferred sex or giving up on your dreams or gaslighting or belittling, it is all ultimately the same…this person does not love YOU; they approve of your behavior when you are complying with their wishes (clean your room, get good grades, have friends I like, etc).

Don’t get me wrong—I am not suggesting some kind of free-for-all for the beloved.  I am suggesting that you choose a beloved who would never consider disrespecting or undermining you with their behaviors.  You cannot really feel jealous or threatened in a relationship where this is true.

True love is a radical acceptance of the other, strengths and weaknesses alike.  We like to think of the heroic ideal, riding in on a white steed to “save” us, but where do you go from there?  In a healthy partnership, there is give and take and plenty of room for both parties to grow.

It may sound like a cliche to say to truly love another person you must first love yourself, but it is the hardcore truth.  If you don’t love yourself you live in a constant state of approval seeking and therefore attract those who are only able to furnish you with conditional approval.  Conversely, if you enter into relationship focused on how you need to change the other, you are not in love, either.

True love takes a long hard look in the mirror and generally likes what it sees; it then attracts people who agree with this estimation.  As long as you are out there looking for conditional approval, it is guaranteed you will find it because it’s the only thing a lot of people know how to offer.  Raise the bar; you deserve true love and when you fully accept this, it will find you.

 

 

 

 ID: 532786726

 

 

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2IzWOJz

7 Questions You Can Ask To Break The Ice

“The smart ones ask when they don’t know. And, sometimes, when they do.” – Malcolm Forbes

When it comes to understanding anyone, it comes down to how interested you are in them as a person. For many years, I’ve built my career on being the most curious person in the room and it has built lifelong friendships, business dealings, and a network of high net worth individuals. Most of all, it has opened the door to clubs and events I know I don’t fit in. In all, I make it my mantra to think like a child and ask the questions most people are afraid to ask—simply because it needs to.

What I want to share with you are my 7 Questions of Achievement that I ask my guest on my radio show. I’m sharing these questions with you because these words, arranged in this order, has made my guest ponder, cry, change their points of view on life, and so on. The biggest benefit is they feel cared about far beyond the interviews and I even have them thank me for the moment of clarity.

Something magical happens when I ask these questions and I welcome you to use them to create a deep connection with a friend, a potential business partner, or anyone you want to break the ice with. As I give you these questions, I’ll explain the psychology being applied so you can know what to expect. Let me know how it works out for you.

Question 1. Which book have you read that has moved you to action or tears?

What this question does is force the person to think hard about an emotion rather than the actual book. The book is just a tool but the feeling it provokes has a personal attachment with personal meaning. The “feel” is the gift and you’re asking them to relive that gift.

Question 2: What do you say to yourself when you need encouragement?

What makes this question effective is its placement. After you have them get internal with their emotions, you now have them focus several levels deep in their mind. This question is designed to calm their mind so they become more venerable and open up to your inquisitiveness.

Question 3: What is the one skill most people need to build for success?

At this point, you are causing a disruption. Either you will get a response of assuredness or noise. The fact that the person is limited to only one choice means they need to provide you the best answer. You can learn a lot about values here.

Question 4: Name one person that is important to you that everyone should learn from. Why did you pick them?

Now you’re moving them back to emotion. This is where you get them to like you—even love you. Moving them on a roller coaster ride so quickly causes misdirection but in your favor. Now they can reflect on a happier time, place, or person. You will see many smiles with this question.

Question 5: What is the most profound activity you’ve mastered but didn’t appreciate in the beginning?

Again, retrospection. This time, you have them challenge their belief system on what’s most important to them while learning about their world view. If you ask this question earlier, it won’t be as effective. This is a timing question and an intentional deep thought question.

Question 6: You have a pen and paper or a computer to document something new you’ve learned but can only use one. Which do you use?

This question is meant to lighten the emotional load and lift them out of deep contemplation. Up to this point, the questions have taxed the emotional and critical thinking system. We need to release the pressure. Expect to have a quick response.

Question 7: When your why for what you do is challenged, what do you do to stay focused and move forward?

This final question is designed to reward them for going on the journey with you. You’re providing a place of accomplishment to walk into so they feel safe and honored. When you ask this question at this point, you’ve extended your hand into a deeper connection. They will accept this unconsciously and you’ve just made a lifelong impression.

All in all, I’ve asked these questions over 100 guests and I’ll continue to ask them. I welcome you to become childlike.

What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.

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The post 7 Questions You Can Ask To Break The Ice appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2GlY80X

I Feel Like a Hot Mess Without the Hot Part


Looking around my office at the moment you wouldn’t guess that I’m mildly OCD. By most people’s standards, it’s pretty neat, but things aren’t in their right spot and there are too many things on my desk and in the room. So, I guess if you could see the stress inside my brain at the moment, maybe you would figure out the OCD thing,

Ah, but this is just the tip of the iceberg my friends. Life has been heading on a downward spiral for about a week now and no matter how hard I pull up on the nose, this plane is heading straight for the earth.

I have editing to catch up on, writing to do, reading for professional purposes and a couple of projects to work on. On top of that, I write a comic book column and I’m looking over at the reading table in my home office and just got up and counted thirty-three unread comic books.

Reading comic books should be fun, but when the pile gets that big, it gets overwhelming, especially when I have to decide what to write weekly columns about.

With everything going on, it doesn’t matter if I map out strategies, schedules or whatever I come up with. I still have that deer in the headlights look as I try and figure out what needs to be done first and why it should be done first.

And then, as I’m doing the first task, I second and third guess myself, wondering if I made the right choice. #Awesome

It’s generally in these moments where I realize that I haven’t made any time for me. And no, rebuilding my website does NOT count as making time for me.

I need to take a couple of hours to go fishing, get out and walk, go see a movie or just sit and read comic books for a couple of hours without trying to feel any guilt.

When it comes right down to it, that’s what it is. Guilt. Guilt that I know I have all this work to do and these projects to finish and so I can’t make time for myself because that’s not going to get the work finished any faster.

What I don’t realize and what many of us don’t realize is that if we don’t take care of ourselves in some capacity, we won’t ever get our work finished and what we do get completed will probably suck because we’re too burnt out.

Take time today or tomorrow and allow yourself a small break where you do something you want to do. As soon as I finish this, I’m grabbing my pole and my service dog and we’re heading to the local docks to see if we can grab a couple trout.

What are you going to do to treat yourself?

 

What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.

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Photo courtesy Pixabay.

The post I Feel Like a Hot Mess Without the Hot Part appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2IuYdkg

Who Are the Brothers in Your Life?

Before I get into the meat of this article, I want to tell you about a couple of guys I met not too long ago. I needed a little time to decompress after work a couple Sundays ago. It was a frustrating day where the sales were slow to non-existent.

After I clocked out, I headed to a little Italian restaurant/pizzeria in White Plains, NY, which is only about ten minutes from me. I needed a beer and some pizza. Y’know, guy food.

This was also the day that Auburn University – my alma mater’s most hated rival – advanced to their very first Final Four. And I didn’t hate it. Honestly, y’all…I felt like I needed to wash away some sins. As if I could feel the disappointed stare from my late granddaddy…

I sat at the bar and while I was there, I met these guys. They were both White Plains firefighters and complete “guy’s guys.”

We talked basketball, women (how Lynda Carter is still insanely beautiful and she’s pushing 70 years old), and other “guy” talk topics.

Let’s call these guys Frank and Tony (because those were their names.) When Frank had to leave, the two friends did something that really touched me.

They gave each other a big hug and left each other with a “I love you, brother.”

Platonic, brotherly love is one of the most underrated and overlooked parts of men’s culture. And I would assert, this is something we all need more of.

Speaking of my late granddaddy, I’ve written about him in this space several times before. Melborn Ivey was a Purple Heart recipient, and a highly successful man in real estate and agriculture, as well as the main reason why I’m a writer today.

Ask me about the legend of Monkeytown…I love sharing this story.

My granddaddy was a highly-successful white man at the peak of his power and wealth in the Deep South during the peak of the Jim Crow era. And one of his best friends was an uneducated black man who worked for him.

Hosea came to work for Melborn when he was 14. And by the time my grandfather passed away in 1992, Hosea was the manager of over a thousand acres of corn, cotton, and peanuts, to say nothing of their registered herd of prize-winning Angus cattle. And when my grandfather was honored with a National Farm of Distinction in 1987, Hosea and his late wife Mable were there on the dais. Right along with my Mom and my late Uncle Ed.

My grandfather caught a lot of grief for his relationship with Hosea (as you can imagine.) But he loved him as a brother and would defend him to the hilt.

I share all this because as I grew up, I didn’t have a lot of guy friends. I still don’t have a huge circle of guy friends. Most of my friends have been women.

I’ve also been single since Obama had dark hair.

“Reckon one has to do with the other?” King Ryan asks sheepishly.

The circle is getting bigger, but for the longest time, that circle was a dot.

I think at the depth of my being; I didn’t trust the men in my life. I couldn’t trust that I wouldn’t be made fun of. This was because most of my bullies growing up were boys.

I couldn’t trust that I’d be safe.

It wasn’t until I joined Accomplishment Coaching – the coaching and transformation program I’ve spoken about many, many, many, many times in this space – where my circle of guy friends started to grow.

On my team of 18, my first friend and real connection was my friend Emily. I mean, we started a short-lived podcast together. She and I were an unlikely pairing anyway, but I digress.

But during the program year, and subsequently, afterward, I’ve become quite close with two men from my team who I’ve grown to see as brothers.

Ian is built like a middle linebacker. And truthfully, he intimidated me at first…y’know, not unlike a middle linebacker. But at his heart, he’s the most laid-back and easy-going island cat you’ll ever meet. Since we’ve been friends, I’ve seen him become a father and strengthen numerous relationships in his life. Even though I have yet to meet his daughter, I see her as a niece. And God willing, I’ll darken the doors of his Cayman Island home very soon.

I have yet to meet anyone who Alex doesn’t know. He’s got to be the most well-connected human being I’ve ever met. At first, he struck me as the anti-Ryan – outgoing, gregarious, and popular. But over two years of weekly phone calls, we’ve become quite close and I see him like a brother. Even though he drives crazy and pisses me off (y’know, like most younger brothers), he’s my brother. I’ve seen him meet and fall in love with a really remarkable woman. And Good Lord willing, I’ll be at his wedding in a few months. I was also at his engagement party last August.

This past weekend, I took a drive from Westchester County to Queens. And when I got there, I was met with love, brotherhood, an incredible meal, and baby’s first acupuncture session.

Parks, Steve (I actually have a friend named Steve now) and I met at our friend Fred’s home. We have been getting together like this for almost a year after we all met at the Writer’s Hotel conference last June. We spoke about our writing and geopolitics. We enjoyed an incredible meal from Fred and his lady and drank some terrific wine.

And I’d been complaining for a while about tension at the top of my neck. What with all the drama with my living situation, financial situation, preparing for two different workshops, looking for a full-time job, and with a sister fighting cancer 900 miles away.

Fred’s lady just happens to be an acupuncturist in NYC, and I got a session from her. It was a bizarre experience, but one that truly helped the tension and pain in my neck.

I will be visiting her for a follow up as soon as I’m able.

Here’s my point in sharing all this.

Gentlemen, we all need those guys in our lives. Those guys who you can call with issues in your life and who’d pick up the phone regardless of the hour. Those guys who would have you to their home to partake in a beautiful meal, drink amazing wine, and have killer conversation. Those guys who would have your back and lift you out of the deepest chasms.

Y’all, we all need to be “one of the guys.”

We all need that brotherly love in our lives.

We all need brothers in our lives.

What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.

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The post Who Are the Brothers in Your Life? appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2GjQ0OE