Virtuous men? Wow! Yes, we do have them. Is it surprising to say that many Bahamian men are certainly noble and gracious? While some of our Bahamian men are being captured by the vices of greed, power, and immoral behavior, and while others have abandoned their responsibilities as fathers and husbands, yet, we must pause to talk about those noble men who are making a difference in the home, community, industry, government, and the Church.
This column is dedicated to dispensing the truth. Whenever I write about our menís negative behavior, which is so prevalent, I am accused of male bashing. The truth is that I "bash" anyone who needs bashing ó fathers, mothers, men, and women. The truth is often painful. Too often we only want "grace" ó that which makes us feel good and gives us a sense of hope. Certainly, we do need grace. But we cannot have grace without truth. Truth is the revelation of that which cannot be easily perceived. Truth is the exposure of that which causes pain and healing, growth and maturity, life and death. Interestingly, when I "bash" the women of our nation, it also sends shock waves across the vestibules of traditional homes. It creates, a repulsive response from the female supporters of the patriarchal system.
Today I pause to present "grace," delicately seasoned with the old-fashioned spice of truth. The gracious truth is that more and more Bahamian men are not afraid to change traditional behaviors that in the past have divided homes, destroyed marriages, and devastated children. More of our Bahamian men are not afraid to ask the painful questions that would reveal the tumors of mistrust, potential abuse, risky emotional entanglements, and financial ruin. These men are quite aware that without the painful truth, these tumors will, without a doubt, become cancerous and soon metastasize through the entire family structure, marriage life, and eventually the community. These are the men who use their minds. These are the men who try to raise our standard of living. Similarly, author Robert White writes about great male thinkers of the past who transformed societies. He states: "Not society. Not a nationalistic identity. Not a race. Not a mindless human herd. Not a collective, but an individual. The men who took on the responsibility of thinking, and thereby raised all of humanity from the drudgery of mere survival to the opulence of an affluent civilization."
Virtuous Bahamian men are not afraid to think. They have a passion for searching truth, no matter how painful. When the majority of our men fall in the pit of corruption, a few act differently. They do not expect the majority to agree. They do not expect nation-wide support. But one by one, they make a difference. As a small piece of Bahamian crab grass gradually covers a hungry ground of rich Bahamian soil, so will this small, yet tenacious group of noble Bahamian male thinkers and doers spread throughout the sunny shores of this archipelago.
Congratulations to those bold individuals who are ushering in this golden era of virtuous Bahamian men. They refuse to be slaves to tradition and be puppets of power-hungry leaders. For many years, our women had to fight for their freedom. The truth is that our women knew they were slaves to tradition and began that journey to freedom about 150 years ago in Pennsylvania, when 300 women and 50 men marched to Seneca Fall to rewrite the Constitution of the United States. They called this new constitution the Declaration of Sentiments. Among the signatories of this document was a noble Black freed slave, Frederick Douglass.
Unfortunately, not many men have marched since then. Could it be that our women know that they need to be free, but our men are still unaware of their need to be liberated? The good news is that this golden era has begun with a male liberation movement. It is a liberation movement that is different from that of womenís liberation. Women want and need freedom from laws that limit their growth and demean their personhood. On the other hand, menís liberation is freedom from internal laws and false value systems.
Dear men, the pathway to change is going to be long and hard. Do not give up. Do not be fooled by menís groups that are rising up to bring support to traditional men. The truth is that many of these organizations have started because these men are afraid that "women are taking control." They are uncomfortable with the economic strength and political power our women have gained and will continue to gain. On the other hand, if our women are trying to "take over" then they are as guilty as the men who do not want to share power. In other words, virtuous Bahamian men and women believe in partnership, mutual sharing of power and wealth. Virtuous men are endeavoring to reinstate the Edenic structure of family dominion over the earth and not domination over each other. The first is productive. The latter is counterproductive. Men, let us continue to change. Letís continue to be thinkers. Could it be that the future of our nation is dependent on the development of the golden era of virtuous Bahamian men?