Changing the World, One Conversation At A Time

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I remember my first concert. I was five years old and my Dad scored last minute tickets to take me and my sister to see KISS. I was full of questions, not sure what to expect. Would it be loud? Scary? Would I like it or would I spend the concert curled up in the chair covering my ears?

I fell in love. Not with the band, I barely remember the music. But with the crowd. With all of the people. I watched as people filled the coliseum, the excitement in the room growing as more people found their way in, the sound of the crowd growing as anticipation for the show built. I took it all in, the glamorous women in their silk blouses, the men with the tattoos and cigarettes clenched between their teeth. The teenagers darting through the crowd. People buttoned up and dressed down. I’d never seen so many different people gathered in one place.

The music started and I watched, enthralled, as the crowd all rode the same wave of energy. I felt my skin prickle when the audience sang along, when they erupted in euphoric applause. It was connection to a thousand people at once. It was exhilirating. I’ve been in love with seeing live music ever since.

I love music, but it’s not just the music that has me going to see shows for all these years. There’s something special that happens when people come together. There’s a humanity in showing up to share an experience. There’s connection with people who are otherwise strangers. It gives me hope every time I go to a show.

Hope because there is power in people. There is energy and strength in being united and finding a common purpose. Hope because for all of our differences, there are times when we can come together and make something incredible happen. Hope because we are all broken, flawed, beautiful people just trying to make it in this world.

Idealistic? Yes. But it’s what I have always found to be true. There is no limit to what can happen when minds meet and ideas are exchanged.

Sometimes it’s happenstance, these moments of shared emotion or thoughts.

Sometimes it’s deliberate and intentional.

There’s something happening right now that is very deliberate. It is people coming together to discuss the hard issues. Issues that can be difficult to tackle. Racism, sexism, mental health, intersectionality. You know, the things you don’t talk about outside of your circle, the things you were always told not to discuss in polite company. Those things. Those are the issues The Good Men Project is taking on. The conversation no one else is having is kind of their thing. They’ve been doing it for over seven years and every month 3 million people drop by to read and be a part of the conversation.

I started writing for GMP a year ago. Since then, I’ve come to know some of the people involved. I’ve watched them spend countless hours and endless emotional energy, working to make the conversations happen in a productive way. I’ve had conversations with them that were deep and meaningful and eye opening. None of them swim in the shallow waters. The deep end is where they live, and they’re not afraid to go there.

The more I’ve come to know them and the causes that motivate them, the passion they have for making this world a better place… the more I’m in awe of what they are doing. I have seen bridges built where a gulf stood before, and understanding attained where obstinance once resided. I’ve watched and listened as some of the most difficult and important issues have been broken down by patient and skilled leaders. It has been breathtaking to watch and it’s been something that has made me inch closer to the person I want to be.

Now the Good Men Project is taking the conversation they’ve been having and making it interactive. Collaborative. Beyond the comments section on the screen and into a real dialogue. Every day of the week there are interactive calls on different topics. Readers are invited to become participants and ideas are shared. I’ve been honored to co-lead these calls on Monday evenings for the Stop Sexism Social Interest Group.

We’re building something here and we need your help. We are taking those hard conversations and we’re making them easier. We’re growing movements and sparking ideas. We’re trying to change lives, change the way we have conversations, change the world.

Idealistic? Sure. All I know is when you get a group of people together who are passionate about a shared purpose, amazing things can happen.

Please check out our campaign.

Donate if you can. Share if you will.

Love,

G.

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11 Comments

  1. GOOD! I am glad there are people out there making time to make connections and support understanding. That’s a super thing to be part of. So proud of you for using your passion and your writing to effect ways towards a better world ❤❤❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Having a participatory conversation around issues is always important as long as it’s followed up by actionable change. How will the money raised be used to further those causes? But as part of that conversation, realize that sexism is inherent in everything, even that name of this project. It should be The Good People Project to encompass all who might contribute.#StopSexism

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cindie! I’m going to copy and paste a blurb from Lisa Hickey (CEO of The Good Men Project): “We started The Good Men Project seven years ago to spark an international conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. We soon realized it was “the conversation no one else is having”. No one else was talking about the implications of changing gender roles—which underlies the conversation about almost everything that is important in our society today. Politics. Dads and Parenting. News. Sports. Gender and Sexuality. Racism. Ethics. Mental Health. Love, Sex, Relationships. Environmental Activism. And more. Millions of people (3 million people a month to be precise) show up every month to dive into these topics. People who are both like-minded and different-minded.”

      I hope that explains the name, “The Good Men Project” which is long established and well respected within the publishing industry. I don’t find the name sexist, just like I wouldn’t consider a female-centered website sexist. I have published many feminist themed posts with The Good Men Project. They are concerned about sexism, racism, mental health, intersectionality, the environment and much more. While the brand of the site is geared towards men (how to make them better men, how to help them understand the issues women deal with, etc) they are broad in their social justice focus. I would love for you to check out the site and see what they’re all about, I’m sure it would demonstrate what I’m trying to explain much more clearly. As for what the money raised by this campaign will go towards, Lisa outlines it in great detail on the IndieGoGo page. She breaks it down based on how much money is raised and is very detailed. (The link that explains all of this is towards the bottom of my post “Check out our campaign.” I hope that helps clear things up!

      Like

  3. Loved this post – your concert experience is exactly how I feel about any sort of large event whether it’s a concert, sports game or community event. The event itself is exciting but it is the shared humanity, the living proof that 40, 000+ people can unite together for one common reason or interest and share it with each other. It’s what gives me goosebumps every time!

    Like

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