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Why I Wish I Became A Voice For Change Sooner

You're Never Too Small To Be An Agent Of Change

Can I really make a difference?


Why me?


Why would anyone listen to me, what platform do I have?


These are questions I asked myself when I first felt the desire to challenge society on the acculturation process of young boys, which extends to expectations for how men are ‘supposed’ to act. I remember that time well – being a college student, fraternity brother (how many of you cringed?), and being within the university life which exposed me to amazing classes and lectures. It was a time of learning and beginning to understand what was happening in the world around me, and why certain societal functions operated as they did.

I wanted to begin speaking out about how society trains young boys and men to fit completely false narratives to what it is to be a man. The stereotype when I was growing up was that to be a ‘real man’ one needed to sleep with as many women as possible, never show emotion, drink a slew of awful tasting beer, and love ‘manly’ sports.

These expectations came in conjunction with a society that does a poor job of education young boys and girls on everything sex related, including consent. I am a Millennial, so it shouldn’t be much of a shock that men from the Baby Boomers and X generations are in the center of the #MeToo conversation.

That is not an excuse for those individuals, but it does give insight into how poorly we have discussed these issues in the past.

Which is exactly why I wanted to speak about them.

At that point in my life, I had already been chosen by Dr. Jennifer Austin Leigh to Co-Host the Laid or Loved podcast with her, and spent numerous hours speaking to her about issues relating to the development of young men and women in western society. Dr. Jenn played a significant role in helping me understand these important dynamics and even encouraged me to start my own podcast back then…

Sadly, I didn’t listen to her advice.

Why?

Why would anyone listen to me, what platform do I have?

That’s when I allowed myself to believe that I didn’t have a big enough platform to be an agent of change. I was nineteen, didn’t have a large online presence, and was still searching to find the self-confidence needed to pursue my goals.

Why me?

I didn’t understand why Dr. Jenn chose me in the first place and definitely had no comprehension of why she thought I could be a voice for change and help people become respectful and strong individuals. On more than one occasion I remember asking her why she believed I could do these great things and she always responded, “Why not you?”

While at the time I always hated that response, but now it makes a great deal of sense.

Can I really make a difference?


It was easy to doubt myself in being able to make a gigantic difference – sadly it became my favorite excuse for not starting out on this path sooner.

If I could go back in time and start on this path a decade sooner, I would do so instantly. In just a short period of time, I have already been asked to author columns about issues surrounding the Modern Day Gentleman.

What is the Modern Day Gentleman?

The Modern Day Gentleman is a theory on how young boys can conduct themselves in society by showing class, intellect, and respect in every facet of life. The concept also denies the fallacious social construct surrounding a ‘real man.’ Every human being is real, no matter if we like sports, craft beer (or awful beer), dancing, nor does it take into account how many people we have slept with.

Most importantly I believe the Modern Day Gentleman isn’t afraid to show emotion, communicate about that emotion, and listen to those who are willing to confide in him. Add all of that together and throw away other antiquated norms and you have a Modern Day Gentleman.

How am I striving to make a difference?

Other than writing, I will be covering these topics on my Gentleman’s Hall podcast, engage in healthy conversations concerning this tipping point in society, and make sure those around me are being respectful.

I should have begun on this path a decade ago, there’s no denying that. Yet, I definitely plan on being a voice for change and making a difference in society.

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