I recently had the privilege to be on a panel for a Pax Program Inc conference hosted in Boston. The conference was "Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women". The conference was for multiple days, but for the last hour three men from different age ranges (30's, 40's, 50's) were brought in to answer questions that the women had written down and submitted throughout the conference. It proved to be enlightening and two weeks later, I am still thinking about the event.
There was a room with over 40 women, fully present and engaged in what three men had to say. Just as impressive was that the three of us were open, honest and sincere in what we had to say in a room filled of people. We were not guarded, we weren't posturing and we were not trying to be anything more than who we are. We simply talked in a manner expressing who we are and how we feel in any given situation.
The most awakening moment to me was one of my panel members response to a question. The question was "What does a woman offer you while in a relationship" His response covered a lot of different areas, but what struck me most was one simple line that he said. It was... "Women are our happiness meter. I know things are all right and going well when she is happy and smiling."
Two short sentences sum up almost an entire genders existence. Men strive for one thing.... making our significant other happy. It sounds simple, but why is it that we make it so hard on any given day? Personally, I believe it is because we try to wear different "Hats". We have our "professional hat", "husband hat", "parent hat", "relaxed hat"...etc etc etc
But why???? Why is it that we have been trained to behave the way we do. Since birth marketing and school have us believe that boys and girls is really boys vs girls.
Boys vs Girls couldnt be further from the truth. The reality is that we all want the same thing... to love and be loved. It doesnt have to be hard. It should be simple and beautiful.
I am thankful to have been able to participate in the conference. It has let me rethink my behavior and how I want to treat and be treated by others. It also re-affirmed how fortunate I am to have my beautiful wife and children.
(If you are interested in finding out more about the program you can read about it here: http://www.understandmen.com/cmsw/for_me.html)