Today I was having a conversation with a beautiful friend, who mentioned the interesting perspective that most men don’t think of themselves as good men. The conversation with my friend has called on me to pause and reflect on all of the good men I have had the privilege of being on this journey with. And how many of them would not think of themselves as good, honourable men.
My dad – who is on his way here right now to boost my frozen car. He has gifted me with music, leadership, and unconditional love. And today he has gifted my three sisters and I with clean walks and boosted cars, and driven all over the city to do so.
My cousin Cornel – a big brother for me, took me rollerskating and tobogganing when he moved here from Trinidad in the 70’s at the tender age of 14, and who loved and supported me through difficult teen years. Who has lovingly provided for his wife and four daughters, and is generally a beautiful person.
My Best Man Paul – who has been my rock for 12 years, and even though he has seen me go down to the depths of depression, he has never once faltered. We play music together, discuss world issues together, celebrate each other’s lives together. I am beyond blessed to have him in my life.
My piano teacher, Kalman Kovacs – A loving, gentle father figure who showed me the beauty in music, in slow movements, in soft patience.
My children’s fathers – Shumba and Saint – Who have such a deep love for their daughters, and who trust me implicitly in my unconventional vision of parenting. Both of whom I can call and trust to be there whenever I need support and a sympathetic ear. Who have seen the very worst of me (it gets pretty ugly), and seem to always remember the best of me.
My brother Tad – I think of Tad as a Soul of Marketing Whisperer, gently clearing away the cobwebs and uncovering the truth, for those of us who cannot describe who we are and what we are offering. This gift of his boundless heart and ingenious vision is changing my life as I type this.
My cousin Sherwin – who I have shared many tears with, and grown leaps and bounds with, and who I can always count on for supportive words and pep talks. We have been through a lot together and he is in my corner – every time.
My dear IBO – Who held my crazy hand through most of life for many years – helping me find my true voice as a musician, as a warrior, as a woman. Whose strength and tenacity is unparalleled, and whose life is a miracle of medicine.
My stepdad Reinhard – Who tolerated such deplorable treatment for many years, and yet in his dying, extended his hand and his heart to me, helping me to grow, know humility, and practice my gifts.
My brother Marlon – Whose guidance, patience, and wisdom mark the most generous heart imaginable. Whose vision of a collective music community has shaped the music scene in Edmonton and beyond.
My dear friend Jay Procktor – whose photography belies his unique, tender, raw eye for beauty and humanity. Who is changing the world one grade 1 student at a time. Whose love for his friends and family is palpable.
My brother Malcolm – who has such an immense strength that I can’t describe – a strength to hold the container for intense, emotional conversation, and to stand strong in his convictions even when faced with fire. And yet when I sit with him, I feel like crying because his heart is so tender.
This post does not end here. I have so many more to celebrate:
Norm, Tribesman, my lil bro Steven, Michael Nitti, my brothers Paul and Devon, Jamie, Ray, Jay and Chad, Aaron, Jon Hall, Mr. Pillay, Rob, Mark, Stew, Tanner, Yardie, Dr. Tankel, Dr. Chris, my neighbour Brandon…. it doesn’t end.
My question – do any of these men count themselves as Good Honourable Men? Do men out there believe themselves to be GOOD?
With regret, I know I have done my share of making more than one man on this list aware of his faults. It has caused hurt, and I acknowledge my responsibility for living from judgment. It has cost me dearly in my life to have such stuck beliefs about men. And while there are two sides to every conflict, I write this with renewed commitment to seeing the good in the men around me.
I know that many women will understand this – it is built into our culture to have an adversarial relationship between men and women. Allison Armstrong of understandmen.com teaches us to see the perfection in our differences, so that rather than emasculating men to feel powerful, women can learn to accept their offerings and their deep desire to be good providers, our heros, our good men.
I have had the privilege of being surrounded by good men since I was a young babe. I would love to hear your stories of the good men in your life.
Gotta go – my dad just called me breathless, after shoveling my sister’s walk, and then driving to my other’s sister’s place to give her a boost also. He’s almost here. Just another day of life as a good man.