As one of our regular members put it, the Zoom Gallery view of our August fathers’ group was AWESOME. Our group, which started one year ago in Philadelphia at the AJ Drexel Autism Institute in Philadelphia, now draws men from as far away as Boston, Chicago, and Hawaii, where it was 4:00 AM, for this meeting. Another father shared that looking at the screen told him that we have more in common than we think as we listen to each other’s stories which touch home. Our conversation was not just about COVID and whether our children would learn virtually or in person and the dangers of going to school. Everything else going on in the world with racial injustice was clearly impacting the men who had come to this meeting on a deep level.
One father explained his belief that diversity is what the world needs more than ever right now. He was inspired by everyone standing up to racial injustice from athletes and celebrities to everyday people. He has been moved and changed himself by what he has gotten out of our group that comes together for our children and our families with a vision of also making changes in the world that will benefit our children.
Another man struck a deep chord when he said, “Finally a safe place!” He found it extremely encouraging and a great platform to say whatever he wanted without judgment to express his truth. The vulnerability shared in this meeting, contrary to the male stereotype, was actually a strength. As someone commented, “Depression and fear flourish in darkness. When you shine a light on it, it changes everything when you realize you are not alone.” Pride and joy in our children’s accomplishments as well as disappointment and sadness in some of our struggles got comparable airtime.
Our diversity was and is powerful and encouraging. We hope to see you at our next meeting, this Saturday, September 26, at 10:00 AM, Eastern. We are thankful for the safe and soulful space that our group is growing into and providing.
Wishing you safety and peace, brothers!
Robert & Michael
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