Seasons Greetings Sacred Path Community,
We are approaching Hanukah and Christmas and also closing in on our exit from 2015 while preparing for some form of celebration of a New Year that we all hope and pray will bring less tragic losses and greater peace, prosperity and brotherly love.
I am reminded that in December of 2012 we were shocked beyond belief with the news of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School culminating in the senseless loss of the lives of over 20 children and several of their teachers.
I was a guest on a radio show in Oregon on the Monday following the tragedy that occurred on that Friday. There had been a shooting in a mall in Oregon just days preceding the Sandy Hook event. I was asked what was the root cause of the shootings that had gripped our nation in shock and fear. I suggested that at the core of the explosive rage triggering these episodes of violence is typically the absence of a father or father figure in the lives of the males who act out with such malicious aggression. Even young male elephants can go on violent rampages unless they are kept in line by the old bulls.
In 2013, on the day prior to the one year anniversary of Sandy Hook, another young man entered a school in Colorado and opened fire on others prior to ending his own life. This past year has been marked by the traumatizing events involving terrorists who have targeted Paris and other areas of the world. After the Charlie Hebdo tragedy I wrote an article. Following the most recent ISIS massacre in Paris I revised the article which has been included in this newsletter. I address the issues involving young males and females around the world and in turn causing so much anguish for so many.
Additionally, we’ve included some current information from a NY Times article about the plight of young white males who are in the 45 to 54 age range. Have a look at that as well. It’s eye opening information.
Those of us at The Men’s Center Los Angeles, for 29 years since our inception, have done what we can to bring good men together and to bring out the best in them. And, in turn, these good men have given back making a difference where it counts. That difference has been to provide fathering and mentoring to those suffering from the absence of a father or mentor in their lives. Young males need to have a strong and loving man to look up to for guidance and support. I wish to acknowledge all of you who have participated in our programs since 1987. You have made a positive difference in your own life and in the lives of your family members, friends and others whose lives you have positively impacted. This truly helps to counterbalance the tragic acts of others who are not traversing the Sacred Path.
I want to convey our gratitude to those of you who have offered contributions to Artwan Green’s GoFundMe school campaign. He has been staying with my family for a week over Thanksgiving and has expressed how grateful he is for the support. It’s taking the pressure off of him so that he can concentrate on his course load and grades. Our investment in him as a community has evidenced the results that are present in his life today and I believe will amortize throughout the years well into the future.
One of my clients asked if I knew who Slomo was, and my answer was, no I don’t. So, he forwarded a link to a video about Slomo, a former physician who was caught up in the material trappings of a lifestyle that was no longer serving him. He made an about face, shifting his life dramatically in a whole new direction. This is a very cool video that captures the essence of a gentle soul who has found new meaning and purpose to his life through living his passion to the fullest. Take some time over the holidays to watch this “moving” video and reflect on your life as you ask yourself, “Is my life my career, or is my career my life?”
As we celebrate the holidays by lighting the candles on the Menorah and acknowledging the birth of Jesus Christ, known as the Prince of Peace, I know that we all pray for an end to the violence that plagues our world. May we have more understanding, tolerance, compassion and love for each other in the days ahead.
Happy Hanukah and a very Merry Christmas to all,
Stephen J. Johnson Ph.D., LMFT
o - o - o - O - o - o - o
Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director
of the Men's Center Los Angeles. He is also the author of
"THE SACRED PATH: THE WAY OF THE SPIRITUAL WARRIOR,"
an amazing how-to book for men who want to become better
men . . . AND for the women who care about them.
Click here for additional info.