The Responsibility Maniphesto
Men take personal responsibility for making things better – starting with themselves.
The only thing in the world that you can control is yourself. If you see anything anywhere which you think should be better, then you should automatically think – can you fix it first in yourself? As you manage to establish peace and harmony within yourself as a fully functioning human being, then you will naturally find that the opportunities for taking responsibility for things outside of yourself will grow together with your capacity to manage them. Taking hold of and struggling with these opportunities is your journey of growth.
A man who takes responsibility is a rock who cannot be moved and who can be depended on through storms and chaos. He is a model of integrity in that he can always be depended upon to only say that which he knows he will do. And once he has said he will do something, he does it.
It is easy to find things that are somehow wrong in the world. It takes a little more effort to figure out how they got that way. Coming up with ideas as to how to fix them requires critical thinking. And doing something about them requires real action in the world. But all of these are nothing in comparison to the work of focusing your critical attention on yourself and making yourself into a better man. And until you do that, then your efforts in all other areas will fall short.
Taking responsibility entails being able to give a guarantee for ensuring without doubt that something in the future will happen in a specific way. Given how chaotic reality appears to us and how unpredictable the future is, it is difficult, even dangerous, to attempt to take responsibility for yourself, let alone people and things outside of yourself.
And yet, as a man, taking responsibility is the key to growing from being a boy in a man’s body, towards maturity and adulthood, and eventually into eldership. Taking responsibility for ensuring the stability and robustness of your own health, finances, and relationships are some of the first indispensable steps into manhood. This means that a man still living off the state or his parents, has yet to join the ranks of manhood. But even this is not enough – men are characterized by taking responsibility for things and people other than themself, which is why selfishness is so frowned upon in men.
The ability to take responsibility is ideally taught from father to son during childhood, and is ultimately dependent on a man being willing to put his own body on the line and to “sacrifice” his own desires, wants, and ultimately his own body, in order to realise a specific outcome. This starts with actions such as a boy sacrificing his playtime to mow the lawn, and finds one of its fullest expressions in a man who is willing to put his own body and life in the way of a mortal threat to his loved ones.
All men have areas where they fall short, blindspots and failings in the way that they take responsibility. Taking on an appropriate level of responsibility for something outside of yourself that takes you just a little out of your comfort zone is thus a growth accelerator for men.
Maniphesto Core provides opportunities for its members to take on appropriate levels of responsibility which parallel and mirror their battles to take on responsibility in their own life. Through the Core Team accountability process, men are able to experiment with taking responsibility, be held to integrity and receive honest reflection and input as they struggle with the consequences, and thereby continue to grow in insight into their own strengths and weaknesses.