How to Create a Lifelong Brotherhood

by A Manly Guest Contributor on June 18, 2013 · 89 comments

in A Man's Life, Friendship, Relationships & Family

men

Editor’s Note: This a guest post from Jonathan Mead.

The responses from my closest male friends surprised me when I asked them this question: “What’s the one thing you feel was or is missing that’s held you back from becoming a man?”

I assumed for most men it would be “lack of direction” or “knowing my purpose.” But the common thread in every reply caught me completely off-guard.

Nearly all the responses had to do with a painful absence of brotherhood or mentorship in their lives.

I know that pain deeply.

For at least the last decade, I’ve felt the void of brotherhood and have wondered if I’ll ever have what childhood friends and old men sitting around barbershop stools have.

I’m not talking about just “bros” you shoot the breeze with, but quality, salt-of-the-earth men you know have your back through thick and thin. I’ve felt a pull to build a brotherhood of men I can count on to meet up without hesitance and have real camaraderie with, not just guys that want to get wasted and chase women.

And it’s painfully clear to me that most men are starving for a brotherhood that goes beyond beer slugging and fantasy football.

I got tired of passively complaining and decided to do something about it. You can choose, like I did, to actively create what you want, or wallow in your despair.

But first things first…

The Lost Art of Intentional Brotherhoods

Brotherhood used to be built into tribes and nomadic cultures. Lionel Tiger, who literally wrote the book on male bonding, had this to say: ”Male bonding is a process with biological roots to the establishment of alliances necessary for group defense and hunting.”

The question, then, becomes, have we lost the integral existence of male groups because our modern lives don’t make them a necessity?

Because of their lack of survival obligation, modern brotherhood is becoming more of a lost art relegated to secret societies and dying traditions. The few remaining forms of these brotherhoods are fraternities, Boy Scouts, and church groups. You might also have boyhood friendships that has lasted through adulthood, or built-in brotherhood through close brothers, uncles, or perhaps your father.

That is, if you’re lucky. Not so with me.

I was an only boy of four sisters, so I was out of luck in the “built-in brotherhood” department. And while I loved Boy Scouts, it’s an adventure that ends at adulthood.

If we don’t have brotherhood built-in, perhaps we must create it.

It’s no wonder why movies like Fight Club and 300 are so popular. They stir within us an unquenched desire to belong to our own tribe of men that we can call brothers.

But can we learn to just deal with surface-level interaction and solitude as men? I don’t think so.

There are three reasons we need brotherhoods now more than ever:

Critical Reason #1: We Need Brotherhoods to Become Better Men

Interestingly, men, not women, are the likeliest to form gender-based groups, and have the highest percentage of groups that meet in secret (“secret societies”).

While most of these groups have traditionally had a specific agenda — religious, political, or otherwise — it’s through organized groups that men come together to compete, insult, berate, and grow together.

This is a male-specific form of bonding and growth. Men for thousands of years have come together in intentional groups to sharpen each other in different ways. It’s through challenges from other men that we grow.

Critical Reason #2: Bonding with Other Men Is How We Best Learn 

David Deida, author of Way of the Superior Man, eloquently states the defining characteristic of the male sex: “Life as a man is like a constant error correction. Making a mistake, and correcting, then making another mistake and correcting.”

This is distinct from the way women interact and bond with each other. Men tend to be more binary: “This is right and that is wrong, and I learn by discovering what is most right.” Whereas women tend to be more intuitive: “This is how I feel, and I’m going to feel out what I want to do next based on everything I’m taking in.”

As men, we need this kind of feedback and guidance from other men to help us error correct, to help us learn what it means to be a man. We’re not good at feeling our way through it. We need to see “correct” behavior in order to find our own most appropriate path.

Critical Reason #3: Brotherhoods May Be the Antidote for Fatherlessness and Depression

While more women than men attempt suicide overall, men account for 3/4 of all completed suicides. And suicide rates for men overall have been climbing sharply over this past decade; among middle-age men, suicide now accounts for almost 30 out of every 100,000 deaths –3X that of their female peers. Rates of suicide for men in their 50s has increased an astonishing 50%. What accounts for this jump? One of the reasons researchers cite is isolation.

Women are often better at maintaining friendships, seeking out help, and talking about their feelings. Why are men so bad at this? Is it because we’re missing the brotherhood and camaraderie that makes us feel safe to express ourselves as men? Is it the lack of strong male role models that have left us lost in a world where we don’t know how to be strong, sensitive, and courageous men (according to the 2011 US census, 1 out of 3 children grow up in a fatherless home)?

Obviously, we need more men to step up and lead as fathers, but we also need more men to step up and lead other men.

How Brotherhood Finally Helped Me Become a Man

I didn’t feel like I was truly a man until I left my cubicle behind, struck out on my own, and started working for myself. Once my wife and I were 100% reliant on my ability to hustle and make ends meet, I felt like I had gone through a rite of passage that transformed me into a man.

Maybe it was that I felt like I could control the course and direction of my own destiny. I had become truly self-reliant for the first time in my life.

But the reason I was able to succeed was not simply because of my own independent will. It was because I had a brotherhood that was also working to create their own vocations on their own terms. These men helped lift me up, believe in me, and made me stronger than I was standing alone.

And while online connections are great, I realized I was yearning for something offline and more personal. I wanted to be able to call the guys to a pickup game of basketball in the park or go on a hike in the woods without planning it out a month in advance.

I wanted real brotherhood, so I decided to do something about it.

There’s an old saying that goes, “When you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, you’ll finally do something about it.”

I got sick and tired of complaining about a lack of brotherhood when there were so many awesome men around me.

So I gathered the email addresses of nine local guys and asked them a simple question:

“Would you be interested in meeting up with other awesome men once a month to do cool things?”

The overwhelming response was, “Hell yes.” I guess I wasn’t the only one that needed something like this.

So far we’ve played glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, sat and drank mind-expanding tea (yes, tea can get you high, believe it or not), and have conquered fears together. We use our gatherings as an excuse to bond and do fun, bucket-list type stuff together.

You don’t need blood-brother rituals, matching tattoos, or secret handshakes to create a brotherhood (not that any of those things aren’t cool).

All you need is initiative and the right men.

How to Create Your Own Brotherhood

The first and most critical step is to define your intention and purpose:

  • What do you want in a brotherhood and why do you want it?
  • What do you hope to gain from and give to it?
  • Is your intention to have fun, bond, and do interesting things, or do you care more about having a forum for expressing your challenges and issues as a man to work through them?

Answering these questions will help you get clear on your purpose for the group.

How to find the right men for your brotherhood:

This is probably the hardest part, and why most men will never do the work necessary to create an organized men’s group.

You have a few choices:

  • Find an existing men’s group or meetup that’s firmly established. If you just want a forum for expressing yourself and exploring your masculinity, this might be the best fit for you. This is the easiest choice if you can find a good group that’s already established.
  • Create a group locally. This will give you the most intentional control and freedom as you won’t have to work within the bounds of an established group and “fit in” to their intentions. This is a bit harder, but worth it if you want to determine the direction of the group.
  • Move somewhere where there’s an existing group. This is obviously the most difficult option. However, if you are already looking to move somewhere where there is a culture much more resonant with who you are, this change might be exactly what you need.
  • Create a group virtually. Obviously, this is the most limited variation, but it might be good enough if you can’t find or create a local group. Instead, you might meet on Skype or Google Hangout.

Recruiting and enlisting the right men:

Who and how you’ll recruit depends on your intention for the group. If you want a group of guys that meets every month as an excuse to go on exciting adventures, you will have different criteria for the men you enlist than if you’re wanting a weekly men’s group that meets to discuss and challenge each other to grow as men.

You don’t have to limit yourself to either of these group types, but deciding your intention for the group will help you identify the right candidates.

Here are some tips I’ve found helpful for finding good men:

  • Try to look for guys that are interested in personal growth, fitness, and pushing past personal limitations. Where do these men hang out? Conferences, seminars, blogs, forums, and events related to personal growth, of course.
  • Look for men that you wouldn’t mind hanging out with for an entire weekend. If someone is going to get on your nerves quickly, they’re probably not a great fit.
  • Determine the size of the group and demographics you want. I find that 6-10 guys is a great size and keeps things fairly simple. Most of the men in our group are in the age range of 25-50. All of us are health-conscious and live active lifestyles so it makes it easy for us to do physical things.
  • Look within your network first. Approach peers, coworkers, friends, and family that you would love to connect with more deeply. Post something on Facebook telling people you’re considering starting a group and ask for interest. Email the people you’re considering including directly with a casual invitation.
  • If you’re having trouble enlisting in your established network, utilize tools like Craigslist (in their Strictly Platonic section) and Meetup.com.

Creating the right space and intention:

Our men’s group meets on the last Saturday of every month. Each month we take nominations for what we’re going to do next, and then we vote on what we’ll do.

We use this as an excuse to do adventurous things and conquer personal challenges. Some of them are things that have been on one of our bucket lists for a long time. Some are things one of us has always wanted to learn or try. Sometimes it’s just something random and fun.

If you want to be more formal, you can organize a weekly group with a set agenda. A quick start guide on creating a formal men’s group can be found here.

Next, decide what the rules will be, if any. For our group we have two rules:

  1. It’s not about business. If we didn’t have this rule it would be easy for us to default to conversations and activities centered around work. Since we already do that enough, this rule helps us stay focused on what matters to us: connection beyond work.
  2. If you miss more than two meetups in a row you’ll stop getting invited. We want members that are committed and in this for the long haul. If you’re not committed, well, it wasn’t meant to be, and we’re not going to try to convince you otherwise.

We might change this in the future, but this works for us right now.

The final, never-ending step — cultivating the brotherhood:

Starting is obviously the hardest step. But you can’t end there.

Creating a lasting, lifelong brotherhood takes time, energy, and continual investment. You have to “show up” for your brothers on a regular basis. You need to hold space for them to become who they’re meant to be. You need to encourage them, challenge them, and push each other to reach new heights.

More than anything, you just need to show up.

Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Take an active interest in the desires, dreams, and goals of the men in your group. How can you tailor discussions, events, and adventures that help your friends achieve their dreams?
  • Regularly brief the group. What’s coming up next? What was something fun and memorable that happened the last time you all hung out?
  • Share the spotlight and encourage others (especially more withdrawn and introverted members) to share their voice and take a leadership role. Consider rotating coordination and leadership of meetings and events.
  • Teach via example. The more you show up in your fully alive, embodied masculinity, the more you will inspire others to do the same.
  • Make it damn near unmissable. Cultivate an experience and a group that no one wants to miss.

The primary key is to show up and give courageously to your fellow men.

The world needs more brotherhood. Will you create it?

We need more men to step up. We need more men showing up and leading by example.

Don’t wait until you’ve got it all figured out as a man. Don’t wait until you’re the perfect leader. Don’t wait until you have the perfect group of men. A ragtag group of misfits will do.

The world needs more courageous men banding together to challenge each other, to grow together. Wouldn’t you agree?

So here’s my challenge to you: Do one thing today to cultivate more brotherhood in your life.

Now, over to you: Have you ever felt a lack of brotherhood in your life? What are you going to do about it?

___________________

Jonathan Mead is a writer and coach who helps people build tribes around something they love to do and get paid handsomely for it. For more on building a tribe and getting paid to live courageously, download the free toolkit he made for you here.

 

{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Benton8090 June 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm

I know exactly what you mean: I felt this same way. I joined the Freemasons, and found its goals to be exactly what you describe: the primary focus is making good men into better men. I was lucky enough to find a very active lodge, with lots of young members as well as seasoned brothers. If this article resonates with you, I would go check out your local lodge. Being a part of a worldwide fraternity that is one of the worlds oldest surviving organizations is pretty sweet.

2 Jay Domino June 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I am so glad that I was able to find this exceptional post. I personally lack some male bonding in my life, and have for a very long time, and this has inspired me to form my own pack – to glue a group of men together that are genuinely interested in bonding and collective motivation. I need more strong male figures in my life; now, I know how to get them. Thank you.

3 Sam June 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm

If you’re Catholic, the best way I found is to join the Knights of Columbus. I’m the youngest member at my Parish, which has it’s ups and downs (less reliability yet more options to inherit wisdom), but overall it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made.

4 carl Monster June 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm

There’s a reality this article overlooks, and its life today for most men in the thick of their adulthood.
Yes, I joined a new men’s group, and boy is it having problems getting off the ground. Every man I find worth knowing is busy; very busy. With kids’ sports. House repair. Taking care of aging parents. Divorced dads having the kids that weekend. Working, long, long hours and much travel to go with that. I asked one man to join us and he replied “I attend meetings all week, the last thing I want to do is attend another one.”
Yes, many men pay lip service to brotherhood, but most are chasing the American Dream; trying to be good providers, fathers, sons and spouses. Brotherhood takes a back seat to that.

5 Mike June 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Great post! This is something many men, including myself, are lacking in their lives (at least in the scope outlined here). I do have a question, though. How can you mention “mind-expanding” tea, and just leave it at that? We must know what this stuff is!

6 David June 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I started a private community on Google+ a while back. One of the men in the group recently asked me what my vision for the group was and I didn’t have a clear answer but as I read this I realized this desire for brotherhood is what prompted me to form the community. Now I have to see if I can spread the vision among our members and see if we can make a go of it.

7 Matt Whitney June 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Thanks for putting up this post Brett! I’ve felt a need to start a men’s group at my college after seeing how listless and in need of manly fellowship the guys there are. This article really inspired me that I’m doing the right thing as well as gave me some great pointers on what to do. Keep up the quality work here. I know that Art of Manliness will be a guiding force for this group in the Fall. You’ve taught me a lot and I know you’ll teach other men a lot too.

8 Deeter June 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Solid. This is something my college friends and I are trying to create. Having a bit of trouble getting their motivation up to do more than just talk, though!
I think you would advise for me to make the experience unmissable, but the unmissable stuff is often hard to do (like go out of town, since we live in a tiny college town). Any advice on that?

9 dannyb278 June 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm

I feel honored to know that I’ve got the same hard core group of friends since I was 7 yers old. Through grade school, high school, college going off to find our own paths, marriages, divorces, multiple kids we all make a point to see each other every few months and catch up. Through thick and thin for over 20 years these guys have been my closest friends and I could not ask for a better group of men.

10 Bob Robertson June 18, 2013 at 10:39 pm

I wonder if part of this “lack” is the fact that sons are shuffled off into the Gulags every day rather than having a father around to teach them?

11 Corey M. Bickford June 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Great article. Growing up with a bunch of sisters and an absentee father has lead to me having trouble relating to other males with any kind of ease. The thoughts and suggestions in this article were a lot of help and I intend to use them in my own life.

12 mark albright June 18, 2013 at 11:21 pm

The definitive book on male initiation and the role of the mentor is Iron John written by Robert Bly. Bly starts the path to manhood by getting in touch with our “Wildman” that reconnects us to the earth. Who in turn helps initiate the young boy into the world of men through a series of tasks. This process also honors the feminine but clearly returns the responsibility for bringing the boy into manhood on older males. Iron John points the way for men to develop their inner warrior not through aggression but by understanding and protecting what one loves. Honoring the truth with healing and learning to grieve open the door to feeling which gives men the courage to face the depths of their fears and become real men.

13 Johnjx June 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm

In some ways, I think this article helps explain the popularity of gangs among some young kids. They are creating what they perceive as a brotherhood even if their activities are dangerous and illegal.

14 Max June 18, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I get a little anxious/paranoid every time I consider trying to start something like this at my massive college (25,000 undergrads) because when I think “men’s group” or “women’s group” I think of really depressingly lonely middle aged people, not college guys. Plus most guys who are really desperate for friends and a feigned sense of “brotherhood” just join a frat anyway…it’s sad. I just have no idea how to market/broadcast for this kind of thing without coming off pretty weird.

15 Tim June 19, 2013 at 12:23 am

Being a social outcast can also be harmful to your growth not just as a man, but as an individual. I was the nerd in high school, but we fellow nerds banded together. They helped me grow, but regrettably I grew up a little faster than some of them.

Thankfully, my current gaming group has given me that sense of belonging that I’ve wanted most of my life. They’ve helped me develop as a man, and we’ve all become better for it.

16 Nik June 19, 2013 at 4:39 am

I feel the same way. I recognize this of wanting to be in a group and exploring life, being accepted whilst doing wierd shit and having people you can trust with your life, who’ll be there no matter what. I had this, once. I believe in all stated above – we learn by this. I think it’s interesting, because I’m not sure this is just a male thing. I say, because I’m not a male. Do you think it has to be gender divided to work? I believe women do this too, except, like someone else said – the american dream takes over. People get families, babies and put this “brotherhood” on hold.

17 ben June 19, 2013 at 5:56 am

Excellent article. I became a Freemason about five years ago, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Every aspect of what you describe above is satisfied by the Masons, and they are a great group of men. Totally recommended.

18 latham June 19, 2013 at 6:12 am

I fell into an awesome brotherhood in a place you wouldn’t expect. I got a job as a bouncer while I’m in college. Because of our job we developed a strong bond with each other. We have to trust that any one of us will literally put his neck on the line for the other at any minute. Now we spend almost every day together, we have meet ups on certain days. For example there is a BBQ shop that only opens up one day a week in town so we all meet there on Thursdays.

19 Chris June 19, 2013 at 6:20 am

Hi great post. I am in my mid 50′s and the article on brotherhood strongly resonated with me as I am on a search to rekindle the male bonds developed that we ll had through our school years and other activities.For those mature/retired men reading this, there is group in Australia called the Australian Men’s Shed Association (www.mensshed.org). It started here a few years ago. While its focus is mainly mature/retired men it cuts across all ages. As part of my search for brotherhood I established a ‘Shed’ in the area where I live and we have around 40 men on our books and about 20 turning up regularly. The activities of the individual sheds are up to the men in the shed to decide, but often include manual crafts, men’s health, community help, coffee/chat, talks by subject experts, community garden, walks, basically anything the men in the shed want to do. The sheds get the men out of the house and have been tremendously beneficial in helping men combat loneliness, depression etc and many strong friendships have been formed. I don’t know if there is anything similar in the USA but would recommend anyone contemplating starting up a similar group in the USA to check it out. Keep up the great articles. Cheers.

20 Ryan June 19, 2013 at 6:38 am

And this gentlemen is why I’m proud to say I’m a Moose Legionnaire! Sailfish #197!!! I implore all of you seeking such bonds to search out your local Loyal Order of Moose lodge!

21 Ekhart June 19, 2013 at 6:41 am

Great article! Few years back, when I was 15 I used to be in a small (about 10 people) Medieval brotherhood back in Poland. I really was (and still am) in this kind of stuff, and when I found out about it I immediately signed in. Even though I was in the brotherhood for only 4-5 months (I had to leave because of moving to different country), I made a great bond with all people in the brotherhood. During trainings, especially melee, we would try everything to beat the other person, to win, but once we put down swords and shields, we were laughing, talking, drinking like best friends. It was great mix of competition, training and fun amongst men. And I’d say it affected all of us. For these few hours a week we lived medieval, where honour was the biggest value. I still really miss these people. And when I moved to Ireland I tried to find something like that, even thought of re-creating it, but I guess there are not many people here interested in that. Unfortunately.

22 JohnK June 19, 2013 at 7:16 am

This definitely strikes a chord, in addition to the being neighborly and making friends in a new locale posts. Being 24 and having moved to Denver from a small southern town, I have felt the need to find my own science of developing brotherhood, and have instinctually always done so through boxing and other martial clubs. The bond and respect generated from squaring off in good hearted competition for the purposes of mutual development is powerful, and those scenes are always ripe with the driven self improvement focused types and refines the good nature in us. I used to be jealous of the attention drug dealers commanded at house parties and the like, it seemed they could easily strike that “social provider” chord that is so alluring to have in play for relationships with women, but feeding strays does not yield the same result is belonging to a legitimate band of brothers. I’ve made tighter bonds through helping people with work and living situations, and emphasizing my due respect for the seniority, mastery, and parenthood among the men in my life. A friend in need is a friend indeed as they say. On a side note, as nerdy as it sounds, may I recommend a good campaign of D&D. It brings much originality, spirit of adventure, conversation, laughs, fun, perspective, and can be very mentally stimulating and create a funny and memorable shared experience as well as a consistent reason to meet up in addition or lieu of all the other amazing things you will inevitably do in your time together, it allows the players to commit to conversation in comfortable measure in a kind of group forum over food drinks music and a mentally stimulating game of choice cause and effect. Bball to wake yourselves up and talk smack, and I can’t bust out the focus mits and boxing gloves without ending up in a conversation with how I aspire to teach my kids boxing, that always ends in conversations deep delving into the aspirations of our characters and developing comraderie. Shared workouts and homecooked pre/post meals. As womanly as recipe sharing may initially strike you, culinary is imo a very manly pursuit. If you can watch good eats without aspiring to be more more like Alton Brown, you’re missing something. /end rant before it drags on ad infinitum. Good luck in all your endeavors brothers.

23 Aaron J June 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

I whole heartedly agree with Benton8090. Freemasonry is a great way to obtain that lifelong brotherhood that we all need as men. I joined my local lodge earlier this year and so far it’s been great. I highly recommend it to any man seeking brotherhood.

24 James A. Brown June 19, 2013 at 8:25 am

Good post, albeit one that puts name to the pain. I haven’t had true friends since college, 25 years ago. Today its either the occasional lunch with coworkers or “tagalong husbands as our wives who are best friends talk about the kids.”

Totally sympathize with the “lack of time” reasons. I’d love to find a brotherhood, but with two full-time jobs and a creaky house to maintain? To take an entire weekend to go camping with the guys feels like the height of selfishness.

25 Ken June 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

I’ve found an excellent brotherhood at my local Cowboy Church. You don’t need to be a cowboy to join in. Think about the principles of cowboys and you can see the life lessons and comraderie that it entails.

26 George F Matheis Jr June 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

I first found brotherhood when I joined the Army when I was 18 and later again when I became a police officer. As stated having to count on someone for survival makes you close. Now I find it with Veterans groups like Rolling Thunder and Warrior Brotherhood. All men need it. Like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it.- George

27 Nathan DeParis June 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

@ sam

I am a Knight of Columbus to, council 14725.

It is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I may be the yougest there, but that’s ok the guys I am with know what it is like to have brotherhood. They make you want to become a better man, and put more into Charity, Fraternity, Unity and Patriotism. Once I get out of school I will look forward to serving more . I wish it would come sooner tan later

28 Steve June 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Great post, very inspiring. The hard part of course is finding the like minded men in my area who share common interests and goals. Won’t find them without trying, and this post inspires me to do just that, thanks!

29 Kevin Reno June 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm

This post is exactly what John Eldrege talks about in his book “The Way of the Wild Heart” I firmly believe every man should read that book. It changed my life 100% and made me understand so much about manhood and what it means to be fathered. I got my Dad to read it “he never reads” and it changed him too. He didn’t have a father and this book healed him in places he didn’t know existed. Please please read “The Way of the Wild Heart” if this article was special to you.

30 Pedro June 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Hey, could you guys from Art of Manliness make an article about teenagers and young adults? I’m 17 and have been following the site for 6 months now, and I enjoy it very much. It’s very hard for young men like me to find good information of the web on how to be a good man; most of it only teaches you how to bed women and get six-pack abs. I believe that if father weren’t of advanced age during my childhood, I wouldn’t have the appreciation for old-school manliness like I do now. Thanks!

31 Richard Oberreiter June 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm

As an older guy (50+), I can certainly recommend church and fraternal groups. One group that get’s overlooked by younger guys are civic service organizations. Consider Rotary, people think it’s a business group, but it’s really a civic, local and international, service organization. My 22 years of association have been very meaningful. Once you join a group your sense of community will increase dramatically.

32 Jason June 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I feel this lack of brotherhood. I’m in my mid-20s and I was in a fraternity in college, but my fraternity lacked in the brotherhood arena. I had a small group of guys from my fraternity that were starting to become a brotherhood, but I moved away and that makes it harder. After reading this article I plan to reach out to the national organization and see if there are any groups they know of in the area.

Here is an idea for AoM, create a space where men from the same geographic area can get in touch and possibly form a brotherhood, maybe the forums are that place, maybe not.

33 Adam June 19, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I joined my local Round Table. It’s a great organisation for young men up to 45 years old. We run the town fireworks, beer festival and spend a lot of time playing with diggers, shotguns and boats. Not sure how many groups there are outside the UK though.

34 Bob June 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I am fortunate to have been a fireman for 34 years and have experienced brotherhood at its finest.

My brothers are still with me even though I’ve been retired for 3 years now, it seems nothing has changed; I just don’t see them every day.

35 David June 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm

As I read the various comments about fraternal groups I am reminded of an article I read a few years ago about the decline of fraternal and service community groups in our society. I wonder if their decline is a contributing factor to the seemingly increasing prevalence of men feeling a lack of brotherhood and the decline of communal feeling in our nation.

36 Will Butler June 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm

After starting a men’s-flag-football-networking-and-encouragement group this summer, I can vouch for the startup being the hardest part. It takes extra leg work at first to overcome busy schedules, find a good activity and a group of willing participants. You want to be all-inclusive but the simple fact is you can only have men that share this as a priority.
Now that it’s up and running, it’s much easier and self-sustaining. Some of the articles recommendations are already in place and working well and I’ll be using the other ones we haven’t used yet.
The topics and tips on this site help set the agenda for discussion and taking an interest in each man allows us to support and challenge each other.
The activities are secondary to conversation but still important. I’d be happy to hear any ideas for activities that are conducive to men’s groups (watching tv would not be one.)

37 Jonathan Mead June 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Thanks for all your comments and support AoM readers!

So glad everyone here is getting sparked with ideas and inspiration to join or create their own brotherhoods.

38 Matt June 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm

@Jason has the right idea. Isn’t AoM a general virtual brotherhood. Leveraging the interest of men in this site and this post in particular has huge networking/brotherhood potential.

39 Mike from Omaha June 19, 2013 at 9:33 pm

What is this mind-expanding tea you speak of and where can I find some?

40 rob June 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Excellent post! I feel a serious need for this in my life, even though I’m 55 this summer. I’m totally active, healthy, run my own business, and take some cool trips..life is good, but I spend way too much time with my wife or alone….and this is the one area I totally lack and totally value. Thanks for posting this. Excellent read and excellent ideas….Rob

41 Owen Marcus June 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Jonathan, excellent post – you are right, we can’t do it alone. I also realized that years ago and asked 11 men. For me the request was to join a weekly men’s group.

The need and benefits were greater than I imagine. After 8 years the group evolved to 4 groups and close to 100 men have participated or are continuing to participate.

A documentary film, About Men is soon to be released on our group, the Sandpoint Men’s Group. Our success generated a nonprofit where men can download for free the protocols to starting and running a successful group – http://www.mencorps.org.

To deal with the demand to introduce men to men’s groups, and then support them in them developing groups we created http://www.freetowin.CO.

On June 30th we are doing a low cost event in N.Y.C. for men who want to start or deepen a group.

As you can see, I’m pumped about men’s groups. A powerful group will transform a man’s life, be a life that is struggling or one that is succeeding yet is looking for more. Find or start a group. It will be the best investment you can make as a man. You partner, family, work and community will appreciate it. If there anything I can do to help, let me know.

42 Cobrapilot June 20, 2013 at 6:19 am

“If you miss more than two meetups in a row you’ll stop getting invited”

You missed the mark Jonathan.

I wanted to like this article because I rely on my ‘Brothers’ in life so much, and I agree that men need a brotherhood.

Here it is in a nutshell: The kind of bond you are craving with other men must come organically through your life experiences, and it will never include arbitrary rules or ultimatums.

You may eventually find what you are searching for through the group you’ve created, and then…it won’t matter if your ‘Brother’ doesn’t show up for two meetings or even two years, because you’ll instantly have that bond no matter how much time goes by.

Best

43 Harper June 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

Exceptional read… since moving to a larger city I too find myself isolated from brotherly bonding. It’s difficult to break away from the tight knit group of guys you grow up with, but even they have families and obligations now. You would think that a larger city would make it easier to bond, but in all honesty the anonymity of humanity in a metropolitan area makes the challenge for male bonding even greater. I look forward to moving soon back to a more familiar area and striking up a brotherhood with like minded men again. Thanks for the post… gives hope to those, like me, who need to fill that void in their lives.

44 Chris June 20, 2013 at 9:39 am

@Cobrapilot. While I understand your point, the rules are there to make the “Brotherhood” stronger, to make a due diligent commitment. I understand that the relationships carved might be way stronger, and years could go by and you pick right back up where you left off, but for the purpose of the growth of the brotherhood, commitment is needed.

45 Milton Lee June 20, 2013 at 11:54 am

I understand the need for these groups, men in general have become much less men. My very best friend has been just that for over 40 years, we joined the military together, watched each others children grow up. We would do anything for each other. I know that this has made me a better man and that the things we do together now and the things we did when we were young have made us better men and fathers and husbands. The military had a great impact on me as well, and I know that it’s not for everyone but it made me a better man. Look for strong well adjust friend with at least something in common. AND act like men.

46 Barrett June 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm

People love to rag on fraternities, but my fraternity experience was an overwhelmingly positive one. Several of my pledge brothers live close by, and we still see each other regularly. Maybe I bought my friends, but considering how well those friendships have turned out, I’d say it was worth the investment.

47 Joe June 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Amen Barrett. My fraternity brothers have been there for me for all of the highs and lows of my life for the past twenty-some years. Most fraternities are willing to start regional or city-based alumni clubs. Just contact the national organization for a list of brothers in your area, reserve a room at a restaurant, and see how many guys show up.

48 Sandpaper June 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Yes, yes, YES!

This article hits the nail on the head. Over and over again.

Another reminder why I visit this site daily.
Thanks. :)

49 Lowell Outslay June 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm

The first post by Benton8091 is exactly right. Find a lodge and become a Mason all the things in the article can be found in a Masonic Lodge.

50 Grace Burrowes June 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Gentlemen, at the risk of intruding on a nigh sacred discussion…
Go for it. From my perspective as a single mom and child welfare attorney, much that’s wrong in my world can be traced to the devaluing of the honorable man, the tendency to view the successful guy as the one who made partner before he was born, not the guy who expects himself under all circumstances to aim for kindness and truth. If you’re going to buck that de-valuing tide (in which at least some women participate), you must arm yourselves with the respect, wisdom and support of your fellows, and besides–it’s wicked fun to hang with your bros.
You’re bro material–you are. .

51 Tom June 21, 2013 at 7:12 am

I am so blessed to have been part of a group that did this over 20 years ago. I have 3 to 5 men in my life who know everything about me and still claim to know me. I would give anything I had to any of these guys in a heartbeat!

52 Colin J June 21, 2013 at 8:20 am

This was very enlightening, thank you. I’m a dad of three with a very busy work schedule. I have a couple of guy friends, but feel I have very little time for them. When my schedule is finally open, I usually just want to be with my family. I feel so guilty at even the notion of leaving them for the day to hang out with a friend. But this article has really shown me what I’ve been missing. There really is an absence of brotherhood in many mens lives, and I count myself among them. I really need to rethink how I prioritize my male friendships, and see if I can one day start such a group. Thanks again!

53 Dean June 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Critical Reason #4: A Majority of the Men Who Experience Unwanted Homosexual Feelings and Struggle to Overcome the Homosexual Addiction in their Sexual Behaviors, Also Reported a Deeply Emotional Father Wound, and an Unfulfilled Desire and Need for Brotherhood:

Now, before you shoot me for being so politically incorrect, or accuse me of being “intolerant,” let me also assure you that I speak from my own 49 years of very personal knowledge and experience concerning this trend. There is no crime in pursuing a biblical understanding of these issues, and trying to better one’s own life and behavior according to our God-given, individual right of self-determination. And no, I don’t really give a d@mn what the gay activists or gay-pandering politicians have to say in opposition to that well-established fact!

America has been severely lied to! Homosexuality is not about a need for same-gender sex. In most males, it is actually a very broken place of trying to fulfill our masculine need for fatherhood validation, and to experience a sense of genuine brotherhood within our masculine relationships; most often because those legitimate human needs went significantly unmet during childhood.

I found that finding a close brother and friend who finally met my need for intimate, non-sexual, genuine and committed brotherhood, did more to help me in my personal struggle with same-sex attraction and behavior issues, than any passage of Scripture ever did. Nonetheless, the critical foundation of Bible Scripture itself was and will forever be my personal starting point in any truth or reasoning I applied toward understanding these issues, and what it was that I was actually dealing with in the unwanted feelings and behavior patterns.

Face and conquer those deeper inward issues of human brokenness (the things that homosexual behavior is always an indication and outward symptom of) and you break the cycle of the homosexual behavior itself!

Trouble is that you never hear of stories like mine, because the gay activists have the social media and our liberal-minded government officials thoroughly deceived, and they are leading the rest of the country down a road of grossly distorted understanding, under a completely misapplied banner of “civil rights.”

Homosexuality a “civil right?” Friends, that’s just plain ignorant! I know, because genuine brotherhood set me free from such behaviors.

54 Daan June 21, 2013 at 5:54 pm

AMAZING post. We’ve had a brotherhood like this for the past two years. It was difficult in the beginning but by now everybody is so deeply involved that we don’t need to push each other to be present anymore. We have created that intense experience that you talk about.

I hope many men in the world will start doing this because the world will become a better place to live in. So far we started a female group and another male group next to ours and are intending to continue to inspire.

Thanks for the post!!!

55 Jennifer June 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm

This is remarkably similar to my experience with my (all-female) theatre company. Good stuff!

56 Matthew June 21, 2013 at 9:02 pm

One thing I didn’t see is they way groups of guys can tend to break up.

It happens. Yes, you’re inseparable now. I had something of a group like that. Then one of the central members of the group died far before his time. Now every time we see each other we see the empty seat where he would have sat.

You’d be surprised how something like that can completely fracture a group. We still see each other on occasion, but it’s just 2 or 3 of us meeting occasionally up when our schedules line up.

57 Rob June 21, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I agree with Carl. I really like the idea of having a group of men to spend time with regularly, but all the men I know (late 30-somethings) are so busy with work and family that they just don’t feel like they have time for this kind of things. Few men my age seem to have good male friends and mostly hang out with our families. I’m actually not too unsatisfied with it but do sometimes long for my brotherly companionship. My dad was active in the Rotary Club and Elks Lodge. I wonder what’s changed since then. Are we really busier or just think we are? Do we just have different priorities? I know my dad didn’t spend as much time with us kids as I do with mine — it’s important to me. But do I need more balance?

58 Jeff June 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

@ Benton8090

I’m interested in joining the Masons. I requested information from the lodge in my area, but haven’t heard back. Is there anything to the idea (or is it a myth?) that one must have family connections to the Masons in order to join? I’m attracted to the idea of living a service-oriented life, and the chance to belong to a storied fraternal organization.

Thanks for any thoughts you have.

59 Saya June 22, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Are ladies allowed to post on this site?

Oh goodness, can all you men move to Chicago ASAP?!? You all sound fabulous and I want you at my events.

I started a business nine-years ago that’s all about re-creating the summer-camp vibe, where you’re thrown together with people from all walks of life yet experience an immediate sense of comfort and camaraderie that continues even after the “thing” is over. All about laughter, play, unplugging, challenging oneself, and supporting one another in environments that aren’t network-y, bar-y, doucebag-y, date-y. I couldn’t find the community you speak of post-graduation so decided to create it for myself… turns out, lots of other folks want said community as well.

Business has been going gangbusters but I cannot get enough dudes to balance out the ridiculous number of lady-participants (e.g. my last two retreats: 19 gals, guy). Single, married, gay, straight, all are welcome.

Thanks for this great post and the ensuing comments. Gives me hope that there are guys out there who want to connect on deeper levels, aren’t afraid of sharing emotions, are up for things other than sports ‘n beer (nothing wrong with those, just nice to do other stuff too!).

If any of you happen to be Chicago-based…

60 Pita June 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Wow. This article really turned on a light bulb for me. I was in a fraternity in college and then spent 10 years in the Navy. I thoroughly enjoyed both, although I was happy to leave the Navy at the time. After a few years out of they Navy I joined the reserves because I missed the people. Now I’ve recently retired from the reserves and I have to admit that there is something missing now that I no longer meet with like-minded people. Reading this article is such a wake-up call. I now understand what it is that I am missing. Brotherly companionship. Thank you for the kick in the head!

61 Bill June 23, 2013 at 8:28 am

I, fortunately, have found my brothers in my military profession. Growing up, my parents were divorced. We had a lot of friends, childhood friends, that hung out at my place, all the time. My father took us once a month for a weekend (this was the 70′s/early 80s, completely acceptable then). Now, I did get direction from him, but, it was once a month. The Army, when I joined at the fresh young age of 18, was my first true direction. I have been out since 2004, but the men I served with, combat, training, wherever in the world we were, was so solid a bond, I still occasionally talk to friends I havent physically seen since 1991. Fortunately, with FB, email, and cell phones, its easy to stay in touch. My best friend, who is being my best man in my wedding, I served with in 2002. We see each other occasionally, but, we have a bond that, no matter what, no matter when-we are there for each other. Even if we dont talk or see each other for months.

62 Kevin June 24, 2013 at 12:56 am

This post gave me the idea to bring back something I used to do with college buddies. We used to have “Yes Man Wednesdays.” The rules were that anyone could suggest an idea of something to do and you couldn’t say no, but everybody could each offer 1 critique to fine tune the idea. It led to some interesting nights, but really it got us out of our routine/comfort-zone which made the experiences great for bonding.

63 Jed June 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

I am so thankful for this article. I sent this out to a few of my friends, one being my actual brother, and now we are going to start one. We are trying to follow the guidelines very closely. I am so happy to hear that my friends are all for it. I mean, like you said, my friend said that he was really longing for some, well, guy time. A group that he could really just confide in one another. Thank you so much for this article. And I hope this site just keeps getting more awesome on top of how much it already is

64 D_Dub June 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Wow, that is the article I’ve been waiting for, a.k.a., the kick in the ass I needed. I have been complaining about the lack of a brotherhood for years. I’ve read a lot on the subject, but this is the first that gave the step-by-step (practicle and doable) instructions. Now it’s time for to get off the pot and do something about it.

65 Jonathan Mead June 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm

@D_Dub: Glad you liked it brother. Happy to hear that it was broken down in a way that made it more actionable for you.

66 Jonathan Mead June 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm

@Jed: So awesome to hear that. The key now is to keep the momentum going!

67 Jester June 26, 2013 at 9:33 am

@Jeff

If you by chance check this again, you do not need any family ties to the Masons to become one. We would have died out a long time ago.

Stop by your local lodge in person (they should have hours posted) and speak with some people.

There are groups affiliated with the Masons that do “practice” illegally. Ask to see if they’re a Blue Lodge and have a Charter from the Grand Lodge of whichever state you’re in. Hope this helps.

68 Tim Webb June 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I wish such a brotherhood could be created, but it seems that modern life in the modern world mitigates against it. Long distances between where people life, extreme difficulty in finding (actually making!) time, social media (which makes relationships more shallow)…

69 Bull Garlington June 26, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Jonathan;

Thank you very much for writing this article. I hope it gains a lot of traction and becomes a much visited post for years to come.

I was fortunate that the men in both my families were Freemasons as far back as anyone can remember. In my early 20s, I finally followed their lead and joined the organization that has come to mean so much to me, and has come to fill that odd fraternal gap your article addresses.

However, there are other fraternities, other ways to bond with like minded men. I am continuously impressed, astonished, and most often very damn grateful for the brotherhood I experience in lodge.

I know there are other fraternities out there and I know some of them are new and highly specific and a lot of fun. I recently met the guys who started a club all about grilling. I spend a lot of time at a local cigar bar and believe me, it’s a ribald brotherhood of smoke.

Freemasonry filled out my life with direction and a code of behavior. But it gave me something far more valuable: a real, true, lively, hilarious, deep, astonishing, remarkable brotherhood.

Bull Garlington
Worshipful Master
Kelvyn Park Willing Lodge
Chicago

(As for our friend above who had such a startling response regarding homosexuality, I can only say: I, and many of my masonic brethren who are gay as all hell, would respectfully disagree.)

70 Michael June 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I wish there was an AoM club/association/network that could help connect individuals with/and small start-up groups. I joined a F&AM lodge here years ago but was unsuccessful in finding the Brotherhood and environment I had hoped for. (I also visited several of the closer lodges to see if things were different there with no luck.) Most of the local clubs (Moose/Elks/etc) were formed for the purpose of getting liquor licenses in an otherwise dry rural county. So I am still on the look out. Best of luck to us all gentlemen.

71 Dan June 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I have found the ultimate in brotherhood by being a volunteer firefighter. It is everything you’ve described above. There is a large social aspect and everyone looks out for their brothers. There are all kinds of men at all ages involved and I get out of it as much or more than I give. I also like to think of us in some sense as the “sheepdogs” of society. The cool thing is that the majority of America is protected by volunteer fire departments.

72 Steve B June 30, 2013 at 11:45 am

Men, consider the Boy Scouts again. The BSA is a great fit for the goals stated in this article. Scouts are not “an adventure that ends at adulthood”; instead, the BSA is always looking for high quality men to be mentors and examples. You can achieve your brotherhood goals (with the other adults) and give back at the same time. Perfect.

My older son bridged into Boy Scouts this year (from Cub Scouts). I jumped right in as well, and I’m loving every minute of it. We do community service, exciting, challenging (and sometimes slightly dangerous) outdoor activities, we learn from one another, and we teach our sons how to be men. Perfect!

73 Firemedic18D July 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Good article. Although most of us who visit this site are probably over the age of 33 there is something I would like to add. Advice maybe for the young gents who would read this article, the ones who seek not only brotherhood, but wish to gain a better understanding of who they are. I am not a recruiter, nor do I believe that everyone should serve their country. You can go to college, join a fraternity (been there, done that, not even close to a true brotherhood). Become a cop, join the PBA. Become a fireman and stake claim in the IAFF (I currently do). Freemasons, church groups, athletic teams, all of these will afford you some kind of brotherhood.
The brotherhood the author speaks of can be found in two very specific places and in my opinion, no where else. The first place, is home. A blood brother in the very literal sense. The second, the military. You can pick any branch you wish, it’s the job that will solidify it. Pick a MOS that is deeply rooted in combat. The experiences you share with your team, your squad, your chalk, your unit or however you find your element divided will developer relationships deeper than most could ever find in this world. I myself have about 20 brothers on this planet, most of which I see a few times a year despite a lot of America between us. The ones I don’t see, is because they are still “working” yet email and cell calls come in at their convenience.
I find this site to be a great way to model yourself as a man in this day and age. I will make one last point before I stop my busy mind and clumsy fingers. Think about who the “manliest man” you have ever known is or was….then ask yourself this, “did he serve his country?” I’m willing to bet the answer is YES.

74 HDSale July 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm

I am fortunate enough to have a firm brotherhood with a group of friends since highschool. We are now in our 40s and have all married, some divorced, some left and some returned, but we always stick by each other and value the good times we have together.

The most important thing you can give to a brotherhood is time. I see many posts saying men are too busy doing other things to make time for real, genuine friendship and brotherhood. Having a tight group of brothers should be a priority in life, as these people will help you through thick and thin.

75 ttopher July 15, 2013 at 2:26 am

Great article. As a gay man, I have (mistakenly) thought that my father’s submission to my mother was the cause of: 1) my sexuality, 2) my sense of inferiority.

This is all wrong – my mother was simply my mother, with all of her ‘wrongs’; but she didn’t create my current state. And neither did my father by being ‘weak’.

Saying all of that, I have always wanted a strong older brother to help me navigate the world – a brotherhood as described here.

Reading this post has reinforced not my parents perceived weaknessness, but the vaccuum of male bonding.

As a side note, I’ve noted the subtle movement of males trying to find their place in the world – from ‘I’m an Alpha’ to ‘I’m a faggot’. Much of it seems to reflect a similar movement/change of awareness that happened with the Feminisim movements of the 60′s and 70′s.

76 Jeff F July 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Great Post. I became a Freemason 5 years ago, and I will mirror the sentiment in a few of the comments above – it can fulfill many of the needs expressed in the article.

If you are interested in joining a Lodge near you, be patient. The Lodge contact is a volunteer and family man like everyone else, and could be quite busy. See if they have an open house or ask to get a tour of the building and then ask lots of questions.

77 Charles (aka: Hiram) August 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Let me talk about my path to brotherhood and manhood…

If you meet the physical requirements, join the military (active or reserve), or national guard. After first getting out, you will not realize you have changed any. But 20 years down the road people will view you differently when in conversation you reference someone or something from your military days. Take me for instance. I served honorably about 5 years in USAF. I saw less than 4 months in the Persian Gulf area. I got hurt and got out on a medical. Compared to my grandfather (God rest his soul), the action he saw makes my action look like a trip to the YMCA. But to hear some old WW2 or Korean War vet say “Thank you for serving” instantly gives me a sense of brotherhood with those who give a crap about the United States.

And I’m a Freemason. I don’t fit the norm. I joined in my early 20s. But when I go to Lodge, I find other men, older men who have gone this way before me. Nobody will recruit you to be a Freemason. The main requirement is that you have to believe in an Almighty God, regardless of your religious preference as no atheist can be a Freemason. You have to have lived a life of virtue, as in no felony convictions. (Misdimeanors are on a case by case basis.) You have to love your Country. You cannot be (or ever have been) involved in any plot to overthrow the U.S. Government. Among us you will find a circle of friends. You will find men who will stand up for you and vouch for you when no one else will. If you qualify to join us you will enjoy a sense of brotherhood found no where else. If you are accepted, we, as other men, will stand up and you as one of our own. And that will make you a man!

78 Mox113 August 5, 2013 at 8:16 am

I would love to get something like this going here in the UK (West Midlands). Every way I look at starting something seems to attract little more than apathy. Like a few of the other posters, I have mostly work buddies but no-one I could really call part of my brotherhood. Its a shame really.

79 Mark Judge August 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I have found the comments from the readers as interesting as the original article. I live in London UK and have been part of men`s groups for about 14 years. Menspeak run by Kenny D`Cruz is good , but I have also done New Warrior training in the past. Both groups provided me with a forum and some occasional friendship and socialization but in reality men often use the groups to sort their stuff out and then move on. They do not generally become friendship making events, and this has saddened me in the past but I have got to know some great guys from it. Being gay has never been a barrier as once men are talking together without outsiders listening and without women being there they tend to be far more accepting/acceptable as the need to show off or strike a pose is much reduced. I have learnt a lot about being a man from these guys and I hope in my turn I have let these guys know how it is as a gay man. Now I am learning what it is like to be an older man (53) so this is my new adventure. I might just try the masons you know……
Mark from Enfield.

80 Michael August 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Although I am a believer in Jesus Christ, my feelings regarding same-sex needs (such as friendship and affection) may push people’s buttons. I believe that man-to-man affection is crucial to our health and well-being. It’s one thing to get affection from our wives (which I greatly appreciate from mine), however, something is different about me and a guy friend hugging each other – and it runs deep and has a substance to it that gives a person a sense of worth that runs deeper than a husband and wife interaction.

I joined a men’s group a year ago. I am retired Navy, as one of my fellow responders to this post is. Being a spiritual man who has learned how to tap into his emotions at will and knows how to handle them, for the most part, I have realized that having rich, deep powerful relationships with other men has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Having them in the military was great, but having them now that I am out of the military environment is even better.

I cannot tell you how much healing has come from having a band of brothers around me. We meet once a week, without fail. Sometimes there are 40 guys who show up. Sometimes 20. It doesn’t seem to matter. We get to know, and are known by, each other. And that knowing isn’t about shaming each other for making mistakes. We simply remind each other of the value WE see in each other, and we remind each other of how much GOD loves and appreciates us.

I couldn’t live without having at least one buddy walking by my side through the difficulties of life. Men are gifts to one another and I appreciate being one of you.

81 Isak September 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm

For everyone asking about the mind expanding tea my first guess would be ayahuasca. Do some googling, it helped me find who i was in this world and feel confident in my decisons long after the effects wore off

82 Fox September 30, 2013 at 6:23 am

In my experience said brotherhood is pretty much exchangeable with the simple term ‘friends’. Not the American way everyone you’ve met twice is considered a ‘friend’ but close friends one can genuinely trust, friends that would board a plane and fly around the world to help you out in serious situations. These kind of friends are extremely rare and it’s very unlikely to find them in a prearranged setting or organised group. They do not necessarily have to be guys. My best friend is a woman (nope, no romantic interest on either side) and I would put my life in her hands any time.

83 Marshall October 5, 2013 at 3:16 am

In my opinion this why you see so many young men who have lost their direction, or grew up in an empty home joining the Marines. The greatest brotherhood on the face of the earth, the brotherhood where they’re willing to die for the man next to them.

84 scott munsey November 19, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I love this article. great job you guy’s.
I’m a lone wolf, always have been, and always will be. that’s just an aspect of my d.n.a. I can’t change. never felt like I fit in anywhere. even the most comfortable situations I way’s feel a bit on the outside. So, no surprise, i’ve never had a huge entourage of friends. throughout my life, the friend’s I’ve become close with ( I can count ‘em on my hand) have become as close to me as I can only image a brother being, and mentor’s also as all have been at least a few years older than me. I’m lucky, I really am. the quality in these men is very high. they’re good men through and through. They have never taken my shit when I’ve stepped outta line, and quickly put me in check, and thru thick and thin, not only do I know that our backs our covered, they’re the real deal as people, and the kind of friends that’ll last a lifetime. we’ve fought, disagreed, but have always been able to work it out with bullshit free conversation, and the one in the wrong admitting so, and apologizing. some have moved outta state to fulfill their goal’s, some have a family, not many I get to see as often because of the above, and I miss the hell outta the old day’s when we were all together, raging. It’s all good though, no matter where they are in the world or what their priorities have evolved into, I can alway’s count on them. I’m very proud to call them my brother’s and i’m very fortunate that, while I haven’t had a lot of thing’s life has offered those I see around me, I have that. cheers!

85 JB Padilla November 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I pursue on becoming a freemason someday, I don’t know how and but i really eager to become one

Some of the part on this article are already existing on my life,
I’m also a part of a fraternity that focuses on serving the community especially to those people that in needs by our man power, physically, mentally, medically, and psychologically

I’m a very curious man on this world and willing to know that what I can learn by excelling more into my field of interests and endeavors

I love serving people along with my fellow brothers (family, friends, brothers & fellowmen) and it was my biggest and happiest accomplishment in life.

Man is brother unto man.

86 Ernestfreeman November 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Thanks for the article.
I also wish to be a brother one day.

87 Dan December 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

For me, I was a member of a youth group called DeMolay until 2005 when I turned 21. I became an advisor for the group at 2008, since I wanted to step away for a few years. In 2010, I joined the Freemasons. While they are a brotherhood in the definition, it wasn’t MY type of brotherhood (I’m still a member because of the good, but it didn’t fit my exhuberance. Too bland, I guess). From there, I joined an appendant organization of the Masons called Grotto. This is more my style: brotherhood, lifelong friendships, heckling, sharing a beer and a meal, etc. We also do charity work by helping children with disabilities. We always have fun in our meetings, and even more fun when we’re out in public.

If you’re not one to join an existing organization, found one yourself and get together with 10-20 people, and allow those to join that will bring something to to the table in regards to helping everyone in the group better themselves.

88 Carlos February 18, 2014 at 2:04 am

This post is exactly what I’ve missed all my life, specially the depression because of fatherlessness. I’m 24, I so wish I could find a group like this in L.A. If anyone is in California and knows of any groups or wants to start one, please do contact me. I often feel very lost and needed brotherhood and /or mentorship in my life. I know this post is many months all but I’m hopeful. carlosfilm@yahoo.com

89 ET April 5, 2014 at 2:15 am

Anyone looking for what the article describes should go join their local FD.

Strong brotherhood, and it comes from earning it, and getting through tough shit with the guys in your crew solidifies that bond. . . Think about the original reasons that the brotherhoods in the article came about. . . these guys had a job to do, and needed one another to do it.

Firefighting is a great way to help the community and yourself if you’re looking for the same thing this author was looking for, and you’ll never regret it.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Site Meter