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By March 4, 2013

Day 2 – 40 Days of Rain on DBR Black Men: The 12 Steps of Change

This morning I have to take a slight detour from the scheduled essay (which I will get to tomorrow in Day 3). A couple of women have worriedly expressed concern about the 40 Days of Rain essay series.

One asked me “Are you sure you want to take on all the DBR black males?” I said “someone has to do it, may as well be me!”

Another was aghast and said “Dogging someone out for their behavior and/or attitudes will rarely shame someone into changing their behavior for long–and at times I think it just brings more negative attention to the naysayer. If women want change, we need to not date/marry til we observe that change in men over a long period of time.” Several other women have expressed similar fears and concerns.

To those ladies my response is this:

My series is not designed to shame anyone into changing their behavior. It is designed to bring awareness to the incorrectness of these behaviors, how they hurt women, how they hurt children, how they hurt the black community as a whole, and how they also hurt the perpetrators. The black community is notorious for keeping embarrassing things quiet and hidden. But I don’t see where that has helped us in any way, nothing improves when it is hidden away and people pretend that these issues are not there.  Nothing changes when people pretend that everything is wonderful and perfect and fabulous as it is.

Knowledge about the motivations and behaviors of the male gender – both negative and positive – is something many females are not learning at home any more. Their fathers are not there to warn them, to educate and teach them about men and how to differentiate between those that are good or bad. So these young women have no clue about what to look for in a man and which behaviors will ultimately be detrimental to their mental and emotional health.

That is where I come in.

Now in the event that some of these fellas reading the series recognize themselves and feel ashamed… I’m okay with that. I’m sure many of them don’t have a positive male in their lives to share with them the tenets of manhood either. So they’re struggling and bumbling along the best they can, trying to find their way in the world. Seeing their behavior in black and white on the screen along with how stupid it is may serve as a wake up call to many.

My belief is that when you know better, you do better. And in any recovery program, the first step is acknowledging that you have a problem. Whether you do that on your own, or whether it is a harsh “intervention” style reality check, the first step is that you must accept that you have a problem.

This is my version of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps program, which was the ORIGINAL 12 step program out there.

12 Step Recovery Program for DBR Black Males

12step1. We admitted we were powerless over our black male social programming and that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that within us lies a Power greater than we ever imagined that we can draw on to restore us to sanity if we just use it.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the good of Mankind and to be of service to our loved ones and our community.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, and accepted that we need to make immediate and lasting changes.

5. Admitted to ourselves and to another human being we trust to help us on our path to enlightenment the exact nature of our belief system and how it motivates us to do harm to ourselves and others.

6. Were entirely ready to remove all these defects of character by refusing to hide behind a mask of hard, cold masculinity.

7. Made a list of all the ways we do harm to others, and refuse to continue those behaviors or accept them in our associations with other males.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Step up and make direct amends to such people wherever possible to heal those relationships and hearts, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continue to take personal inventory daily, and when we are wrong promptly admit it, communicating our desire to correct our behavior, then doing what is necessary to never repeat that same mistake.

11. Sought through meditation (and/or prayer) to improve our conscious contact with our spiritual side, which joins us with each person and life form on this planet.

12. To uphold the 7 principles of Ma’at (Truth, Justice, Harmony, Balance, Order, Reciprocity, and Propriety), and to live all of these principles in all our daily affairs as we interact with children, women and other men.


Moving Forward

I hope that everyone is clear now on what the goals are for this series, how the goals will be tackled, and why I’m doing this.  This series is designed to raise awareness and speak clearly and honestly about the behaviors that are decimating the black community and laying waste to our proud heritage. These negative, damaging behaviors must be stopped… these attitudes must be changed. Black women must stop rewarding DBR men with their love and affection. DBR men must get their act together.

By the way, March is National Women’s History month, where 31 days are set aside to remember the contributions women have made to mankind. The focus in 2013 is on female contributions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. However, my focus is and always will be on the basics — helping women to establish a strong foundation of confidence, high self esteem, and emotional, physical and psychological safety. These things can only easily acquired when women have the information to facilitate more focused, self-preserving and aware exchanges with the opposite sex.

If you want to know more about NWHM, click here.

Until tomorrow.

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