March 16, 2015 Miguel Angel Velazquez


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I recently asked a friend a question that I have continued to wonder about throughout my life, "What does it really mean to be a man?" I don't mean the cave man, burping, gas passing, scratching, and grabbing your hanging glands inappropriately in public type that we have all come to know at some point in our lives, but an exemplary human being type of man who makes his mamma proud.

A few days later, an actor friend of mine mentioned an opportunity to be part of a great cause with an amazing organization, Jane Doe Inc., a statewide sexual and domestic violence advocacy coalition here in Massachusetts. The projects' main focus was to raise awareness for the Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign, which "aims to engage men and boys to be part of the solution in ending violence against women by shifting the norms associated with manhood." What a sense of humor the universe has, just a few days before I was presented with this opportunity, I am asking this "manhood" question! Needless to say, the experience I had with this campaign brought a lot of clarity to this question.

The older I grow, the closer I feel to the answer. What I know for sure is that being a man has nothing to do with how low they hang (harmless joke J) , how many times you beat your opponent in a game, how big your biceps look in that muscle shirt (btw stop wearing those fellas, not even during your workouts, cheesy!), but it has everything to do with operating from respect, compassion and awareness. Ultimately it is not to play our role as man or woman, but to honor being HUMAN and embrace all the flaws it entails; I think we can all agree on this one!

Let's shift our perspective of manhood among our men and boys. Spark a conversation with the boys and men in your life and let's start asking those important questions, what does manhood mean to you? What can you do to reshape manhood? You can start by checking out this 60 second video clip of this great campaign I was so fortunate to be a part of. Go ahead, be a man ;-).

Sending Light,


Miguel Angel Velazquez

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