Changing the World One Man at a Time : How the Mankind Project Changed
Gregory and Joslyn Tapler’s lives
May 29, 2012 05:46PM
By Linda Sechrist
It only takes a few minutes of viewing the short documentary on the homepage of the Mankind Project (MKP) website for a man or woman to understand why the work of this worldwide brotherhood of 50,000 adult males is changing the world, one man at a time. The 5-minute film, which presents the question—what does it mean to be a modern, mature man—features five members of MKP, who speak briefly from their own experience about the most valued aspects of their new way of being since their involvement with the New Warrior training. Sincere answers—making a difference in the community, learning to trust themselves as well as the goodness of other men, being supported by other men, and a sense of community—hint at the underlying transformation these men have undergone since their New Warrior Training Adventure. Their narratives also reflect the value of meeting regularly in local groups to express themselves, mentor one another, and share their life experiences of responsibility, accountability, personal truth, and living a life of integrity. Candid words tell of changed lives, including the lives of everyone around them,
MKP was born in a brainstorming session in the mid-1980s as three men discussed their ideas for effective mentoring. Armed with their ideas about male initiation rites, Bill Kauth, a psychotherapist and seminar leader, Ron Hering, a university professor, and Rich Tosi, a Marine veteran and former General Motors engineer, took a group of 17 men on a “Wildman Weekend” in 1985. Since then, MKP has become an international nonprofit, operating dozens of men’s centers in the United States, Europe and Africa. These centers, and the men involved with them, teach tools that help men transform from a life of the head into a life of the heart.
MKP’s transformational process requires a community of men, a sense of deep commitment, and a safe place to practice new skills that help men dismantle society’s emotional, physical, and cognitive barriers that keep them isolated and distanced from each other as well as their families and friends. The results of having a safe space to explore a deeper purpose and mission for their life is creating a different culture around what it means to be a man.
Gregory and Joslyn Tapler, Lehigh Valley
In 1995, Gregory Tapler, a Lehigh Valley resident, followed the advice of a good friend and attended a New Warrior Training Adventure. “Then I was in a place in my life where I could really hear my friend’s stories about how his life was positively impacted by NWTA training. Now, I continue to actively participate in MKP through staffing and trainings, I-Groups, men circles, and community gatherings,” says Tapler.
Before NWTA, Tapler lived in a ‘blame state’ where he rarely considered that anything was a result of his own actions. “MKP invited me to stop pointing my finger at others as the reason for my state of being and to begin considering that my actions created my reality. Learning to live as the one responsible for my life has had a significant impact on my life,” notes Tapler.
Other MKP tools, which Tapler learned, allowed him to stop viewing his career path as a “race to the top” and begin perceiving it as a building block for his and his family’s future. “For the most part, people in my workplace appreciate my new tools,” says Tapler, who now steps into leadership positions and takes on responsibilities he would have previously avoided. He’s also learned to make decisions based on what his ‘gut’ tells him rather than doing something because it gives him a “one-up” on others.
“What Gregory learned during NWTA and through work that he has done on himself made him more attractive to me when we first met,” says Tapler’s wife, Joslyn, who completed training in 2006 with MKP’s sister organization, Woman Within. “Gregory’s continued relationship with his MKP community, in particular his I-group, has enhanced our relationship. He is also a better father and husband because of his MKP involvement and the community of strong, loving men who support him and our family.”
I believe that helping other men will strengthen this world. As a result, families and relationships will be stronger, and children safer,” says Tapler, who is enthusiastic about his new network of MKP friends. “I trust them with my life and believe they trust me with theirs.”
For more information on the Mankind Project and New Warrior training weekends, visit mkp.org.