As part of our MoTAS Shabbat, we invited a number of men to share a reflection of what their relationship with MoTAS means to them. This is the reflection that Brian Hatkoff shared:
When Men get together, they have a great time talking about sports, politics, business, their kids and things like that. When men get together, they DO NOT talk about what’s going on in their lives, what’s going on behind the scenes, their emotions, their relationships with their wives, their kids, their parents and so on.
I started a program a few years ago at TAS ( a program I stole from somewhere else) called the Men’s Only discussion group, which is now called the Men’s Hangout. It was designed to be in a setting of support for each other during good times and bad. A chance to expose their feelings (if they wanted to) and ask for advice or just vent. I had no idea where it would go. It was set in a safe environment and where any discussion that occurred stayed in those four walls.
I really didn’t expect much, except talking about sports, politics, business, their kids… Not much happened, except for the openness of the conversation of our personal feelings and what was truly going on in our lives.
Although I moderated it for the first few years, I got so much out of it that I ended up with a whole new respect for the men around me. I came to appreciate that what I may have been going through at the time, and thought I was alone, and the only one in that situation, that other men had been there and gave me the support I needed at the time.
The ability of men to be open and honest with other is far and few between, and that needs to change. This is a small but very important piece of what MoTAS does. Our MoTAS is doing that and will continue to do that.