by Randy Marks
Nine years ago, I joined the Mankind Project (MKP.org) after completing the New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA). The Project changes the world by helping men heal and serve others, including their families, friends, and all humanity.
The Talisman I received at that NWTA is probably my most valued possession. It originally was just a red pouch on a leather cord. Over the years, I added a lot of beads and other objects. Some I got at other trainings and retreats. But most came at the end of the end of NWTAs that I staffed for other men.
Staffing 36 NWTAs has given me new friends and much more. I’ve had the privilege of helping and witnessing hundreds of men transform their lives by healing their wounds, embracing a mission of service, and connecting with other men. And I’ve grown as a man by working on goals at each staffing, such as to empowering other men to be brilliant, and having more faith in myself.
By working on the goals and being open to learning something entirely unexpected, I have transformed myself. I hardly recognize the annoying, anxious, controlling, and self-loathing man that I was nearly a decade ago, though I confess those qualities still sometimes emerge.
So I treasure my Talisman as picture of my journey to being a loving and powerful man. It represents lessons learned, gifts given and received, transformation and empowerment, and, most of all, love.