Ten days out from my brainwave that led to me organising a 5km community walk for men in Launceston, I was thinking I could be sitting on the couch on Sunday the 10th. I could be munching on some lovely cheese and crackers all washed down with a crisp Tassie Chardonnay whilst watching The Godfather II yet again. What is there not to like? What a blissful afternoon, happiness indeed!
Instead, I decided that my Sunday afternoon on 10th October which was World Mental Health Day would be taken up by this walk. Ten days out the numbers were low; I thought about Moe Green taking on Michael Corleone; was this a battle I had been stupid to take on?
I got on the radio, in the newspaper, 80 A3 posters were around town and 1000’s of flyers were in cafes, libraries and gyms. I had told the story of The Men’s Table to numerous retailers, baristas and gym junkies. The word was out. On the day, we had 113 men booked in to join us. I had managed to get heavily discounted graphic design and printing, and free snags, bread rolls, photography and video production on the day.
It wasn’t like Don Corleone where I had made them an offer they could not refuse; I had just explained that I’m from a charity for men. Then people were more than happy to put up a poster or offer free things. Wow, I thought if you really want things done just get the word out, there is no need for horse’s heads and all that kerfuffle. Men offered to help and before I knew it, I had an army of soldiers.
On the day between 90 and 100 men turned up, they walked, they talked. I made sure of this with some conversation starters like “What is it to be a man?” “How do you feel today?” and “If you could offer a boy or a man today one piece of advice, what would it be?” Then they had a snag and some further conversations before I got on the microphone.
What a day! What goodwill! and what a way to start getting support from the community (without the need for protection money). The sun shone, and I saw men listening and talking to each other. There was happiness!
So here is a question for you. What makes you happy? I find happiness in great Chardonnay, great cheese and great movies, if bundled together, then that is right up there. However. there is also great happiness in giving something a go that forms a community. Being a catalyst and finding purpose in a movement. Maybe you can bring your community together, whatever that looks like; and find happiness in your achievements. Go on “Make them an offer they can’t refuse”