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The Manhood Tree

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  1. The Manhood Tree: Introduction and Purpose
  2. The Manhood Tree Group Rules
    1 Quiz
  3. Session 1: Your Roots
    5 Topics
    1 Quiz
  4. Session 2: Neighborhood
    4 Topics
  5. Session 3: Boyhood
    5 Topics
  6. Session 4: Teen and Young Adulthood
    7 Topics
  7. Session 5: Relationships
    8 Topics
  8. Session 6: Brotherhood
    5 Topics
  9. Session 7: Fatherhood
    6 Topics
  10. Session 8: Manhood
    7 Topics
  11. Session 9: Graduation
  12. The Manhood Tree Survey
  13. Additional Resources
Lesson 3, Topic 1
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Introduction: Your Roots

hey October 9, 2021
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The more a man knows about his family history—including his family successes, failures, pitfalls, traditions, addictions, health concerns, etc.—the more he can use his family history (good or bad) to move forward. The Roots of a man can provide a powerful connection between past and present. Having the knowledge of where your family came from and what they have done in the past can offer either a sense of confidence and pride or feelings of failure and embarrassment. Also, when there are no connections to family roots, individuals may wonder about their place in the world and ask themselves the question, “Who am I?”

The roots of each man can often provide insight into the five hoods (Boyhood, Young Adulthood, Brotherhood, Fatherhood, and Manhood), even before those sessions begin. The past has a way of leaving markers and repeating cycles based on what has been passed on by generations that came before or as a consequence of having little or no legacy passed on. However, whether there is a strong and positive connection to family roots, weak and negative connection, or no connection at all, men must grow, maintain, or start to build off the foundation left for them.

Knowledge of family roots can be a motivation tool to keep a legacy going or avoid repeating a negative family cycle. Through The Manhood Tree groups, we seek to help men use their past as a springboard to a better future. By exploring our roots, we can celebrate the accomplishments and address the pitfalls of our predecessors. Awareness of our stories and understanding that we can always create a new story allows us to break free of any negative narratives perpetuated to hold us down. One thing to remember is that every day, through our words, actions, and deeds, we are creating a new legacy, sinking our roots deeper for those who carry our name and come after us. Therefore, we must consider that we are the roots for our family who will come after us. We must be aware of how our day-to-day interactions, choices, and relationships can impact our ability to leave a positive legacy.

As we explore your roots, you will find that you know more about parts of your family than you do of others. This session is an excellent opportunity to have a conversation with family members (if possible) to fill in the gaps about your family history and hopefully strengthen your knowledge of your roots. Through the process of learning about your roots, keep in mind one important thing: The Manhood Tree group seeks to empower you and move you forward. Don’t allow your roots to hold you down and pull you back. Use this session as an opportunity to look back, but always continue to move forward.