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09 May, 2010

MYSTERY OF INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY -- J. TEELUCKSINGH

Persons have been wondering about the structure of International Men’s Day (IMD). Some have found it strange that there is no headquarters, base, anthem, uniform, flag or motto. Others noticed that there is no ranking, leader, membership cards or badges. A few persons have wondered why different websites are allowed and the existence of differences of opinion among supporters of IMD. The apparent weaknesses and shortcomings of IMD is actually its strength. The fewer restrictions, absence of formal structures, less bureaucracy and acceptance of differences, are actually the strength of Men’s Day. This makes this movement more appealing and inclusive.

The fuel of IMD comprises the dedicated and humble persons who have volunteered their time and willingly sought to create a better world. The majority of these amazing persons have full-time jobs whilst others are either part-time workers or unemployed. They have neither signed contracts nor made promises to serve for a limited or fixed time. Their genuine desire to assist is sufficient criteria. Why would someone from a distant country or village be willing to promote Men’s Day and not expect a salary or some form of recognition such as a medal or certificate? This shows the urgency of creating a safer, more caring world. Each supporter of International Men’s Day is extremely valuable and actually a catalyst who is helping spread this message of hope and optimism.

In 2009, a group of 5 persons (from Australia, United States, India and Trinidad and Tobago) modified and approved the 6 Objectives of International Men’s Day. This energetic group fully understood this precious creation and did not want to limit the growth of IMD. The five persons of the group represented 5 fingers on a hand. This hand would reach out to other hands. The next step of the journey was the development of a global network of coordinators. These phases and evolution of International Men’s Day indicate the need to allow more voices to be heard in this movement for positive change. The slowly expanding global network of coordinators certainly demonstrates the dynamism of the movement. Indeed, IMD had emerged from its cocoon. It is like a beautiful butterfly which has tested its fragile wings and now confident it can fly with the other butterflies.

Nobody, including myself, has a monopoly or control of International Men’s Day. This Day belongs to the world. International Men’s Day is a gift to humanity. It is to be shared.

Throughout the year, persons have been seeking information on International Men’s Day. It seems odd that in January or May, people would be visiting IMD websites and blogs seeking information. Why would someone, so early in the year, want information on a day observed on 19 November? It would be more believable if they sought information on IMD in late October or November. This desire to learn about International Men’s Day is more evidence that this Day has unleashed powerful positive forces which are changing lives now and will continue to do so in the future.

International Men’s Day can be compared to a relay race. We are running in a relay race carrying different torches or batons. Each of these torches symbolize - hope, co-operation, goodwill, peace and understanding. And each of these torches must be safely passed on to the next generation who will continue the race.