One Man at a Time

I am involved in doing interpersonal work with the Mankind Project. I joined MKP after my brain injury in 2017 and ever since I have been writing about life. This piece is about my introduction into this work.

I’m Scott Larson, Purple Flower Turtle. I initiated at Camp Royaneh Cazadero, CA in 2018. My initiation into the Mankind Project brotherhood changed my life forever. Before I committed to the New Warrior Training Adventure, I joined an I Group in my area called “Brothers of Other Mothers”. Recently some of us split off and created a new group called “Journeymen”. Back in the BOOM I group, I learned something new about myself every week and it set the groundwork for building a better me. But if I want to be honest with myself the work really started in the hospital recovering from a brain injury brought on by out-of-control blood pressure, which now I am wondering if this condition was the catalyst to get me out of my head. My real suffering came from a condition of the mind called “A life not truly lived”. At the time, while working through the physical condition of my injury, it was difficult to see trees from the forest of my life. After being released from ICU, I wandered the streets of my new hometown in Sebastopol searching for a way out of that forest. In a chance encounter, I found this brotherhood in my favorite bagel shop. A flyer on a community board wall reached out reminding me that something about my life didn’t feel quite right. Before the injury, I blamed the world for my circumstances that lead up to my broken life. I had nobody to blame by myself. But that was then and this is now.

In my two years with MKP I have come to realize that changing the world, “one man at a time” is the only true way of improving the conditions around me. Changing the world “one man at a time” is not much different than the impact Nikola Tesla or Jesus of Nazareth had on the minds and hearts of their followers. Individuals do change the world, not by tearing down the old to make room for the new, but by influencing future generations to be better individuals in mind and heart. But this “changing the world” work takes a lot of time, I know. A lifetime and many lifetimes will pass before I am able to see the new world we all are building together.

I wish to point out though, that on this journey, that spans lifetimes. I lend a hand in tearing down the world, or building it up, solely by the choices I make. Life is affected by my kindness or my carelessness. The impact of my actions are real, they exist outside of myself, and I have to contend with them daily. Suffering in the world is not caused by those others, those evil people out there, but by how I chose to show up in the world, for good or ill. That choice starts with the value I place on myself and how I see myself is how I see others. If the world is going to change for the better, blaming others needs to stop. Every time I avoid my own work or refused to show up in a healthy and supportive way, or hide behind some unconscious belief that I need to passively/aggressively project onto others, I sowed the seeds of the world’s destruction.

Real change for humanity is coming. In fact, it’s already here. Actually it’s been here all this time, but I couldn’t see it until I changed the man within. No matter where we are, or how far each individual is in this work, the sun’s rays of change shine on us all. As the heat of the sun gives us warmth and encourages life to grow, radiating kindness and peace towards others creates the world I want to live in.

My mission is to create a world that is highly civilized and enlightened through pioneering a path of wholeness for myself and the world.

Purple Flower Turtle, out.