Our guest this week is Ray Arata, co-founder of the Better Man Movement, whose mission is “to Transform Culture Through Heart-Based Leadership.” The Better Man Movement provides resources, support, and community to encourage the involvement of men in creating an inclusive culture. Through their workshops, training, and events, their programming shifts organizations from managing diversity as a necessity to leveraging differences for allyship, connection, and collaboration.
We’ll hear all about Ray and his extraordinary life’s work on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast.
Better Man Movement: www.bettermanconference.com
Ray’s book, “Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up: Transforming Your Wake-Up Call into Emotional Health and Happiness” – https://www.amazon.com/Wake-Man-Step-Transforming-Emotional/dp/0983943265/ref
Tom Couch: Special, thanks to horizon therapeutics for sponsoring today’s special father’s network, dad to dad podcast, working tirelessly to research, develop and bring forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic diseases. Discover more about horizon therapeutics, mission at horizontherapeutics.com.
Ray Arata: I just want to really encourage.
Your male listeners to realize how much influence they have to be. Part of the change that our planet, our women are, people of other races need us, especially us white guys. And to recognize the advantages that we have and the opportunity to make conscious choice to do good. That’s
Tom Couch: Ray errata. Ray is the co-founder of the better man movement, empowering fathers and helping them to achieve health and happy.
We’ll hear all about Ray and his extraordinary life’s work on this special father’s network. Dad to dad podcast, say hello to David herd. Hi,
David Hirsch: and thanks for listening to the dad to dad podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special needs presented by the special father’s network.
Tom Couch: Father’s network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for dads to support dads, to find out more, go to 21st century dads .org and if your
David Hirsch: dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to Facebook dot. Groups and search dad to dad
and now let’s listen in on this conversation between Ray errata and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Ray arata Fairfax, California. Who’s a father of three and co-founder of the better man movement. Ray, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for this special father’s network. You’re welcome. You and your former wife are the proud parents of three adult children.
Let’s start with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about your.
Ray Arata: I am I, I grew up in San Francisco. I’m a fifth generation native San Franciscan on my father’s side. And on my mother’s side, my Italian Calabrese grandmother came over, uh, on a donkey, down to a boat to Ellis island, to San Jose college.
David Hirsch: my gosh. There’s probably not that many people in San Francisco that can say that they have the routes that you and your family do. Oh yeah. And it didn’t have anything to do with gold mining.
Ray Arata: And I’ve got that covered too, because on my current wife’s side, her grandfather came from Italy and was a gold miner up in Nevada city, which is north, uh, east of San Francisco before he immigrated.
San Francisco. We’ve got those bases covered. Dave.
David Hirsch: Got it. So what I remember from our prior conversations is that they’re the oldest of three. And I’m wondering how did
Ray Arata: that play out? Because I was named after my father, that in and of itself had me live for a long time. And the question. Well, it’s a conscious too.
It was Ray who cause there was Ray Jr. My father who went to Cal and played football and was a judge and went to Hastings law school. And Ray senior was my grandfather who played baseball and basketball, went to St. Mary’s was a judge and an attorney. And so I sat in that question for, for quite some time, but as it pertained to my, my siblings, I have a younger brother and.
Uh, sister and everyone wanted to worded this height come from cause I’m six. I was six, four. And so, um, my brother used to always watch me at the dinner table. And try to eat as much as I did thinking he would get as big as me. And
David Hirsch: so if I compare a phrase you were growing up in, uh, a rather big shadow behind your grandfather, as well as your dad who are both judges, right?
So revered, not just lawyers, but revered men in the legal community. How would you describe your relationship with your dad?
Ray Arata: So my relationship with my dad is a very good one. He’s still alive. And my dad is an athlete. He is a very smart man. He’s a very principled man. He’s a Republican. He loves his wine.
He loves food and you know, he’s a very pale skinned. He has some Northern Italian in him and he’s German and Irish person. That’s what attracted him to my mother who. 100% Italian and darker skin. And so, um, my dad loves to live life and at 85 years old, next month, he plans to live to a hundred. He just grew in COVID.
He grew a goatee. I mean, hopefully that last time you had one of those was 37 when he was 37, which is what almost 50 years ago when he was.
David Hirsch: That’s wild. So were there any important takeaways when you think back about your relationship, which still exists? You’ve set up, this is the biggest influence. My dad’s been on me as a man, as a father.
Ray Arata: Yeah. There, there is one. And ironically enough, and we may talk about this. In my book, wake up, man, up, step up. I talk about fatherly influences and there’s influences that we watch that influence us, that we either emulate or reject. But with all that said, as a plug for later, probably the biggest thing that he instilled upon me was that he chose to live his life for the people to be a servant.
And what I mean by that is he was a. Hi, flying on his way to being a very successful attorney. And this is the story, as it was told to me, and he got in a severe car accident and his head went through the windshield. He almost died. And according to him, that was a, uh, these are my words, paraphrasing, a wake up call of sorts that had him decide, you know, what I want to serve the people.
So basically he let go of the money and went into public service. It didn’t occur to me until I was several years into what I was doing. I’m like, oh, I’m, I’m following in his footsteps. And you know, you didn’t ask the question about my mother, but you know, she was volunteering your time for the, uh, Janet Pomeroy center for people with special needs.
So both of them were modeling that for me.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, they sound like two extraordinary role models and you’re very fortunate. Uh, the work that we’re doing was really birthed out of the fact that there’s so many individuals, young men, women growing up in father absent homes and you know, all the crazy stuff that goes around as a result of that.
So thanks for sharing. You talked a little bit about your, uh, Dad’s dad, the other lawyer, the other judge. And I’m wondering what influenced your grandfather errata as well as your maternal grandfather has had on your life.
Ray Arata: So my grandfather, it’s interesting that your audience may have had this experience, a father.
It can be hard on a son, but when the grandson comes around, all that goes out the window. So my grandfather in 1969 Mustang, and, uh, I don’t, I just had the balls to ask him, Hey grandpa, can I, can I borrow your car? Can I drive it? And he said, yes, he had this uncanny relationship with me, a softer relationship with me, but my grandfather was very principal.
And he always encouraged me to do well in school. And he died when I was a freshman in college and he just was happy to see me. It was weird, but you know, that’s what I remember.
David Hirsch: Can I interpret that, uh, by your comments that your grandfather was probably a little bit harder on your dad and he was on you
Ray Arata: or a little less emotionally available.
Okay. My dad would say, you know, my dad didn’t really. Um, those kinds of conversations with me. And I’m clear now because of the depth of conversation and the relationship I have with my father, that what my father and I have a, to have with his dad.
David Hirsch: Interesting. Your maternal grandfather had any role
Ray Arata: I’m sure.
No. Grandfather came from Sicily and he was the working man. He was the. I’ll fix it. He was the, you know, and I, and I’m the quintessential reluctant handyman I’ve graduated from the handyman to the reluctant handyman, but, but he, but he, he, he was, he was salt of the earth and very principled guy just as well.
And his name was Sando, but we, everyone called themsel. He was also an amazing poker player
at the family reunion, picnics on Sunday, all the Italians would gather around and play poker. As soon as I will be able to have my own money, they’d let me play because they take my money.
David Hirsch: That’s wild along the way. You got a JD. Um, and I’m wondering, uh, what were you thinking, uh, where are you going to follow in your dad and grandfather’s footsteps?
Ray Arata: So the tongue-in-cheek answer is I wasn’t. Um, I only know now looking back. Uh, in 1987, early, early to mid 87, I was bartending at two of the most famous bars in San Francisco Harry’s bar. And, uh, the Balboa cafe and a friend of mine was living in New York. He said, you should come out here. Uh, I know this guy.
And he introduced me to a guy who was working at bear Stearns. And so I like, I dropped everything cause the little voice in my head said, it’s time to get serious, stop messing around. Even though I was having the time of my life, making a bunch of money, meet a lot of girls, everything you’re supposed to do at 23 or 24.
So I say goodbye to the girlfriend. I said goodbye to the family. I get on the plane. I land. I go to curbside and the limo from bear Stearns is supposed to pick me up. There were shows up. It was October 19th, 1987 black Monday, my whole. The reason to go out there vanished. So I made a go of it for about four months, worked on the floor as a $2 broker, 10th to the EF Hutton bartended at the Cadillac bar.
And then I’m like the hell with this. I’m going back home. And on the way home legal Eagles, the movie, uh, was on the plane and I’m watching it. I’m going to go to law school. I’m going to make this big announcement. When at the dinner table at Thanksgiving, I’m going to go to law school or whatever, whenever it was probably because it kind of made sense.
And partly for father approval, I went to law school
David Hirsch: and you did not use your law degree.
Ray Arata: Nope. As a matter of fact, in my senior year of law school, because my existence was go to night law school. Get out at nine bartend till to train on my bike during the day and study lather, rinse repeat. And so when I got the mother of my three children, when I got her pregnant, all of a sudden life just went, you have to get a job.
And then I was like, but I don’t want to be a lawyer. I would go to all the schools that I didn’t like any of the, the job. Listings and someone said, Hey, remember when you went to New York to work in the financial industry, why don’t you revisit that? So to make a long story shorter, uh, I interviewed at Montgomery securities to consider an institutional path.
They wanted an MBA. They didn’t care if I had a J D I’m so glad they didn’t hire me or Prudential securities and provincial securities that had my dad’s best friend who was also another mentor who died a week ago, by the way. He said, Ray, when you come to the retail side, when you get a client, it’s your client.
And I’m like, I like that. So from day one, all my sweat equity that I invest is mine. And I went into the financial services industry and within six months against my managers, protestations, I said, I want to go into the 401k business. Because aren’t you all telling me that this is an asset gathering game, and if I can get an HR lead at a company to say yes, to send a thousand people’s money and I landed a big one and then I’ve whoop Silicon valley.
So that that’s kind of what would kind of the course I took instead of being a, an attorney.
David Hirsch: Just briefly. I remember you started a Prudential security is you were there for a few years, us bank, Corp, Piper Jaffray for a handful of years, then RBC Dane for another handful of years. And then you, you shifted right.
Something happened. And I don’t remember what it was, but you did something with sheer laws, a business coach, and then your career sort of took a different turn. So what, what was it that transport.
Ray Arata: In 1999. Um, I had what I refer to in my book as a, uh, a wake up call. It was really a one, two punch. That was when we moved into the brand new house we built.
And I got the, I don’t love you anymore. Speech from. I didn’t know what to do with that. And then six weeks later, one of my two partners, uh, went to another firm. So as you know, Dave, when, uh, when a guy leaves a firm, it goes to the other, another firm in the middle of the night. Um, it’s an account grab. So I had to deal with that.
And so for six months I was emotionally overwhelmed. There was a betrayal and my, my marriage was falling apart. I was invited by my manager in financial services industry of all places to go do a men’s weekend. So I did the men’s weekend and, uh, got a chance to kind of wake up self examine, look at how the unhealed pain.
The little boy in me was driving the bus and I joined a men’s group and I started going to what I call the emotional gymnasium, working on, becoming more aware. Basically becoming a healthy masculine man, as opposed to letting the outdated playbook of what it means to be a man to drive my behavior and my language.
And so did I get a lot of comments, you know, kumbaya, all that stuff. Of course. But all that told me was other men’s discomfort. I don’t get that anymore. So I couldn’t leave the financial services industry. So one day I know a magazine came across my desk. And it said, life planning your money or your life.
And I looked at this and there was a guy by the name of George kinder out of Massachusetts that was, had created the kinder Institute of life planning. And he was offering a five day training. So I went to this training and they sat me in the chair and they life planned me. And so for brokers who were, or financial advisers who were moving away from commission and looking to be more advisory.
His whole stick was, if you get interested and are able to evoke your client’s life ambitions and you help them do that by your financial ability, you’ll have a client for life. And the only way that he could prove that to us is by putting us in the chair. So. The next thing I know I’m leading these trainings.
I’m his golden sun for awhile, and I’m going to Holland, I’m doing these trainings, I’m coaching financial advisors. And then I, I did a money coaching training and in the money coach, she trained in 2006. She says, why aren’t you still in the financial services industry? I think it’s about time for you to leave.
And like dear friend, Debra Price who wrote a book called money magic. Kicked me in the butt. And I left and I went to a business coaching company called Sherlock. That was in 2007. So that’s, you know, they were in 2021. So I’ve been in the 14 year career transition one way to look at it.
David Hirsch: Well, I sort of look back on it.
Right. You went from what I call the for-profit business, working in financial services, switching gears to going into coaching and then doing what you have been doing. So
Ray Arata: after I, um, I started coaching several years later, uh, I was invited, that’s been nice challenged to write a book about all the men’s work that I’ve been doing.
So I write the book and somehow I meet a diversity and inclusion consultant who says to me, Ray, you really have something here. You need to go talk to the men, but I want you to go to a women’s leadership event or two and just listen. So I went to these and I was like the only guy. And it, I had another wake up call of source in that I thought about my mom and all the complaints she ever had about being second born in the Italian family and how her brother got a lot.
And she didn’t, that was cultural. I thought about my wife oldest in an Italian family, but the youngest brother was running the business. And then I thought about my daughter who was going to be graduating with a degree in computer science, from duke. And I’m like, Okay. I can keep doing this men’s work and leave these men’s weekends.
Or I can walk across the street metaphorically into life and go talk to leaders. And I think what needs to happen after I had talked at several women’s conferences panels, I said, somebody needs to. Put some attention and intention on the men, somebody, somebody, somebody, and I realize that’s somebody meat.
So I reached out to several men. I knew quasi. I woke men at, you know, price, Waterhouse and Genentech and other firms. And I said, I’ve got this idea that I want to bring healthy masculinity. As a cornerstone, it’s the inside job stuff to the leadership conversation, to the equality conversation. And I want to do this conference and they’re like, sounds good.
And boom, in 2016, 150 people, Kaiser Permanente, Genentech, Pricewaterhouse, all these companies, you know, threw some money at it. And it was nothing short of amazing. So here we are. So that was the conference and I was starting a movement of basically calling men forward, calling companies forward that if you want to create true inclusion and belonging so that everyone.
Besides the majority men, um, feel safe and can contribute. Then you need to do the tap on the shoulder to men without shaming or blaming them saying, Hey, you’ve been operating with, with, uh, some blinders, uh, an old playbook of what it means to be a man privileged, but don’t, don’t resist the temptation to be triggered by that word privilege, because it doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with.
And seek to become aware, seek to become a better leader. And here’s how, so that was the movement. And, and so this year is going to be chucked full and a bunch of companies are coming on board for us to do programs for the.
David Hirsch: The better man project or a better man movement, which I recall you started co-founded in 2015. Yeah. What is that? And how has that transpired?
Ray Arata: The S the scope of the conference is to meet men where they are, uh, to. Support them in becoming more aware inclusionary leaders and allies to be supportive. And so one of the things about me that’s important to me is his heart.
And I don’t know about you Dave, but growing up there, weren’t very many male figures that modeled emotional literacy showed and made sadness or fear, or even shame or loss of. And so what most men do is they stuff those emotions and they let them most, a lot of human beings do this. They let the emotions run the show.
And so I’m a big believer in, I created the heart-based leadership principles of emotional literacy, vulnerability, authenticity, accountability, inclusivity, and love. And so I really seek to bring these human. Characteristics that are inherently attainable by both men and women, so that men become better leaders so that they can respect, see push, promote, protect women, people of other marginalized groups.
And so when we start talking about this in a conference, what I often hear is Ray, you’ve created an amazing, safe space for people to get real. The women say I had no idea that men. Felt this, or we talk like this and there are men of all shapes and sizes. Right. And so I know from all the men’s work, you know, when I go first and I’m vulnerable and I share, and I say, all this stuff, guys have come up to negot the look around to see if there are other, their buddies are looking and they’re like, Hey.
What you said, can you tell me just a little bit more about that? I used to get that a lot. So now I’m just out with it and encouraging more men, especially men in our age group, you know, the younger guys from, I think it’s just an evolving DNA thing, but they’re, they’re looking at our generation going, you know what?
That whole stoic play doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for them. It doesn’t work in my relationships. Does it work at work? So. That’s the intention to create the space, to wake them up just a little bit, to get them inspired and encouraged and, and feeling down here so that when they go back into their companies, they’ll tell another guy, they’ll talk to the diversity and inclusion people saying, Hey, can we get some training in here?
David Hirsch: So let’s take a step back because the conference, the first conference in 2016 was what sort of catalyze things. That’s what I heard you say. Yeah. Uh, you’ve done these conferences. Uh, they’ve grown, um, give our listeners just a quick fly by on what the content, the scope of the conferences.
Ray Arata: Yeah. So thank you for the question.
So as a reminder, it was the work I was doing in non-corporate that had me distill to have the same sets of conversations in work. So one of the things I know about men is, you know, we fix, but even this notion of fixed. Is is something that was learned. And so my invitation for your, uh, your, your listeners, especially the fathers with special needs is when you learn and then learn to live with children with special needs, there’s definite loss around that grief.
And what I can tell you is men don’t get taught. How to be with grief. So I talk about unscrewing the lid and allowing some of it to come through. It’s not going to kill you. It’s an emotion that’s in your body. That if you don’t allow it to be experienced, it’s going to build up. And then next thing you know, grief can come out in the form of anger.
So that’s the first thing. The second thing is challenge your. Innate or learn desire to fix and ask yourself, am I trying to fix the situation to make me feel better? Which is really just a rescue of yourself, or maybe I should just be with how I’m feeling. And then seek to be supportive from my heart, for this human being, which I trust many of your listeners, somehow in some way, shape or form have got there.
But I’m a big believer in, you know, self examined, slow the speed, dial down, get interested in what’s going on for you. Allow it. And instead of coming from my, your head, come from your heart,
David Hirsch: I love the work that you’re doing. It’s transformative. That’s what I heard you say. And I think it ties in, if not directly indirectly to the work that we’re doing with dads, raising kids with special needs, it’s very isolating.
You know, guys don’t know how to deal with the emotions that they have. Uh, once they get the news, whether it’s at the time of birth or it’s something that’s diagnosed, uh, years down the road, you know, that your child has developmental delays or that there’s challenges, right. That are not meant to be fixed.
Remember men are fixers. Um, so that’s our first inclination is how can I fix. Yeah. And when you come to the conclusion that autism and cerebral palsy and down syndrome, rare disease is not meant to be fixed. You know, you’re a no man’s land and you’re get untethered from, you know, where you anticipated being.
And it’s confusing. And I think that what you’re talking about, the work that you’re doing, mostly in leadership circles, right in business circles. To be more inclusive and to get guys in touch with what’s going on, um, internally and then around them, um, is relevant to the work that we’re doing. And I’m wondering if there’s a thought or anything that you can share from this experience you’ve had with the better man movement to, um, offer to our dads, raising kids with special needs.
Ray Arata: The one thing I would add is this. And especially for your listeners, with kids with special needs is not something you do alone. So self isolating is exactly the wrong thing. Dare I say, be a real man and ask for help. Right. And, and so, and so, and surrender school or acceptance school can be as long and drawn out as you want.
And that’s correlation to your own stubbornness, or it can be shorter and you can ask her.
David Hirsch: Yeah, words of wisdom and those that have gotten to the acceptance phase, whether it was quickly and efficiently or a very circuitous route with a lot of bumps and bruises along the road, seem to be in a better place that they’re, they’re more balanced.
They’re satisfied with where they’re at and how life has evolved there. Continuing to mourn the loss of the life that they anticipated for themselves or the life that they anticipated with their child or children. It’s a slippery slope. Right. And, um, I really feel for families, dads in particular, uh, who are struggling and I’m hoping that, uh, just this conversation and some of the insights that you’re sharing will help connect some of the dots.
So it’s not as challenging and there’ll be another resource.
Ray Arata: So, um, when I did my men’s weekend in 1999, uh, what started to happen, um, over the years was I’d get asked to have lots of cups of coffee with lots of men and women and women would say, because you talked to this, this guy. And sure I had all these conversations and then like a year later I started getting these things.
They said to me, I’ll never forget what you said, Ray. I’m like, what did I say? And so people were seeing my gift and why I was on the planet ahead of me. Uh, and so in 2008, It was the mentor thing was a side thing for me until 2011. When, uh, a man said, Ray, you’re playing a one-to-one game. And you need your S you’re destined to play a one to many.
I’ll never forget when he said that. And he challenged me to, to, to write a book. Cause I had been thinking about it. And one day I was on a run with a buddy of mine that I shouldn’t have been doing because I had hip replacement. I was kind of run walking, but I was doing it and I was, I was out in a clearing.
It was nice, smooth dirt. And there was this little. Smooth rock and I was running and boom, I landed on that rock. I broke my fifth metatarsal and the doctor said, you can’t swim. You can’t bike. You can’t do anything for like eight weeks. And the day after, you know, I had already been trained to look for the silver line and I’m like, I’m going to write the book.
So with that, I wrote the book, which I now know, cause I’m writing my next book of series of life experiences. And what I had been doing there was order and disorder. And so the book for me was a chance for me to get the disorder in order out orderly to support men, men who weren’t ready to do a men’s weekend, men who weren’t ready to join a men’s group.
But what I will tell you is most men, most humans wait for some pain to motivate them. Most men won’t do a men’s weekend or join a men’s group until they’ve created a wake of disaster around them. Whether it’s a divorce job, loss, isolation, whatever the case may be. And they finally raised the white flag saying, what do I do?
I can’t tell you how many men came to me under those circumstances. So, uh, that’s why writing the book. A lot of people will tell you when they write a book, some write for it. So it’s a calling card some right? Because they think they want to make money and some right, because the book just needs to come out.
That was me. Right. So unbeknownst to me in the eyes of several professional women that made me a man expert. So whatever the man whisper, you know,
David Hirsch: I’m wondering, just thinking aloud. Yeah, this would be the type of book that you would give to your son or son-in-law. Um, so that, uh, he’s not gonna wait until he is in a crisis.
Um, and be more well-prepared and I guess another way of asking the question is, um, do you attract a lot of, uh, sort of next generation men, men who maybe aren’t married or recently married, you know, they’re, they’ve got their life ahead of them and I’m wondering what role this work has played.
Ray Arata: So there’s two groups of men that would buy the book.
Which, by the way, if you type in, wake up, man, up, step up on Amazon, it’ll come up. So two people that will buy the book are men who are in some form of discourse, looking for guidance on how to right the ship, how to, uh, find more peace, find more. Intimacy in their life, better relationships, um, better being a better father, being a better husband, being a better leader.
It’s they have a state of readiness that potentially because of their pain, they’re willing to look inside before. They’re part of the problem, which means they can be part of the solution, right? So that’s the most likely person to buy the book. Um, the other men might not need a big pain as an indicator, but there’s some questions that have been mulling around.
They’ve heard some things from the women or partners in their life and maybe their father died or their kids are saying something to them and they just kind of know. If they really thought about it, their playbook of what it means to be a man isn’t really serving them that well. So the book is written by a man, me for men, and it’s sequential, meaning that there’s steps that I take them through in the first part of the book.
And in the second part of the book, there’s deep dive chapters, like real male friendships, navigating conscious divorce. If that. What you’re going through, what that could look like, uh, being a better father, better husband, things of that nature of masculine leader, all the stuff that I went through that I wrote about there’s growth plans at the end of each chapter.
And it’s not a sit down one read and say, this is what’s going on in my life right now. Or I’m amidst a wake up call. What do I do? What do I not do? So it’s a timeless book. There’s steps that I take them through. And the first part of the book, and in the second part of the book, there’s deep dive chapters, like real male friendships, navigating conscious divorce.
If that’s what you’re going through, what that could look like being a better father, better husband, things of that nature, a masculine leader, all of the stuff that I went through that I wrote about there’s growth plans at the end of each chapter. And it’s not a sit down one, read it, say, This is what’s going on in my life right now, or I’m amidst a wake up call, what do I do?
What do I not do? So it’s a timeless book.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, words of wisdom. Thank you. So, uh, you mentioned that the book was what prompted you to go into the work that you’re doing with the better man movement. So let’s go back and talk a little bit about the book, the title of which is wake up, man up. Step up, transforming your wake up, call into emotional health and happiness as a mouse.
What is it that motivated you to write the book? How has that transpired?
Ray Arata: Well, two things, uh, and they, at the end of the book, there’s a chapter called note to women about here are the perils and the ways that if you’re gonna give a book to a man, the message that it might be sending. So I’m cautionary because unless you do this right, you know, if you were to give a book to a young man, The message could be wrong.
The decision I made a long time ago with my daughter is, and this is non-negotiable any man that you marry must do the men’s weekend. Your brothers did the weekend. So her, her boyfriend did the men’s weekend and I was the leader on the weekend. So there was no discussion. And so it’s a one instance of being a father that in seeking to protect and make your daughter safe.
Daughter’s safe. Giving them the book saying nod, nod, wink, wink. You’re going to read this book. If you want. My daughter’s hand, all I’m doing is asking you to read a book, to become more aware, to be more safe from. So that’s how I would, I would handle that particular instance now as to whether younger men have attracted or come to me all the time.
Now I made a decision to, um, focus on the influences of younger men, the fathers, because they’re the ones that need the, the, uh, the war. Because if they don’t do the work, they keep on unconsciously wounding, their kids, setting up their kids to follow in the same path. So what ends up happening? This may sound a little weird to your listeners, but I talked to the young men inside the older.
Because they need to, to emotionally grow up so that they’re in alignment. So I know how to talk to the younger men. So it’s just a, and then I’m aware that they’re projecting on me father figure. So I try and dismantle that. Speak to them, probably like their fathers don’t speak to them. I’m sort of
David Hirsch: curious to know why is it that you have agreed to be a mentor as part of the special father’s network?
Ray Arata: part of my fabric of why I’m on the planet. It’s not hard. And I know that the world needs men like me to show other men. I call it going first, but I went, I went a long time ago, so I’m still going. And so as part of my, my mission to change the planet, if I got to go first and show you how, and that like dropping a pebble in a pond, it’s the ripple goes outward, right?
If I can support another man to start a ripple, then I’m in my mission.
David Hirsch: That’s fabulous. We’re thrilled to have you. I’m sort of curious to know what role spirituality.
Ray Arata: Every morning. I meditate every morning. I pray to God every morning I express gratitude. So it’s very much a part of my life. Uh, especially in my men’s work.
When I recognize I have these God-given ability to listen and support of another healing, I’m a healer, but only because of him. So, you know, I, I, it’s not me and it is me, but you know, I have to have that understanding.
David Hirsch: Well, thanks for sharing. Very insightful. Um, let’s give a special shout out to Jack Myers for helping connect.
Ray Arata: Yes, Jack’s a great guy. I met him and, uh, ended up having him keynote a couple of years ago from my New York better man conference on the 40th floor of the Hearst building. I’ll never forget it. And he’s been a good friend ever
David Hirsch: since, uh, an amazing individual self. So is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up
Ray Arata: anything else I’d like to say?
Um, I just want to really encourage. Your male listeners to realize how much influence they have to be. Part of the change that our planet, our women are, people of other races need us, especially as white guys, um, and to recognize the advantages that we have and the opportunity to make conscious choice to do.
Yeah, I need your help there. Yeah. I need your help.
David Hirsch: Okay. If somebody wants to learn about the better man movement contact you, what’s the best way to do that.
Ray Arata: Just go to www dot better man, conference.com and you can sign up for our newsletter because we send out blogs. We inform, we let you know of our events.
It will be the way that I’ll communicate to you for my book. That’s coming out in the. Yeah, that’s the best way.
David Hirsch: Excellent. Right. Thank you for your time. In many insights, as a reminder, Ray is just one of the dads. Who’s part of the special father’s network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs.
If you’d like to be a mentor father or are seeking advice from a mentor father with a similar situation to your own, please go to 21st century dads.org. Thank you for listening to the latest episode of the special fathers network data dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did.
As you probably know, the 21st century dad’s foundation is a 5 0 1 C3 not-for-profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content free, to all concerned. Would you please consider making a tax deductible contribution? I would really appreciate your. Ray. Thanks
Ray Arata: again.
Tom Couch: And thank you for listening to the dad to dad podcast presented by the special fathers network.
The special father’s network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for fathers. For fathers go to 21st century dads.org.
David Hirsch: you’re a dad looking for help or we’d like to offer help, we would be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad. Also, please be sure to register for the special father’s network biweekly zoom calls held on the first and third Tuesdays of every month.
Lastly, we’re always looking to share interesting stories. If you’d like to share your story. No, have a compelling story. Please send an email toDavid@twentyfirstcenturydads.org.
Tom Couch: But dad to dad podcast was produced by couch audio for the special father’s network. Thanks again to horizon therapeutics who believe that science and compassion must work together to transform lives.
That’s why they work tirelessly to research, develop and bring forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic disease. Discover more about horizon therapeutics at horizontherapeutics.com.