Often times after writing something, I feel that I didn't say enough.
I think that perhaps I could have said it better or that maybe some fear was doing the typing and perhaps I was less than clear or honest regarding my opinions or feelings about a situation. I recently penned a piece entitled, "In Praise of Good Men" yet failed to mention any examples or personal experiences.
I ended by saying what I'd like to see - not remembering that I had to have gotten that vision from somewhere. I realized that I had seen men who are already incredible. With this clarity, I would like to discuss two of the best men I have ever known:
Mike Pointer is a wonderful human being.
Engaging, knowledge seeking, focused, kind and generous, he is a mentor that continues to grow even as he encourages his students to do the same. His interaction is charming, deliberate and significant.
It is Coach Mike who has taught me to develop the courage to walk away from a bad deal.
He teaches an incredible commercial acting class in L.A. (hey, I saw your commercial!). Studying with him you get way more than any typical class. You study and design ways to be a better human being. I met him about a year after moving to California.
Even though I was battling some personal demons (the end of an eight year relationship and months of varying degrees of homelessness) I continued to wake up at four a.m. to take a six a.m. bus two hours to his class every Saturday.
These classes sustained me in a myriad of ways.
As a teacher, I was constantly being criticized for my methods. I was told to teach is to dominate. I was told more than once you have to let the kids know who is in charge.
Whenever I pointed out that it is impossible to take risks or learn or do anything but survive under these set of circumstances, I was met with blank stares then gossiped about later. Like Mike, I use humor and whatever is necessary to get students to be active participants in their own learning process.
Like Mike, I combine my knowledge with theirs and everyone is enriched as a result. Getting up at four in the morning was not a problem, missing his class would have been.
Jay Woodruff is a very sweet guy.
Everyday he makes me laugh with his wicked wit, sincerity and self deprecating digs. We met two years ago and became fast friends quickly bonding over our love for all things Ugly Betty, Vanessa Williams, Pink and our current obsession, Glee.
He is a barista at a coffee shop I used to go to everyday before work.
Hot Java, his place of employment, was across the street from the first place I lived when I got to California. He is thoughtful, kind and considerate and always ready to listen, make amends and add a quick joke if things get to heavy.
He truly is the embodiment of what it means to be the highest form of male and what a full out commitment looks like.
After I experienced a very devastating breakup, he dropped everything and rearranged his plans to make sure that I was ok.
For job interviews, he lends me cuff links.
Every Saturday is burrito day.
He is also a great listener who doesn't judge but shuts your crap down with a simple, "what's different ?" Even when I was struggling, he compassionately stated, "I could help you out but I know you can do this and I want to support you by letting you figure this out, which you will."
How'd I get so lucky ?
I have two different examples of two very different men making their way in the world and changing it their way in their time and setting an almost impossible standard for us mere mortals to ever achieve.