Where Will You Go?
I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah... Where "Community" was something to me like water is to a fish. I didn’t realize it was even there or how special it was because it was all that I knew. I remember walking over to a neighbor’s home on a random summer afternoon because I wanted to get the physical fitness merit badge, and he was in charge of it. Barely knowing me, he sat there for hours, counted jumping jacks, watched me do 100 sit-ups, and ensured I understood the fitness's ins and outs. Looking back on that day, it feels so special now, yet it was so normal back then.
Strong communities create strong kids who become powerful adults. I talk about this often; it is the very bedrock of a great society. I have always marveled at Polynesian and Latino communities because of how they all take care of each other. It’s not enough to watch over your kids; you watch over all the kids. If you’ve ever talked to anyone from the Polynesian community, you will soon learn that they are all cousins and nephews. It is truly beautiful to watch.
I grew up in a strongly religious household and with that came my tight-knit community. I had weekly Sunday school classes, monthly check-ins with my leaders, and yearly interviews with my bishop to see how I was doing. It wasn’t perfect, but it created a sense of caring that a little kid feels daily and nightly.
As I grew older, a lot changed in my life, and I needed to move on from the religion of my youth. The hardest part about this was knowing that there would be a loss of this community that it had created, especially in Utah. It’s such a strong bond that dozens of my family and friends have privately let me know that they no longer believe in the church but want to stay because it provides a great place to raise kids and a community to support them. I get it.
One of the church leaders gave a talk a few years back where he spoke directly to people like me. People that had either left the church or were considering leaving. In powerful language, he proclaimed, “Where would you go?!” Hinting at the fact that there is no place like the church to find this community, love, and support. Some took it as a warning, others as a threat, and I saw it simply as a challenge.
Living in Utah, I had seen the social dynamics of the state from both sides of the pew. As a fully believing member of the Mormon church and someone who had left the church, I could see that the state was divided in two. Most political, social, and community problems seemed to fall around this fact. I decided that the “where would you go?” needed to be a place I created myself.
I’m assuming there were already plenty of places to go, but I wanted to create a safe space where nobody cares what religion you belong to, what you do on Sundays, or how you take your caffeine. If I could sum it up in a sentence, “They are much less worried about ‘what’ you are doing and much more worried about ‘how’ you are doing.”
I love the community that we have been able to build. My friends and I have spent countless hours and days working together to create this amazing community of support and love. We are just getting started, but we have already been able to replicate the community aspect I enjoyed in my youth. Every one of our friend's kids has 12-15 guys that he calls uncle. When someone is sick or has a kid, we all sign up to make them dinner or, in my case, send them Door Dash. And we check in on each other daily to see how we are doing and if everyone is doing okay.
This is the power of a community. It is the secret to my Polynesian brothers' success with their families and why my men's coaching group, “We Are The They,” exists. In a world that is more connected than ever, men have never felt so alone. Some with wives and kids feel a gaping hole in their souls and aren’t sure where to find their purpose. Others are without family and not sure how to “fix” themselves so that they can find their soul mate.
The irony to all of it is that for every person that thinks he is alone, they probably have dozens of other people they know feeling the same. All are wishing for someone else to reach out or do something about it. This is why I answered the call last year and launched my program. The men in this group are not broken, they are not loners, and they are not desperate. We have 9 figure earners, professional athletes, and some of the best dads, sons, and brothers I’ve ever met. They want to experience authentic connections in a community. To be seen in a vulnerable state and loved and accepted in that place is to feel God's love firsthand. This is the power of “We Are The They,” and it’s why “WE” is in the name, not I.
Alone we are all pretty limited, but as a collective, we can start a movement and change the world. We are just getting started with this movement and are looking for more amazing men that want to lead from the front while being supported all around. If this sounds like you, check us out and see why our numbers are doubling every time we open up the program and invite others to join us. www.wattmovement.com