Sep 20, 2008

Posted by in Living By A Code | Comments Off on 5th Tenet of the Code – Be Three Dimensional

5th Tenet of the Code – Be Three Dimensional


The Code of Honor was created by the men of what was then known as the Sterling Men’s Divisions.  It was intended to reflect some basic core values that all the men could rally behind, support and use as a benchmark for the ways of being we could expect from one another.


 In the late 1990s some men from the Western Region (the Bay area around San Francisco) created an ark which contained 15 different pieces of wood, one for each tenet. Each stick was made of a specific type of wood and bore a specific design that reflected the way in which the men of the Western Region related to the tenets of the Code of Honor.   The ark has since made its way throughout North America and men throughout MDI have had the opportunity to connect with it.  I had the opportunity to safe guard it for a while and was moved to write a little about my relationship to each tenet.  What follows is the treatise that was created as a companion piece to the ark.


Be Three Dimensional


The wood chosen to represent this tenet is Walnut – The walnut tree gives on many different levels.  It is a strong wood, used to construct sturdy and dependable furniture and shelter, it also provides clean burning aromatic firewood and has been used by Native Americans to conjure the spirit and of course the tree produces lots of walnuts a valuable source of rich nourishment if you can break through the hard shell.


The symbol represnting this tenet is three interlocking rings.  The rings represent the three dimensions of a successful man -resolve, compassion, and humor – each intertwined and inseparable from the others.  The center, where they intersect reflects a place of balance and full strength.



This tenet simply asks men to have a little depth.  Don’t be a one trick pony.  In MDI we strive to be multi-dimensional men and look to two different constructs.  One example of a three-dimensional man is illustrated in the Sterling Men’s Weekend: one part Clint Eastwood, one part Gandhi, and one part Curly of the three stooges.  It is said   these three men embody the three aspects of manhood necessary to be a well-rounded man.  Clint embodies the unshakeable ego that strengthens our resolve to grab our balls, trust our gut and get the job done without pausing to question ourselves.  Gandhi embodies the spirit that connects us to one another and provides the resolve to endure great pain to obtain a higher purpose and to do so with humility.  Curley embodies the wisdom of a man who can laugh at himself and is indifferent to how others view him, allowing him to be true to himself. 


  In Legacy Discovery we speak of the varied attributes of the Warrior, Lover, Magician and King:  the resolve to take on a challenge not for glory but because it’s the right thing to do; the ability to see the world through another’s eyes; the willingness to continue to question everything; and the desire to allow others to share in your gifts and abundance.    Simply put, to succeed, a man must have the depth to look beyond his immediate needs and should strive to be well rounded by learning to access a variety of tools within his “tool belt”.


Few men succeed in maintaining a balance amongst their many dimensions.  And many men struggle to embrace a dimension that is just not within them.  It is hard to imagine Curley on a hunger strike, Gandhi imploring some punk to, “make my day” or Clint doing the Curley shuffle.  And therein lies the challenge. Identify the dimension that represents your strength and then draw from those men who embody the dimensions that are your weakest.  No one needs to master ever dimension but the best leaders know where to look to cover their blind spots.


  It is easy to spot those men; you have probably already identified them in your life.   They are the men who push your buttons.  Whose priorities make no sense to you, whose way of being is foreign to you and uncomfortable for you to embrace?  These are the men who have the most to offer you and for you to give to them.  To work in harmony with these men is to be at the intersection of the three circles, to be at the heart of masculine power.


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