What attributes of Mr. Mandela do you admire?


BillRoddy_ManhoodFTHood_FBArt_61913_16As we mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela I reflect on the life lessons he embodied.

I admire his forgiveness and perseverance!

Couldn’t we all learn and grow from these attributes that he personified?

 How many of us could keep a loving heart after being incarcerated for 27 years?


 As an adult man, husband, mentor and business owner, I try to follow these attributes.  Sometimes life throws obstacles in our lives to present us with the opportunity to grow.  There were times when I didn’t want to deal with these “opportunities.”


Could you imagine being in Nelson Mandela’s position when he was a young man?


Had a chat this evening with a young man I mentor: “Mr. Roddy, How could Mr. Mandela be incarcerated for 27 years and not remain angry toward the people who incarcerated him? I’m only 25 and it’s hard for me to understand.”


“It is hard to understand, I admire his forgiveness and perseverance.” I responded.


 Rest in peace Mr. Mandela, you have inspired us all!

A powerful manhood moment!

BillRoddy_ManhoodFTHood_FBArt_61913_44One of the most powerful statements made to me was from my biological dad. I had never met him only heard statements made from other family members over the years as a young man.

As I entered my later teens my desire to meet, hopefully establish a relationship, the other person who was responsibility for me being in the world became an obsessive curiosity.

I had to meet him to satisfy my curiosity.

One of my most powerful moments was meeting and hearing my biological father say these words to me:


“I am glad to hear from you.”

If you are mentoring youth do you share some of your most powerful emotional experiences with your mentee?  If not, why?


I know as an adult male, hearing those words from my biological father set in motion a healing, forgiveness and an acceptance process for me.


Meeting him helped me move on in life!


What memorable moments in your early childhood do your remember?







Fatherhood lost…and not forgotten


My dad passed away and was buried during the first 2 weeks of August 1987. So for twenty-four years, the first 2 weeks of August have been a time of deep reflection for me.

My dad and I had a close bond while I was a little girl. He could do no wrong in the eyes of his only daughter.

But from the time I reached puberty until his death, our relationship was contentious. Dad was a proud, unyielding, old school type of guy—common for his generation. That clashed mightily with my budding feminism throughout the 1970s and ‘80s.  We bewildered—no, pissed one another off—regularly.

But it’s during this anniversary time that I think about how much I’ve evolved and matured over the twenty-four years he has been gone; how I’ve made peace with the man who used to rile me up. I know I loved him and I know he loved me before I even knew what love is. If he were still alive today, surely Dad would have matured and evolved as well, don’t you think?

Remember that old saying about most of life’s traumas? “One day you’ll look back on this and laugh!”

Dad, I’m laughing my head off at our former silliness. I bet you are laughing too.