Barring your soul is hard enough. Barring your soul in front of an audience is terrifying, especially if you suffer from anxiety. Yet that was what my friend Lorne Jaffe was about to do. As he prepared to go on the stage at the Dad 2.0 2014 conference, I assured him repeatedly that he was in a safe place; the audience that was about to hear him read a post from his blog were a group of kind and supportive guys.
And that audience did not let me down.
Lorne Jaffe is a brilliant writer that discusses his battle with depression as he parents his daughter over at the amazingly raw and beautiful RaisingSienna. Summoning an amazing amount of courage, Lorne stood before a room full of people whom he barely knew and bared his soul as he read Do I Really Like What I Like? The room was completely quiet throughout his reading. There were no pens taping or mandatory tweets or checking of cell phones. The room sat transfixed on every word Lorne spoke.
As his friend, I couldn’t have been more proud.
After the last word was said, the audience jumped to their feet and showered Lorne with appreciation. We stood and applauded because his post was great. We stood and applauded because of his courage. We stood and applauded because we admired him. We stood and applauded because that’s what we do.
I am proud of my friend who captivated an audience with wit and bravery; I am also proud of those that applauded with appreciation.
Like most large gatherings of people, Dad 2.0 is made up of people from all walks of life and all different beliefs. The group shares a common goal, though – showing the world that men are not only capable of raising children, they are good at it. And they reach this goal together, supporting, and dare I say loving, one another. Since I attended my first Dad 2.0 conference in 2013, I have been able to get to know and learn from a great group of guys. Lorne got to see that love and support first hand.
As we (Dad Bloggers) try to change the perception of men, it will take encouragement, support, and great writing. And to see it all on display in that moment was beautiful.