Published on: 15 August 2014

Last week, boys and parents had an opportunity to hear from Jonathan Doyle, author of Bridging the Gap: 8 Ideas to Improve Your Life, who visited Christ Church for the first time. All Years 11 and 12 boys listened to Jonathan during the day, while about 80 parents attended an evening talk.

Acting Head of the Senior School Mark Morrissy said all Year 11 boys received a copy of Jonathan’s book at the start of the year. “He shared some hard truths with the boys: some people have extraordinary lives, however, most don’t; don’t think life is just going to work out; and that most men live lives of quiet desperation,” Mr Morrissy said.

He also explored the definition of what it was to be a man over the generations and some of the influences that had led to diminishing strong values. “He challenged the boys to think about what it meant to be a extraordinary man and outlined a number strategies to effect change and find strength to become that man,” Mr Morrissy said.

In the evening, Jonathan addressed parents on defining male identity amidst issues facing young people today, particularly the impact of digital technology. He said the search for manhood had warped over the generations from strength in being a loyal, hardworking provider to a model about instant gratification, power, alcohol, exploitation and living in the moment.

“Jonathan indicated that the age-old model of communities conferring or bestowing manhood was an important part of current Western society that had been lost,” Mr Morrissy said. “He said it was potentially why growing men had degenerated to the need to prove their manhood by taking things by force, to be physically strong, intimidate and abuse.”

Jonathan ended the talk with some advice: one good idea is enough to change a life; don’t do nothing, do something; and be courageous, not popular.

To listen to a podcast of the talk to Years 11 and 12 boys, click here.