Men need to take time for Saturday conference

In today’s politically correct world, men sometimes struggle to find their role and know what’s OK and what’s not.

Be the firm father, or let mom handle discipline of the kids?

Open the car door for their female partner, or just jump in and start the engine?

Rise up and be the spiritual leader of the household or abdicate that post and give those duties to your wife?

Many men could use some help trying to decide their place – at work, at home, at school. Which is just one of the reasons they might want to consider attending the the inaugural Kauai Fatherhood Council Men’s Conference on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua. It is being put on by the Fatherhood Council and the County of Kauai, and it is free to men 18 and older and all fathers.

The purpose of the conference is to supply men with a tool kit of knowledge in which to support their relationships with their family and community. Additionally, 120 tool kits will distributed to attendees.

That certainly sounds like something that could benefit everyone, from dads and moms to sons and daughters and neighbors. And we certainly hope Smith’s Tropical Paradise is packed with men looking to not just find their place, but to find ways they can make their home a better, safer, loving place.

The conference will include five sessions focusing on the following values or tools: kino (health), kuleana (responsibility), mana (spirit), mana‘o (knowledge), na‘au (morals) and ‘ohana (family).

“In working with the Kauai Fatherhood Council, we saw an opportunity to provide additional encouragement to men and fathers in our community,” said Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. “We’ve received an overwhelming amount of support from key male leaders who wanted to help, and the idea grew into this conference.”

Pastor Joe Onosai, who is former strongman competitor and professional football player, will be the conference keynote speaker. Other speakers will include Mayor Carvalho, Pastor Vill Galiza, executive director of Storybook Theatre Mark Jeffers, and Dr. Krishna Kumar.

The Kauai Fatherhood Council, whose goal is to encourage male presence and male involvement in families and community, deserves praise for leading the charge here and planning this conference. This group recognizes that men must not shirk their responsibility to step up and become leaders for their wives, their children, their co-workers and their communities.

That’s not easy to do. Especially these days when people are quick to criticize and belittle those who try to make a difference and take a stand or have a strong opinion. To succeed, it will take a few brave men to go to the front of the battle line, be willing to take some hits, suffer some bruises, but know that in the end, their efforts will be rewarded, perhaps in ways they might not immediately recognize or be aware of.

Now, it’s hard to give up a Saturday. That is the one day of the week many men set aside to watch their kids in sports, finish projects around the house, watch college football or just kick back and relax. But you should know that attending this men’s conference will be time well spent — such that it could be one of the first steps that sets men on a path that could change their lives, and the lives of their children.

To register visit www.eventbrite.com and search for “Kauai Men’s Conference.”

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