At BOND, we believe that in order to rebuild America, we must start by rebuilding men, and rebuilding families. Nothing else is more important.
Just how does one go about “rebuilding men”?
For each man or young man, it starts with the knowledge that he needs to be rebuilt. That something has gone wrong in his life, and in order to move forward and find fulfillment, he must examine himself and how he sees the world.
Once he does, there is a natural positive process that takes place in his life, which BOND assists with through our National Mentor Program.
We have found “7 Commitments” that lead a young man toward a life of purpose and fulfillment, and we encourage these commitments through our program. They are:
The first thing a young man typically senses as he begins to examine his life, is that his thoughts drive him to often do what he does not intend to do, which causes so many problems for him. He may also discover an anger that exists in his soul, which is a direct result of believing negative thoughts about himself and others, typically starting with anger toward his parents. He may find a disconnect from his intuitive self, that acts as a natural guide. He may find a disconnect from his father, and from God. Encouraging the young man to begin and maintain the discipline of regular, quiet communion with God provides the foundation of a strong spiritual life, and leads to forgiving his parents and others for their shortcomings, which becomes the cornerstone of a life well lived.
Developing a healthy work ethic is central to a successful life. A young man who has not been raised with a good father may not have seen an example of a healthy work ethic. But it is the “muscle” of independence that must be exercised by a man, and builds confidence, satisfaction, and the material ability to “make his own way.” Without work, there is no hope for a young man to build his own life. With a healthy attitude toward it, the sky’s the limit! We encourage young men to learn a trade, start their own business, or start a career—but above all to work with an attitude of joy. It will bless all they do.
God owns everything on this earth, including our talents and our labor. It is only right to give at least the first 10% of the fruit of our labors back to him, through a vehicle that is doing his work, such as a good church or other charity. Generosity in giving encourages generosity of every area of our lives, and is blessed by God. Tithing provides a bulwark against the natural tendency in a young man toward selfishness. We also encourage each of our mentees to save and invest an additional 10% of their income. Saving builds material security, and investing broadens the horizons of young men and builds judgment and encourages delayed gratification.
The popular culture has done a horrible disservice to our young people, bombarding them with messages to indulge their own selfishness, no matter the consequences. Instead, we urge our mentees to restrain their selfish impulses, and wait for the commitment of marriage before having children. This gives them the space to get their personal, social, and business lives together before entering into the major responsibility of marriage and child raising. For many, it has made all the difference in building a bright future.
There’s much more to having children than simply conceiving them. That’s the easy part. Fatherhood represents a commitment to guiding children into young adulthood. It is an awesome responsibility, as the father is the most important influence on the growing child, particularly his spiritual influence. What the father is, the child will become. The knowledge of that truth is sobering indeed, and serves to remind the father to keep his connection with his Heavenly Father strong so that he will be guided to provide the guidance necessary to raise children who become strong in every way.
The real power in our National Mentor Program is realized when a young man who we’ve helped develop toward true independence then successfully mentors another young man. This is the way the program begins reaching deep into communities to effect massive change. A successfully mentored young man changes his life and that of his family, but a successfully mentored young man who successfully mentors another young man is beginning the process of building an “army” of successful young men! Thus we can change our entire society through our deep commitment to the success of each young man.
There are many ways for a young man who has been given much, to give back. We have discussed giving back monetarily through our 3rd Commitment, but we also encourage our mentees to volunteer time helping their local community, and informing themselves on issues that impact our nation’s security and the family, and voting and encouraging their friends and family (those with a positive attitude who are informed) in civic participation.