Five Minute Interview: Rick Johnson
Rick: My name is Rick Johnson. I am an author, speaker and founder of Better Dads, a fathering skills program based on the urgent need to empower men to lead and serve in their families and communities. My books have expanded our work to include influencing the whole family, with life-changing insights for men and women on parenting, marriage, and personal growth. What I enjoy most about what I do is living a life of significance—making a difference in the lives of others by helping them. It is very gratifying and fulfilling.
Rick: It is tough being a father today. There are so many distractions pulling at fathers and vying for their attention. I think most of all what it means to be a father is to stay. So many fathers today abandon their kids for a variety of reasons. Research shows how critically important fathers are in the lives of their children. None of us are perfect fathers but our presence alone is just good enough to be indispensable.
Alvin: What are your favorite activities that you enjoy most with your son?
Rick: My son is an adult now so our relationship is different than when he was younger. We enjoy hunting, camping, shooting, and watching movies together. He also accompanies me occasionally when I speak at men’s events.
Alvin: In your opinion what does it mean to be a man today?
Rick: Masculinity today is in the process of, if not re-inventing, then certainly re-defining itself. Many of the traditional roles of a man in the past are not as important today. However, I believe today as in the past, at its core, manhood is at its best when it uses the great power it possesses to lift up the lives of others to be more than they are capable of being without it.
Alvin: Tell a story, name something that you’ve done or experienced that became your largest step to manhood?
Rick: Probably the biggest growth in my manhood came when I started allowing other men to speak into my life. Until then I was on my own with no accountability or mentors. I made many mistakes and was not the kind of man I wanted to be nor the husband or father that my wife and kids deserved.
Alvin: What personal advice do you have for fathers and men navigating their way through fatherhood and manhood?
Rick: Persevere through the difficulties of life. Resist apathy and passivity. Look for significance in all that you do. Embrace challenges. Ask for advice from older men. And use your powerful masculine influence to make the lives of others around you better.
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