“The first duty of a man is to think for himself.” – Jose Marti
Every once in a while, someone remarks “There is no culture in Miami.” Usually, the response from someone living in Miami is quick and defensive. “What do you mean? We have a museum… somewhere…” or “Hey man! what do you mean we don’t have culture? We got Cubans, Nicaraguans, Colombians… Barnes and Noble…”
Well, here’s an opportunity for us Miami folks to have something to snap back with; El Lector.
The speaker series being launched on December 23 promises to be an exciting one. Usually the words exciting and speaker don’t go together. But when you throw in cigars and men with compelling stories and ideas to share, you have the makings of something new and interesting not usually found in Miami.
History and story collide at El Lector. This is an opportunity for men to get away, disconnect and decompress. More importantly, it is an evening where men are challenged to go deeper intellectually and spiritually.
Marti said a man should think for himself. We believe that is true. We also believe a man should think outside of himself. We have a tendency to be easily consumed by our smallness.
I have a friend named Felix. He attends a local Roman Catholic parish and helps organize and lead Emmaus Walk Retreats for men. Felix also trains in Mixed-Martial Arts, and for that reason also, I’m glad I’m his friend. Felix and I have smoked a few cigars together, and we’ve shared some interesting stories (some not fit for this blog). As we’ve shared and laughed and thought, Felix has expressed to me how difficult it is for him to relate to guys in Miami. “Bro (that’s how you talk when you’re from Miami),” he says “If I go to a party and get together with the men there, all these guys can talk about is the car they own and can’t afford, the Miami Heat, or what they drank the last time they got blasted.” Felix has often shared this frustration with me. Throw in some talk about the last cruise you went on or where the DOW closed on Friday; maybe a little Castro, Bush or Obama. There you have the extent of Miami depth.
El Lector was born of this frustration. We know that men are called to something higher and outside themselves. And we know that Miami could use a push when it comes to culture. El Lector offers a unique cultural experience. Through El Lector speakers, we will explore philosophy, science and history. Sometimes we will hear compelling stories. Other times, we will host debates and discussions on everything from faith and theology to political and social issues.
Of course I’m exaggerating, and Miami does have culture. I love this city and I love being a part of this community. And certainly El Lector is not unique. But we humbly offer this event for the men in our community who are looking for something different. We invite you to spend some time with us. We’re not pretentious, I promise. We’re just some regular guys who know we’ve been called to something bigger than just ourselves. Life is about more than keeping up with the Joneses (or the Rodriguezes). For men, it is about thinking for ourselves, and outside ourselves.
Life is big. Let’s have a cigar and talk about it.