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Steven Ratson

Mensch means "a person of integrity and honor." According to Leo Rosten, the Yiddish maven and author of The Joys of Yiddish, a "mensch" is "someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character". The key to being "a real mensch" is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous. The term is used as a high compliment, expressing the rarity and value of that individual's qualities.

I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and if you believe it when NFL films and ESPN's Chris Berman refer to Lambeau Field as the "frozen tundra", you ain't never been to my hometown!
  
As the fat kid in school who had terrible acne, wore braces, and couldn't afford to wear the coolest track shoes, I was a prime bullying target let me tell you. In the summer of '74 I channeled my inner-Rocky Balboa and and wrote my first comeback story. My reward was meeting my high school sweetheart who went on to become my wife. I was an old soul in a young heart, and felt predestined to live my dream of growing old with my first and only love. I was in heaven.
 
On June 13, 2006, I "uncovered" the affair that my wife had been having for over 22 years, from "before" we got engaged! My best friend, my soulmate, my inspiration, had betrayed me. My marriage had been a sham. I didn't want to live. I was in hell.
 
My life as I had dreamt it was over. I lost everything I ever wanted. I was wandering aimlessly, searching for answers, trying to understand the reason. Then it came, a phone call from a friend in Israel, the son of Holocaust survivors. He told me that I would survive, that I had no choice. He left me with the mantra; that my children's happiness would be my recovery! My second comeback story was in the works, for, as Terrance Mann uttered in my favourite movie Field of Dreams, "Now I know why I'm here"! 
 
This Manifesto is a love letter to my children, my legacy, for the right way to live one's life. I invite you to pledge the Fraternity and join the conversation. Tweet with the hashtag #menschfrat for immediate update to the Mensch Fraternity homepage. Guest posts will be featured on the Bros tab. "If you build it, they will come"! 
Posted by Mensch Fraternity
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