Making Waves: Reflections on Rumble 7

by Wes Tolbert

The plan was to come and observe my first Rumble Young Man, Rumble! Openminded, I left my guard at the coat check and prepared to convene.

Facing a westward window overlooking thick fog my intention directed deep within. I entered the space in search of a unique understanding of where to live within a Rumble framework. I soon realized this experience was not available by the wayside of a traditional watering-hole.

With My eyes and ears acting as dipper’s and ladles, I mentally prepared to submerge. I needed to know the depth of this well and all that lives within.

What I witnessed over the three days was massive! Overwhelming understates the feeling attached to seeing a room full of men active in wave-making, especially when society’s dominant narrative confidently speaks of drought.

I instantly became a single drop in the big well of a community striving. I could see the ripples moving through the minds of the room with every passing speaker’s, stretch, breath and calculated pause. 

I left daily with a sense of urgency to do more. To connect more. To make myself available to serve in greater capacities.

Again, and again, I thought of my eldest son and the troubles he may face in this world. Making the world better for him doesn’t happen without an intention to make the world better. It doesn’t happen without resolve and drawing close to see others with a thirst and courage to drink. This is Rumble!

I was simultaneously humbled while expanding outward like a ripple surrounding where my ladle dipped into this well. I grew more hopeful with every passing engagement and less thirsty. Replenished in spaces I hadn’t acknowledged before the convening. The question of “who and I to do this work?” was answered in an overwhelming “Ahh!” 

I am a Young man trying to make waves, part of a sea of change, given strength by the waves taking shape around me.

I concluded my first Rumble Young Man, Rumble! hopeful and encouraged that there’s still time to make big waves from small ripples.


Wes Tolbert is Rumble Young Man, Rumble Associate at CBMA.