The speaker was Robert Bly. The evening was titled "Red, White, and Black." The topic was specific to men; there are some similarities to women, but maybe that's for another day. Here's the Reader's Digest version:
In their late teens, 20s, and early 30s, men should have a sense of "red" about them - a.k.a., blood. Whether they're feeling their oats or behaving full of piss and vinegar, this is knowing that if a fist fight is awaiting you, it's best to get the first hit. Most mothers hate to see their sons in "red."
In their mid30s up to around 60, men move into the "white." They've settled down a little and are very much a champion of "community." They'll organize groups to clean up the parks, serve on the school board, take the cub scouts fly-fishing, go to Father-Daughter balls, etc., etc. It can be a very productive season.
Past 60 and beyond, a man goes "black" - think Eastwood in Gran Torino; the old curmudgeon who growls and tell the neighbor kids, "Hey, punks, get the hell out of my azaleas!" He'll stand up in health care reform town hall meetings and get rowdy. He'll also tell the young emerging preacher to tuck his shirt in and nobody gives a whipple-eyed dingleberry about the monastics.
Bly held fast to these colors; he supported his beliefs with the weight of man-history. There was obviously much elaboration; one point I'll mention. Bly spoke directly to men who considered themselves Christian: "You skip the red and go straight to white because that's who you think Jesus wants you to be and then wonder why you're so mad in your late 30s/early 40s...it's so unfair; everybody expects you to be white as snow from beginning to end. The 'red' doesn't go away; it has to be honored somehow, someway, sometime."
Bly's not God; he'd be the first to tell you that. And yes, these colors could be seen as limiting, possibly even constricting because 50 is the new 30, blah, blah, pa, ma. And if you should go looking for scriptural chapters and verses that speak of the red, white, and black, well, let me go ahead and tell you you'll be disappointed; oh, I believe they're there, but you can't find them via Bible Gateway. But I also believe the old poet said much that is true, especially about "red."
Men, you may not agree with this, but something deep inside tells me you may believe it.