“If you don’t initiate your young men into the tribe, they will burn down the village”
It’s an oddly unpopular idea these days, but men need men to mentor them and help them. We evolved in bands with other men, and many of the ways we bond and grow are based around this. Yes, our moms are super important, and mine is especially bad ass, but we need other men too.
Some fathers are absent, and that sucks. We live in an increasingly atomized and disconnected society, and that also sucks.
As I mentioned yesterday, I have a great father. I was also I was raised in an environment with many male role models around me. No, not all of them were good, but I think in the balance I had a lot more positive ones than negative.I know that everyone is not as fortunate as I am, and it may take an intentional effort to seek out the mentoring and relationship we need, but it is worth it.
Throughout my life I remember older men reaching out to me to offer advice and guidance.
As I also mentioned yesterday, I was not always good at knowing how to implement these things, but I distinctly remember knowing they were right. Had I been less paralyzed by the things in my life that I didn’t know how to deal with, I might have asked them to help me with the implementation, and I may have had an easier go of things than I did.
We are all watching what happens in a society without rituals and initiations, or even guidance, for young men.
We see this in our prison system and on the news. I see it in my office every day. This isn’t a criticism of anyone or any group, in all honesty I think it is probably the natural result of a society increasingly infatuated with technology and with the ability to spend our time however we want.
We are undergoing a massive shake-up in what it means to be human, and everyone is suffering in the process.
None of this is to say that mothers are unnecessary ort that young women don’t have a tough road to walk (they have a very tough road to walk), it’s just about men because Father’s Day just passed and because we tend to turn violent when we don’t have anything to do. I don’t know what the solution is, because I don’t know how we turn the tide against an increasingly digital and technological world where video games and porn are raising our young men.
I do know that individual and group mentoring – intentional, competent mentoring – helps and that older men reaching out to the younger generation is important, but it also seems that this is dying off with the generation ahead of me.
Did you have older mentors as a teenager?
What rituals or initiation rituals were there in your life?
When did you officially know you were an adult?