Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

What is the Big Deal, Pop?

Posted by Thomas on January 8, 2009

(Glynne celebrated his 16th birthday yesterday *Jan 7*; HAPPY B-DAY SON!)

Last week I asked Glynne how he felt about all the commotion surrounding the planning of his Rites of Passage Ceremony and Quest; his response “What’s the big deal Pop? I understand the guiding into manhood part, but, you have constantly done that.” He went on to say, it would have been different if he did not have a relationship with me; but since he grew up with me, all the things the Rites of Passage Program stands for he was exposed to repeatedly. So, in some ways, to Glynne we (the adults in his life) are making a big deal over regular things.

It is a big deal though. Knowing Glynne gives me insight into his thought process. He is like me in many ways. He prefers a “low-key profile”; doesn’t like a lot of fuss about him; so that characteristic is part of his “what’s the big deal?” question. The other part is that I feel I have failed him somewhere on the road. He should already know why this is so special; but not for his sake only, for the sake of the future. His future depends on appropriately embracing manhood; his wife’s future and that of his children depends on it also. As I expounded on these points (not wanting this talk to turn into a lecture) he listened quietly, distracted by his cell phone.

As a teenager I never saw the line of demarcation; the separator between boyhood and being a young adult and then becoming an adult. I didn’t fully understand the expectations those that loved me had for my life. I couldn’t comprehend, for example, that dropping out of college affected my entire clan, not just self. My short-sightedness kept me from seeing the connection between my present and future

Every adult that loves a young black boy should make a big deal of his becoming a man. The hoopla isn’t simply about Glynne; it’s about the future and connecting the dots. If EVERY black boy was raised understanding his interconnected impact and was effectively guided to accept his God-ordained responsibilities as he became a man; what would our world look like? How different would our families be? When we ponder questions like these, we then understand this “deal” is so big that it has world-wide and generational implications. Hug the boys in your life today; tell them, “becoming a responsible adult male is a huge life milestone; we will make the journey together”.

Please add your comments to this Post.


2 Responses to “What is the Big Deal, Pop?”

  1. Rites Inc. said


    We are glad you visited, reading your comment put a big smile on Glynne’s face.
    Visit again and share the site with others that you know.


  2. Marcia Cromartie said

    It was a pleasure to read about your conversation with Glynne and his Rites of Passage.
    It brought back conversations that you and him would have in elementary school when he would
    have a conflict at school. You always knew the right things to say to him as a father and he always knew how to respond because he knew your expectations. I am glad to see that the relationship between the two of you has flourished as he has reached this great point in his life. I have always thought that Glynne was a man inside a little boy’s body because of his matureness. It is all because of you –the big and small words, actions you shared with Glynne that has allowed him to be able to succeed and make his life wonderful. Thank you Mr. Harrell and your lovely, understanding, and patient wife; Glynne as no option but to succeed.

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