Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Archive for the ‘Mentorship’ Category

Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes

Posted by Thomas on October 11, 2011

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This post has 311 words. 

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A Rites of passage is a journey. Our boys learn mostly from watching and emulating us. We, the caring adults in their lives, must embody the same principles we seek to implant in them. Volunteering is a rites of passage lesson that is better observed than discussed. I seek to do more volunteering. If you don’t volunteer already start. You have no excuse especially as we approach the holiday season. Get out of yourself and help someone else.

If you live in Miami-Dade or Broward County and have a child between the 9th – 12th grades check out the Leaders of Tomorrow program I volunteer with. Our new program year kicks off soon.

If your son or daughter would benefit from a direct approach to mentoring Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami is an awesome program. I have a friend that is a VP within the organization and they are constantly looking for more adult volunteers to be Bigs.

In honor of my grandmother Annie Milledge, she passed away June 15, 2011; I am participating in the Step Out – Walk to Stop Diabetes walk-a-thon on November 5, 2011. My granny lived with the disease for decades.

You can support my walk. Visit my page and make a donation from your heart. Your donation will honor your friend or love one that also battled diabetes. Thanks in advance to those that donate.

Walk to Stop Diabetes
Fundraising walk-a-thon Nov 5 2011

If we want our sons to develop a heart of volunteerism they must first see it in us. Whether or not you support the Step Out – Walk to Stop Diabetes walk-a-thon or volunteer as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters do something to give back regularly. You become a better person for it. You train your son in giving back and our world is filled with lots more love and positive energy.





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Where Do I Fit in the Big Scheme?

Posted by Thomas on October 6, 2011

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This post has 363 words. 

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Change is inevitable. Although we know this, it takes life events to make us know, see, and respect it. 

This year has been filled with deep personal changes. My mother-in-law, a close family member that lived with her and my grandmother died. My son graduated from high school. I achieved a special honor in my professional life. We just welcomed our newest grandchild into the family on Monday, AJ. 

Change is inevitable. Some we look forward to, some we try to avoid. 

In less than a month my son leaves for the U.S. Coast Guard—a huge change for him. He’s entering the next phase of his life—a space of greater self-reliance and accountability. He will be challenged in ways we haven’t discussed.


With this change (the next learning experience along his rites of passage journey) comes the question. A question everyone reading this has asked “Where do I fit in the big scheme of things?” I tell him he is better off at 18 years old than I was when I was that age. But, the question is the same. It is a scary question. All of us yearn for a deep sense of place, a deep sense of belonging, of mattering. 

In a recent conversation I asked him “As you move into this next stage of your life, what is your biggest concern?” 

His answer (simplified here) “Where I fit. How will being in the military jive with who I am as a person.”  

As parents, we do our best with the tools we have to raise our children to face the world. Our hope is simple; that we’ve given them enough to answer the big question. As much as we would like otherwise they MUST answer the “Where do I fit in the big scheme of things?” question for themselves. 

The journey to “know thy self…to thy own self be true” has truly now begun for my son. 

Change the World Answer the Question

Son I love you! I am proud of you! I’ve given you the best (and sometimes the worst) of me. Now, go change the world—answering the big question along the way! 


Posted in Black Boys, Mentorship, success, What is Manhood to You? | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »