Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘grandmother’

A People’s Persistence Produce a President

Posted by Thomas on November 6, 2012

GO OUT AND VOTE TODAY IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY!

I have left this post as my front page because of this election season. Your voice MUST BE HEARD! Election day November 6, 2012.

(Update: This post, I believe, is a testament to the power of guiding our young men. Keep doing what YOU ARE DOING. You can never really tell how far-reaching your efforts will go.)

Black, white, super-rich or working class, male, female; regardless of race or the hemisphere in which we live, our global mind drank its fill of history this week. A people’s persistence put a man, of African ancestry, into the highest political office of the United States of America. A people’s persistence: composed of various heritages, not just African; accomplished this. Like you, I am filled. Like you, many thoughts raced through my mind. My question—as the dust settles from this incredible political and historical whirlwind—what if this half-black half-white boy named Barack: abandoned by his African father, was not embraced by the balance of his family?

Many boys, especially black boys, don’t ever recover from their father’s abandonment. In Barack’s life, another force filled the fracture; white mother, grandfather, grandmother saved a boy’s life; and taught him; and changed a world. Their effort epitomizes the Rites of Passage Program. Saving boys’ lives changes the world for good. Saving boys’ lives rears responsible young adults. Saving boys’ lives produces adult men ready to lead. Saving boys’ lives gives women capable men to marry. Saving boys’ lives gives children a present touchable father. Saving boys’ lives renders examples for other young men to follow; yields aspiration in the hearts of those nearly crushed by “impossibilities”; causes young ladies to say “I’ll marry a man like my father”. Saving boys’ lives unbolts hope’s vault; that hope infects all. Our world has been lifted to unparalleled plateaus, grand levels of togetherness, joy, and deeply profound inspiration. God, again, has shown us all how the life of one boy, when guided and guarded; loved and cherished; admonished and praised; honored and honed, impacts our interconnectedness. One affecting all.

You have one among you, do you not? Your son: nephew, neighbor’s boy, grandson, a friend’s boy, the single mom’s boy within your congregation, the boy in the homeless shelter or in the juvenile program, the boy that looks like you and the boy that doesn’t, the boy that causes you pause and makes you take a deep breath, the boy with the lost look because no one has taught him how to be a man. You know the boy of whom I speak, maybe, like me, he once was you. You see him daily in the mirrors of your home; his reflection sometimes haunting.

You know him and see him. Embrace a Rites of Passage Program saving a boy; who knows, that boy may change the world—President Obama has.

Peace,

(updated 11/6/12)

Posted in Barack Obama, Family | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Where Do I Fit in the Big Scheme?

Posted by Thomas on October 6, 2011

Before you continue:  

This post has 363 words. 

On average, it will take you less than 5 minutes to read.

Change

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.

Questioning

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! 

Peace,

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