Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘mother’

A People’s Persistence Produce a President

Posted by Thomas on November 6, 2012


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.


(updated 11/6/12)

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Double Standards

Posted by Thomas on December 23, 2008

Double standards hinder young males in our society. Girls have numerous rites of passages in their lives; physical and otherwise. The double standard exists when girls are given concrete lines of demarcation as they journey through life, while boys often don’t receive the same guidance. Boys are left to figure things out on their own.

In terms of physical changes (passages) God has blessed women with the menstrual cycle (if you are a woman reading this, it may not seem like a blessing, but, because of you there is human life on the earth: a blessing). This physical occurrence lets the young woman know, in full assurance, she can now reproduce. Though physical change occurs for the male, it is less apparent. Mothers, aunts, older sisters, and other women in the young woman’s life rally around her, comforting her, encouraging her, advising her that this is a step toward the fulfillment of her womanhood destiny. Nothing of the sort happens for the young man.

Fathers and mothers; grandmas and grandpas; aunts and uncles; responsible adult men and women—let’s change this invisibility, this double standard. Our young men need guidance each step of the way as they grow and matriculate through life. But, that journey cannot be passively observed by we adults that love and care for the boy. His journey ought to invoke action and interaction on our parts. Else, he is lost. It manifests itself in various ways; he is lost when he doesn’t understand that at a certain age he must put childish things away. He is lost when he doesn’t recognize, for we have failed to tell him, that there are great expectations on his life—we expect him to become a responsible male that contributes to the wellbeing of our society.

This blog is a catalyst for ending the double standards that handicap healthy development of our young men. Join us.

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