My oldest son graduated high school. For me…a hard reality. I see a cherub…and it will probably always be that way for me. But to others, he is very nearly a man. How do you teach a boy to be a man…and how will he know what it means to be a man?
Time will pass for him, and with that comes experience. But if there is no basis or foundation, what understanding is drawn from it? If he is searching for something, it is unlikely he will be able to find what he seeks if he doesn’t know what it looks or feels like. And when it comes to men and being a man, there is always searching, questioning and measuring.
The journey is a long one, and there are many obstacles. If you are lucky, you have a father to talk to, a voice to guide you, and help you stay on your path. For others…there is only you and what you have been told, observed and been taught.
While there are MANY things I want to share with my son, I read something recently that simply and elegantly delivers the message I want share. As you read it, you cannot help but to measure it against your own experience…and to help you answer your own questions.
I read this years ago…in high school. I did NOT understand it. I did NOT care about it. But I do remember it…and now I know what it means. I will share this with both of my sons. They won’t understand much of it. But there will soon come a time where they will have to make some tough decisions, or deal with some difficulty, and they will question themselves. Reading this now may help give them some framework.
Special thanks to Jerome Knyszewksi for posting this poem on LinkedIn A great measuring tool to keep you on your own path.
(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)
Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)