My father embodied the reality that loss of life was a real possibility making powerful stances and working for the people. My father is a man’s man. The concept of manhood daddy embodies is what I initially understood as a man in the deepest sense of the word. The nuances and the contradictions of manhood, I learned over time, are to be studied and passed on father to sons, uncle to nephews, grandfather to grandsons. It is the way of balancing the words that compose the songs of masculinity, and balancing the world-at-large. The ancestors spoke of these things in action.
But, in practice today alpha males are under siege. Like never before, and in a lesser way reminiscent of Europe’s centuries of killing their women who owned an inkling of self-awareness and power; boys with pure masculine energy are bewildered by the zero tolerance policies aimed at them with nefarious techniques. It is a thinly veiled assault and the impact on boys is staggering. What keeps it going is a combination of things that begins with language denying this trend.
Generation of the millennial
I could point to causes and reasons and sight how this is done, but it is well publicized across the country. What is under reported is one of the consequences of this social experiment: killers. Popular culture has named this generation the millennials. The name doesn’t give a face to what lurks within basic dysfunctions and disparities within these children. It is a name given to an entity we are trying to distance ourselves from. So, the gaps in their self-awareness, and their inability to ground into the truths of existence haven’t a chance of balancing the elements.
We have moved away from developing men to shaping men is a trite statement pretending a standard was set in American culture when it wasn’t deep as what I am shedding some light upon. Initiation is essential to the continuation of a life of purpose, and what we haven’t in place is this practice. Without developed men to guide millennials they will hover in cyberspace oblivious of self, and the lack of initiated and developed men to balance the elements. Families and women will be unable to stand against the monsters our way of life creates for each generation.
The numerous questions boys ask of men capable of developing them into men cannot be easily summarized. But unanswered society pays a hefty price. What we cannot afford is to be unable to train our youth to be healers.
Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories, is Native American and African. He works as a community activist and as a ceremonial leader in the Washington, D.C. area facilitating in the reconciliation processes between races. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.