When we hear the term “rights of passage,” we usually think back to ancient times. Rituals that sound barbaric or torturous, but we all, to some degree, understood the importance of these events.
For young boys to become men, they needed a dominant influence that forced them to become masculine. Initiation was necessary to pass into adulthood with removal from the mother and proving your worth to the tribe who endured the same pain before you.
These young men needed to be wounded to break from the mother and endure savage rituals with pain, separation, and torment. The one difference between today’s man and the warrior of ancient times was the support of his tribe and elders.
Today the tribe is nonexistent!
Many fathers are broken and weak!
These bonds have long been forgotten and have caused pain for many generations. They were there because men sought the praise of courage of other men. They were more afraid of being disgraced and called a coward than the pain they would endure from initiation.
These are the wounds the modern man faces alone, in isolation, and without any ideas on achieving real maturity. We see a man who struggles to take care of himself because of demands that he cannot possibly know how to reach by himself.
Be a good citizen, provide for your family, give your children a better life than you, and all the time never understanding what he needs to do to become a better man. Unrealistic expectations overcome us with fear, and the pain from the past fills modern man with shame and doubt.
I am not saying we need to resort to primitive events and send our sons off to a Spartan training camp, and when they turn eighteen, hand them a knife to go and kill as many helots as possible. But we should understand what happened to the influence of our tribe and the demise of the father.
What we see now are men who feel lost, unworthy, and ashamed to be a man. They struggle to find a connection with other men because it has never been shown to them at a young age, and they lack the support of a tribe like the men before them.
Let’s be honest, most men today are weak.
They don’t lift weights, have never been in a fight, are overweight, and are over-controlled by their wives. Their minds are glued to propaganda, and they no longer study, read books, or think critically. Their thoughts have been conditioned to blindly follow men of immoral character and praise those that continue to abuse them.
You see, there is one thing we have got wrong with developing strong boys in the modern world. Things are very different from early times, and for our sons to become great, they need more from their fathers at an early age. The role of the father has evolved, and most men are unprepared for this challenge.
Instead of the fear and worry of the mother dominating our sons, we need to focus on our involvement as fathers and question if we’re helping to build healthy relationships with our sons or acting out our own abandonment from the mother.
When you live without fear, your son benefits not from your demands but the influence of your actions.
If the rights of passage are considered a success, it should be reflected in a society where fatherhood is perceived as the most powerful force in the universe.
Instead, we see the opposite. We blame the youth for the failings of the past. We see a society designed by generations of violence inflicted on young boys who no longer look to their fathers for guidance.
Men have become weak because that is what they feared the most. They have been taught to shame each other, see their brothers as enemies, and have become accomplices in their own moral corruption.
Everything I have described so far comes from the destructive and criminal mistreatment of children throughout history. We must understand the failures of the past are what comes to haunt men in the future.
To improve the family, we need fathers to strengthen their relationships with their children and once again become their protectors. From a reasonable perspective, we can parent in ways that fill the voids previously created through historical violence and torment.
Too many men live with anger and sorrow from the ghosts of the past.
We cannot expect these young men to know themselves, be connected to a tribe, or be confident with their identity if the father is absent. We want our children to endure pain to grow, but we fail to recognize past failures.
There is growing support of fatherlessness, men not needed in the family, and a distorted view of what a child needs to succeed in life, beyond all the evidence of how vital it is to have a father in the home. These are all easily dismissed as external threats, but these pains have been brewing in men’s souls for centuries.
The importance of fatherhood can never be understated!
There is no doubt how vital having a present father is to the healthy development of his children. A father’s role now must be to connect with his child at an early age and be present when dependent on him for survival.
Don’t wait for your son to be a teenager before you start to parent. All of our children need support and love from dad as soon as they enter this world. Your influence and energy are demanded from birth.
Our boys do not need violence and pain to grow into men. Most men these days cannot endure even the slightest pressure from difficulties in life without some form of shame, doubt, or rage.
Our sons will experience many hardships in life, and we must not impose our will on them based on our fears. We must, however, give them the tools to grow, point them in the right direction, and be the most remarkable example of what it means to be a virtuous man.
This quality of leadership will bring stability and structure back to the family and help strengthen communities.
You must hold yourself accountable for the most important job you will ever have.
Your actions must not be reflective of your unhealed childhood wounds.
You do not get angry when your child has a tantrum; you comfort them in need. You don’t administer more controls if your child isn’t listening; you find effective solutions. You don’t use physical violence when they talk back; you control yourself and be a man!
There has been too much time and energy wasted on turning our sons into soulless machines. Unhealed wounds force men to inflict pain onto other men, which proceeds to wound their sons.
Understand that you are not alone, and there are men out there who struggle with similar problems. You can change your life’s direction by taking ownership as a father and having your children see life as a journey they control and not as victims of past wounds, but it must start with you being brave enough to find the truth.
There are dragons in life you must slay, and mountains you must climb over, but it takes even more courage for a father to raise his son with the ability to ask himself, “I am doing the very best that I can?”
If you are looking for a tribe of good men who strive for continuous improvement in their lives, I highly recommend The Fraternity of Excellence.