Boys just want to have fun. Good clean fun.
To some people, this may seem loud and obnoxious, but generally its not.
As a society, we need to allow boys to have fun, experience life and grow into men. In the Western world, we have removed many of the traditional cultural ways, boys transitioned into manhood. Having clean fun, is one of the few remaining ways, that boys can grow without risking long term damage to themselves or others.
Rites of passage have changed in our community in recent times. Those rites now look like excessive drinking, partying, sexual conquest, stealing and fighting. It was now always so. In many countries and cultures around the world rites of passage continue.
As a society, we need to find a way of returning to rites of passages for boys, so that they can be declared men in a real and meaningful way. The boys I work with, this is a process, not a one-off event. It comes through mentoring them, and having them experience life with you, and as you transition authority and responsibility to them.
Part of this process is knowing and understanding boys, what makes them tick so that you can engage them in life. For example, Boys are curious and generally tactile learners. They like exploring, turning over rocks, running in the bush. Young men are generally not different. They like to get outdoors, use their hands to learn and explore the world.
Boys are competitive. How often do we see the competitive nature of boys come out in sport, or even playing in the park? We can utilize this competitive nature in designing rituals to pass from boyhood to manhood. In many traditional cultures, this would encompass being involved in the hunt for food.
Boys are generally funny and like a joke. Too often we see boys being the clown, whether in the classroom or in the community. The picture illustrates that young men want to enjoy life and themselves.
As mature men, we need to demonstrate to those younger than us, how we can have fun in a respectful and measured manner. Not necessarily safe, but with managed risks.
Have fun, with managed risks is important as it illustrates that life can be enjoyed, and the men, while enjoying themselves, are still responsible for themselves and others.
Men, whether young or older, need to have fun in their life and have a role to play in the transition of boys into manhood.
How are you enjoying life?
For younger men, who is mentoring you into manhood? If no-one, you need to act upon that and find someone.
For mature men, who are you guiding into manhood? Who are you planting your legacy with? Who are you impacting today? And who are you having fun with?
Photo: Getty Images