“The thing we have lost, the ingredient we men ourselves seem to lack, is the inner secrets, the teachings for becoming a strong and solid man.” – Steve Biddulph (Australian psychologist and author) from his book, “The New Manhood”
“Traditionally, 2 things were done to help young men into adulthood. First, they were ‘taken on’ and mentored into adulthood by one or more men who cared about them and taught them important skills for living. And second, at certain stages of this mentoring process, the young men were taken away by the community of older men and “initiated”. This meant being put through some serious growing up processes, including testing, sacred teaching, & new responsibilities.” – Steve Biddulph (Australian psychologist & author) from his book “Raising Boys”
What does it mean to be a real man?
It’s a great question!
And it’s a question that I myself never had an answer to… until I was 29 years of age… after being married for more than eight years, and having fathered 3 sons at the time.
I, like many men, never had a father who prepared me, taught me, instructed me, or trained me in the ways of authentic manhood.
In fairness, my Dad, like most other Dads, never had a father himself who provided such things to him either.
And no man can give what he does not have.
There’s a scene in the movie “Secondhand Lions” where a gang of youths (unfathered and uninitiated young men) encounter a real man… the character of Hub McCann, played by Robert Duvall.
I don’t want to give anything away in regards to such a powerful scene, but a few scenes later, Hubb McCann, having earned the right to speak into the lives of those young men, engages them in what seems to be quite a passionate monologue… though the viewer doesn’t get to hear what he’s saying.
Watching on from a distance is Hub’s younger brother Garth, played by Michael Caine, and their 14 year old great nephew Walter, played by Haley Joel Osment.Here’s the dialogue that goes on between Walter and Garth…
Walter – “What’s he saying to them?”
Garth – “He’s giving them his ‘What every boy needs to know about being a man’ speech. A lot of men have heard that speech over the years. A lot of men.”
Oh how I wish that were true.
That a lot of men would have heard the ‘What every boy needs to know about being a man’ speech.
The truth is however… very few have heard such a speech.
Very few know what it means to be a real man.
Very few know what a real man does.
Very few know how a real man treats others.
Very few know what a real man devotes his time to… what a real man is prepared to live for, and what a real man is prepared to die for.
The good news is that change is afoot.
Part of what fathers and sons (aged 13 years and older – no maximum age limit) receive during one of our “Rite of Passage” Son and Father Adventure experiences, is just that… training and instruction, imparting, equipping, and empowering.
No-one leaves one of those without an answer to the question, “What does it mean to be a real man?”.
Fathers and sons alike are initiated over a number of days, and things for them and their relationships are for the most-part, never the same again.
Our “Rite of Passage” Son and Father Adventure experiences do tend to fill quickly, so please be sure to register now to avoid disappointment.
I sincerely hope that you and your will join us for one soon.