Leading Teenage Boys into Manhood
A battle is raging for the hearts, souls and minds of our teenage boys. The boy crisis in America is real – there’s no doubt that our boys are losing confidence and lagging behind. Did you know within ten years, projections indicate that the average U.S. college campus will have two female graduates to every male? Did you know that a third of all men ages 22-34 still live at home with their parents? Did you know that one in every 75 American men is incarcerated? There is no doubt that many or our boys are getting derailed on their track toward manhood.
Some would argue that American boys are losing their way due to a failed education system, a changing economy, violent video games, desensitizing electronic media and/or the over-prescribing of attention-deficit drugs. These factors may be contributors to the crisis but are not the underlying cause. Quite simply, boys (and men) no longer understand what it truly means to be a man.
Historically, men have enjoyed an imperfect, yet defined formula for masculinity – our roles and responsibilities were pretty clear. In today’s world, things are completely different, and the lines are quite blurry. Men aren’t great at dealing in ambiguity and wading through the murky waters. Sadly, in our confusion, fathers have lost touch with the true essence of manhood. And even more sadly, we’ve forgotten to teach our boys what true masculinity should look like.
Very few boys (and men) in our society have a clear and compelling definition of what it means to be a man. In the absence of any real information, the culture is right there waiting to fill the void with a 24/7 onslaught of fabrications, distortions and downright lies. Without anything real or transcending to build their lives upon, boys are becoming disillusioned and emotionally checking out of their own lives at staggering rates.
Just about every culture teaches their young boys what it means to be a man, except Western society. Most men have an innate hunger to teach boys the true essence of manhood but just don’t know how to do it. Man Quest provides a perfect starting point for an adult man to engage a son (or mentee) in the most pivotal discussion of his life – what it truly means to be a man.