Friday, April 25, 2008

Of boys and men

Yesterday was a sad, sad day. The lovely Miss Sarah left our agency for a wonderful new job where she will be just as awesome and fantastic as she was at our place. She left behind a great example, big shoes to fill and 11 sad and angry boys...
Our group will miss her dearly.
She brought in ice cream for the going away party, gave everyone an excerpt from Dr. Suess's "The Places You Will Go" and made her last day a wonderful fun event. Still there were tears. In particular one little guy went to the corner and just put his head down and sobbed. I went over to talk to him. There wasn't much I could do except sit with him, rub his back and let him cry it out. I knew exactly how he felt. I tried to explain we needed to remember the good times w/ Miss Sarah and enjoy the hour we had left with her. Its hard to convince an eight year old to live in the moment, enjoy the present, experience the Now; sometimes Buddhism just doesn't translate!

At this age, the boys aren't ashamed to cry, to express their honest feelings, to give hugs or hold our hands. They are refreshingly open, innocent and so vulnerable. I want so much to preserve that. To somehow keep those qualities intact as they traverse the rocky steep climb to manhood. I want them to see these qualities as strengths, as character, integrity, as good qualities. I don't want the World to beat it out of them. They are so pure right now that they shine; I don't want that light to dim.

In contrast, my friend had a "manly" week with some sales guys. It involved a lot of red meat, lies, chest pounding, horse racing and disrespectful talk about women.My friend is disappointed in these guys (and that is why he is my friend! He so rocks!).
It seems these men are all wearing masks, sophisticated men of the world, charming, "I can sell you anything you need and make you mine" masks. That is the biz. That is their job. They live and work in a world where its OK to be mediocre. Where its OK to take advantage of others to get the best deal, undersell the competition, wheel and deal. My friend found this world to be less than savory. He is in a conundrum because he has to work with these men and has to find a way to respect them. We talked about the 2 worlds we see. The world of boys and the world of men. We talked about if he could find the boys inside. The ones who haven't been totally demolished by the world of the Biz. I feel as helpless w/ my friends at times as I do with my boys; all I can do is be there. Hopefully that will help.

Out of the events of this week though I finally have started to glean what being in the world but not of the world might actually mean; thanks to my boys, thanks to the men.
I just hope somehow I can pass it on to my boys and they can change how the world views "men" because frankly, they are some awesome kids.

1 comment:

TimmyB said...

That must be a relic of the old Darwin "selection" impulse in our deepest psyches. Beating the chest and proving how magnificent you are may have once offered an advantage, impressing the ladies in the pre-civilized jungle, improving your chances of passing along your genes to another generation.

Some "ladies" might still fall for it. The Alpha Male routine. Thank goodness not all do. Those genes can go right into the DNA recycle bin.