I had to discipline a young man I’ve been mentoring for several years. He worked for our organization and successfully transitioned into a full time position with benefits.
He is still struggling to transition into manhood!
“Mr. Roddy, I’ve been working for this company for several years. I think I should be getting a raise in pay and promoted.”
“Carl, what do you think you have done to merit an increase in pay and a promotion.”
“Mr. Roddy, I’ve always been on time, a team player and I think I am entitled to a raise and a promotion.”
Many of my conversations with youth and young adults inspire me to reflect on my childhood. I was raised in the 60s and the 70s. I had to share my thoughts.
“Carl, just because you’ve been in a position for a certain length of time doesn’t entitle you to anything.”
Our conversation was a challenge from there!
When did we as individuals and as a nation start thinking we are entitled to something that we don’t earn?
Is it a fear based mechanism we develop with the hope that someone else will take care of us?
Our conversation reminded me of my young life in Chicago. My grandparents never let me off the hook. I had to earn everything and there were no excuses. I was irritated at them on many occasions. They often put my transitioning into manhood on hold. As I matured, I admired their values and how they raised me.
“You are only entitled to what you have earned in our home. After you leave our home it will be a rude awakening for you if do not understand what we are trying to teach you. We know you are upset with us. Perhaps years in the future you will grow to appreciate what we are sharing with you.
“Becoming a man entails understanding many facets of life, son.” ~ My Grandfather, William Henry Roddy
How do we discipline those we mentor?
Are we so focused on “just being their friend” that we forget our roles as mentors, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and coaches?
And perhaps true manhood is a lifelong challenge!