My grandfather and I met on our front porch on that memorable hot August afternoon on the west side of Chicago in 1975. I was leaving home for the first time to attend college. Little did I know that day would be monumental.
I recall the overwhelming emotions as he spoke to me.
“Son, I am proud of you…………”
As a young man struggling to leave the nest and venture out into the world, my grandfather’s loving and powerful statement validated me as a man. That was my rite of passage moment that I will never forget.
While mentoring young men for 20 years I have observed that for many no loving adult male figure has confirmed their transition into manhood. Why do I know this to be true? I can, feel and sense the uneasiness, pain and anger in them before they utter one single word.
Wouldn’t you agree that it is very powerful when a positive adult male confirms a young boy transitioning into manhood?
Wouldn’t it make a difference if all mentoring programs provided rites of passage ceremonies for young men and women?
Do you remember memorable words another person said to you?