Boys to Men


On September 11, 2001, we saw some of the finest examples of manhood in America’s history: Hundreds of firemen and policemen raced into those burning towers in New York — and lost their lives in the gallant effort to rescue others.

Men willing to act in this way don’t come about by accident. They have to be trained into manliness. Sad to say, if we look around, we see far too many young men who do little besides play video games and hang out with their friends. They are soaked in music and media that convince them that manhood is best achieved by seducing as many women as possible.
And sadly, many have no interest in the responsibilities of marriage and supporting a family.
One of the reasons for this, of course, is the continuing breakdown of the family itself. So many young men are growing up without a dad — without a male role model. I can’t tell you how many young men I’ve met in prison who never knew their fathers. So to find male leadership, they turn to the gangs. It’s tragic.
Have Americans forgotten how to raise boys into men? Do boys even know what it means to be a man?
These are the kinds of questions my friend Bill Bennett — the father of two sons — asked himself. His answer came in the form of his new book, titled The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood.
This collection is intended to help boys learn how to be men — by offering them heroic figures to emulate. As Bennett writes, “There is no simple instruction manual or formula on how to be a man, but there is experience and wisdom to be consulted.”
But because boys need heroic figures to look up to, Bennett says he “concentrated on reading that will lift the sights and aspirations of boys and men.”
This is why Bennett included, for example, Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech, which teaches men about brotherhood on the field of battle: “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother.”
Source: | Chuck Colson