The Art of Growing Up

We all remember the group Boys II Men, or at least those of us who listened to music in the 90s do. They were a phenomenal group and ladies everywhere used to get all warm and fuzzy inside listening to them. But my focus is sadly not on their music but on their name; so simple yet so profound. It represents a sort of coming of age; a transition from one stage to the next; it represents the art of growing up.

Different societies have their own unique ways of marking that important stage in life when a boy becomes a man. In Africa, the most prevalent one is, of course, circumcision. We also have other forms but I tend to think that nearly all of them are centered on enduring pain or hardships of some sort. Think about it: you’re either cut, have your teeth knocked out, tortured or, one of the worst in my opinion, stung for 10 minutes by bullet ants that are reputed to have the most painful sting in the insect world.

In traditional African society, these ceremonies were accompanied by certain teachings given by respected elders in the community. This part has obviously been lost in the throes of modernization.As a result, we have boys with physical markings of a man but nothing more.No wonder we have so many ‘man-boys’. By all appearances, they are full grown men – broad chested, deep-voiced, tall men – with good jobs, good cars and a nice house, but they don’t know the first thing about being a man.

Before I am accused of being a feminist I will clearly state that there are also some clueless women out there but they are vastly outnumbered by their male counterparts. It’s sad living in a society where women, or more specifically, mothers, have to take on both masculine and feminine roles.

I believe that one of the greatest hallmarks of maturity is learning how to be responsible.  In life, we tend to make many mistakes but as we grow up we ought to learn to acknowledge these mistakes and make an effort to right them, as opposed to the juvenile option of denial or casting blame.

Let’s take a classic example of present-day relationships. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy goes after girl. Boy gets girl. Boy uses girl. Boy leaves girl. In short, said guy has feelings, has a fling then flees. This sort of behavior is expected of teenage boys who don’t really know what they want out of life, much less out of relationships. But when this spills over to grown ass men who run around with their pants round their ankles with the famous “it wasn’t me” line, I think we might have a problem.

I’m not saying that all men out there are like this. There are still some really nice guys out there who have my stamp of approval. I just wish there were more of them. As with most problems in life this needs to be dealt with from the root up. I long for the day when boys will be boys and men will be men; when fathers will be there for their children and be the leader that they dearly crave; when there will no longer be rejected babies and single mothers; when there will finally be a smooth transition from boys to men.

I found this on my friend’s TL and it’s one of the most mind-blowing spoken word pieces I’ve come across so WATCH IT———-

When I Became a Man spoken word video. To challenge and inspire men to put the games away, and be the powerful men of God he’s called us to be. Follow me as …



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