The March newsletter continues with Dr. Sax's book "Boys Adrift" and will focus on the effect current models are having on our young men. First, a little history on how this has changed and, not for the better! The negative and weak role models are continually being protrayed in a variety of ways by the media and has had an equally negative effect on young males. Television has gone from Father Knows Best to Homer Simpson, a buffoon of a character as an idea of how an adult male should behave. Kids see this and emulate these mannerisms.
Males have been increasingly marginalized in many other ways as well, to the detriment of our overall society and how they are viewed by young people. This has cut across most of our society and includes all races and socio-economic levels.
When our country needs more personal responsibility, not less, by America's men, it seems we are seeing more and more irresponsibility. Certainly, a portion of the challenge lies with the weak modeling young, impressionable males are witnessing from many sources.
How would you define a positive male role model? Setting a good example of self-control, personal responsibility, high standards of behavior are just a few things that come to mind. We have to reverse this trend as a society if we are going to get a higher standard from our young males. I would absolutely encourage sports, band and any number of positive extra-curricular activities that reward self-discipline, teamwork and other qualities of responsible males. At this point, we have been fed too many "buffoon type" male role models and, interestingly enough, we have people wondering why our society is losing strong, male role models.
To quote Dr. Sax, "A boy does not naturally become a gentleman- by which I mean a man who is courteous and kind and unselfish. That behavior is not hardwired. It has to be taught." Another great quote of his is this, "Teenage boys without strong leadership can easily become barbarians." Anybody who has worked in our classrooms over the last couple decades (and before) can certainly identify with this concept. Some males I have seen have made me wonder if this was their first time out in public!
A boys school in Connecticut called Avon Old Farms teaches the following core values: Scholarship, Integrity, Civility, Tolerance, Altruism, Sportsmanship, Responsibility, Self-discipline. These core values run counter to communities and society that fail to provide positive role models into adulthood, the result is a growth in gangs, street racing, random violence and the large number of other issues they bring to the areas they are in.
Additional input by Dr. Sax really sums up his view on what it takes to maintain an "enduring culture." "There is no enduring culture in which cowardly men are esteemed, or in which brave men are held in contempt. There is no enduring culture in which lazy men are celebrated while hard-working men are despised." Sax lists two enduring cultures that have lasted for hundreds (or thousands) of years, Orthodox Jews and Navajo Indians. What do they have in common? It is how these two very distinct cultures pass on the rules for what is expected of mature adults from one generation to the next. Both cultures pass this on in gender-seperate communities. Women teach girls the expectations while men teach boys. For our nation to survive and thrive, we can and must turn this around! Encourage the highest standards for your sons, nephews, grandsons and students.
Although teens and young adult mentoring is a passion of mine, I have recently been adding another skillset that I am very excited about! It is learning from a person who is considered the world's top marketer and joint venture/strategic alliance trainer. What this means to you is the unique possibility of helping you get much more out of your career or business. If you are at all entrepreneurial (and our economy is further dictating this entrepreneurial movement with the downsizing of corporations and business going overseas), you may want to speak with me on how this training could positively impact you, your life and those of your loved ones. At this time, I am setting up no-cost, no-obligation consultations on a first call, first serve basis.
The idea behind this is two-fold. First of all, assist some of you who would like to learn some incredible marketing skills. This would also help me further refine these skills so I can create more value for more people in their lives and career. Here's the best part: Even if this does not fit where you currently are in your life and career, if you know someone who this could help and you refer them and we work together, I will be paying you for the referral! The amount of compensation for a good lead would start at $50.00 and could go way up from there! Put on your thinking caps and please keep this in mind. I don't know anyone who would refuse "found money!"