Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fatherlessness

Earl Hipp is a friend of mine. He is also a well-respected author, accomplished speaker and prolific blogger; but maybe his most important title is that of a mentor. According to Earl's latest book's website "Man Making is a practical and inspirational guidebook for men. It shows them how to awaken and apply their instinctive man-making skills. In this book, every man, regardless of his level of commitment to this work, will find something he can do to support a boy or boys on the journey to manhood."

Earl is very passionate about helping men help boys in their respective journeys. His latest blog entry highlighted Mustafa Mahdi, the spiritual force behind The Rising Son, Inc. in Jonesboro, Georgia.

Earl writes, "The Rising Son Young Men's Development Center is providing after school daycare, tutoring, mentoring, rites of passage events, a small summer camp, field trips, and lots of positive attention to many boys." Learn more about them by clicking here.

On their website, you will find this page of troubling statistics that show the negative effects of boys being raised without fathers. Some of the numbers are fifteen to twenty years old now; but, I don't believe they are dramatically different today. If anything, some of them may be worse.

After reading these numbers, it reminded me of a statement Michael Resnick, Ph.D., the assistant director at the Adolescent Health Program at the University of Minnesota made in my video series entitled TOUGH DECISIONS: A Teenage Dilemma published way back in 1991, when he stated, "Young people need to be connected to at least one caring, competent adult. The good news is, it doesn't necessarily have to be their mom or dad. But, it is essential for young people to feel a connection to a responsible adult."

After reading those numbers, it's glaringly obvious, especially for boys, to have a connection to a positive male role model. I believe that is one reason why we are seeing such a surge of mentoring programs all across the country.

Something needs to happen to get these numbers down, and that something starts with each and every one of us. Maybe one of your New Year's resolutions could be to become a mentor to one or more young boys and pledge to help him, or them, on their journey to manhood.

2 comments:

Stu said...

Mike, not sure if you'll remember me, but I was a young fan of yours in Worthington. I was at the football game when you were injured. If I recall correctly, you were playing Owatonna. Ironically, I now live in Owatonna. Anyhow, I read with great interest your article on "Fatherlessness". I am a parole agent with the MN Dept. of Corrections and work with many young men and women who did not have a positive male role model. A father figure is so important, and I know both you and I were blessed with fathers who were supportive and loving. A positive male role model can keep a person from making horrible choices that can lead to jail or even death. Every young man and woman needs the guidance and nurture of a positive male role model. I would encourage anyone who is reading this to find someone who they can inspire to become the best they can be. Mike, God bless you for your positive attitude and for never giving up. You're one of my heroes. Stu von Wald, Owatonna, MN

I'm Not Done Yet said...

Stu,

Of course I remember you! You used to talk back to me when I refereed youth basketball games and made a call you didn't like. :-)

You were the littlest kid out there, if I remember right. Also, your mother was a nurse who helped take care of me.

Thanks for your comments on this important issue. You're right on with your words.

Please send me an email outside of my blog. I have something I'd like to tell you about, but not in this public forum. My email address is mike@patcom.com.

Thanks,

Mike Patrick