This week my Mum was sad because her niece lost her son and it brought many sad memories back for her of the loss of one of her son’s, one of my brothers.
It always saddens me to think of the lost potential, especially of young men who feel disenfranchised, lost and who start to do high risk things that ultimately lead to their death.
This week I am particularly thinking of young men who hurt themselves, and or hurt people close to them and who just don’t think through consequences. Add to this a mix of illegal and legal substances that further alter the capacity to make rational and reasoned decisions and you have a lethal road to nowhere fast.
These young men become the sad memories, the accused of crimes, the source of pain to their families and communities – and this week you see it clearly portrayed in the media. It’s there in United Nations reports where men turn on their own communities and especially the women and children and subject them to violence. The fall out of their actions brings sorrow to victims of their decisions, and to their own families. What is the back story? How does it end up this way?
Is it being bullied, bullying, subjection to prejudice, mental illness, lack of opportunity, racism, having to fight in wars, lack of employment, being abused by others and never having justice or treatment, lack of spirituality?
As a mother of two sons I want to be someone whose sons never intentionally hurt others, who make decisions that empower their own lives, and their sons and daughters if they should have them. I want them to have a realisation of the miracle of their own existence, and a connection to people who care and empower them.
I want to balance protection, with giving them the opportunity to develop decision making powers of their own – to be able to fly into their futures.
I don’t blame mums for all the problems of their sons, some sons are just going to do what they will, whatever anyone says, but I also don’t think Mums are powerless. We can raise that next generation through our example and our expectations for them.
No more saying ‘boys will be boys,’ but ‘boys can be more, they can be heroes in a new way.’
Anyway back to my Mum, I felt for her sorrow and wanted to cheer her up. My youngest son rang her to let her know of his wonderful week at school, in music and mathematics. I hope that he cheered her up. There are boys we hope, pray, actively raise and dream up to be heroes in a new way.
Today I acknowledge the miracle of life, and honour the role of mothers and communities to raise sons/young men who will nurture the next generation and themselves.
I thank all of those people who have so far played a role in honouring and bringing out the spirituality of my sons, family, friends, teachers and community. Keep on, keeping on, and let’s hope that there are better futures for our boys.
I dedicate the raising of my sons to my Mum and Dad. I dedicate it also to their children and my community.
For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, check out Patrick Stewart’s Speech. Now that’s inspirational! We can stop the cycle.