Every now and then you read an article that says it right. This Guardian article is one such article and describes boys as follows:
“A lazy youth becomes a burden to those parents, whom he ought to comfort, if not support. But you can no more rouse them, with all of their fine arguments, than you can a log. There they lie, completely enchained by indolence… Business tires him; reading fatigues him; the public service interferes with his pleasures. Ask him what he has done with his morning – he cannot tell you; for he has lived without reflection, and almost without knowing whether he has lived at all!”
Surprisingly that quote comes from 1831 but it could be written about many man-boys today. The writer goes on to quote a modern author who says:
“For most young working boys their role models are what their fathers and their fathers’ friends are doing . . . and if they perceive their fathers lives to be worthless or coming apart it is not some psychological defect in the kid that makes him lose motivation, but just the fact they don’t have an adult who they can be like…“
While the modern celebrity culture perverts this, the truth is we all (and men especially) need to have role models to look up to and desire to emulate. Of course, while distant heroes can be of some help, I am convinced that what we really need is a man that we respect who invests time in us as individuals. When I recently reflected on the people who had been most influential in my life, it suddenly struck me that there was one thing that they all had in common: they all had eaten meals with me, and hence made me feel accepted enough for them to where necessary then rebuke me! As I get older, I realize more and more that where I have benefited so much from men that have gone before (and continue to do so) I also need to increasingly find other men that I can pour myself into. If you are a young man looking for wisdom and guidance, I urge you to find someone to follow in this way and bleed them dry for advice, wisdom, encouragement and support.