Tuesday, September 7, 2010

School Bells Ringing for End to Violence

Family is the answer to the violence erupting in homes, schoolyards and just about everywhere these days, it seems, amid school bells ringing the start of a fresh year.

Is the high school drop-out rate the problem?



Perhaps, all of these factor into the dilemma.

But, unless marriages stabilize and family foundations are supported once more, the cycle
of anger, rage and driveby shootings will continue.

And, where sons and daughters play, will hardly be exempt as school bells ring out this week.

Franciscan pastor, Richard Rohr, a leader of a model of male spirituality, studied culture after culture, only to discover that boys and men are at risk. A pause to ponder will help.

A men's rite of passage is proposed via a retreat-like week and encounter where fathers and sons stare in the face of each other. Then, boys between 13 and 16 are introduced to the sufferings, pains or mysteries of life - you are not the center of the universe; life is hard; you win some and lose some; one day yo will die; you are not in control; you life is about something bigger and someone bigger than you - the youngster will not know how to handle loss, rejection, or losing a job, or a girlfriend, for that matter, as they get older.

And, if the male can'f face his pain, Rohr concludes, he will abuse his power.

Rohr refers to Edward Tick's, War and the Soul, a book that proves how many males sought some kind of initiation in joining the armed forces, only to be disillusioned.

An inner life has to be formed beyond performance, winning, beating the other team or guy.

Developing an inner life entails dealing with suffering and the mysteries of life mentioned above.

That seems to be off the compass of parenting in today's culture. It is a task, however, that only dads with the support of moms, can do with their son(s).

The cycle of violence will only continue unless boys are taught to embrace the ambiguities and mysteries of life.

Sons must be raised differently.

Otherwise, expect more of the same sad stuff amid school bells ringing the start of school again.

God help us.

And, let us help ourselves, our sons, and, men at risk.

Creator God,
amid the horror
of rage and violence,
silence us sufficiently
to bring sons and fathers
together in retreat.

Let them stare in the face
of one another. May fathers
form sons by telling them
of the ambiguities and
mysteries of life - that they
win some and lose some in life;
that I am not the center of the
universe; that I may be passed over
at work for a position I want; that my
girlfriend may reject me, and, more.

Help family to be strong again with
parents committed to marriage and
the convenant that comes with it.

Show us the path upon the way you
have given us down through the ages.

So be it.

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