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Let a Boy be a Boy

July 11, 2012

I was reading my local newspaper this morning – I know, how quaint – and ran across New York Times jounalist David Brooks’ column about the “boy crisis.”  Here is the link so you can read what he wrote:  http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Schools-must-make-cultural-adjustments-for-boys-3697105.php

O.K. – so here’s my take.

First of all, if you are a regular reader or have ever met me you know that I unabashedly admit to liking men.  Come on, get your mind out of the gutter!  While I do like men in “that way,” what I’m saying is that I appreciate the differences that men bring to the table of life.  I like the complimentary tension that exists between men and women.  Always have and always will and have therefore NEVER expected a boy or man to be like a woman.  That’s what my female friends are for – to be girls – when I need what women bring to that same table of life. And, some of the best advice that I think I’ve ever given another woman is to not expect a man to react to/process an event or emotion the same way a woman might.  In other words: don’t try and turn your male significant other into your “girlfriend.”  It’s simply unrealistic and not fair.

Second, I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Brooks’ statement that, “The education system has become culturally cohesive, rewarding and encouraging a certain sort of person: one who is nurturing, collaborative, disciplined, neat, studious, industrious and ambitious.” Folks, I’ve just described the traits of  most women I know. Now, don’t go getting all mad at me thinking that I believe that men can’t possess some if not all of those qualities. They can and they do. But…..what if they don’t? Well they are penalized in some form or fashion.  And, according to Mr. Brooks’ research, boys who are penalized because they can’t fit into this mold of behaviors disengage in school and often in life. Again, read his article in the above link and you’ll get the full gist.

So, let boys be boys and girls be girls, unwaveringly raising both genders to be people of strong character with this single set of values with the acronym “ICE”: (1) integrity – no lying, cheating, stealing or tolerance of those who do; (2) commitment – their word is their bond and if they give it they keep it as long as that “word” is moral, legal and ethical; (3) empathy for others – they AREN’T the center of the universe and while unique, individually they are no more special than anyone else. This quality alone will serve them and humanity well and is the hallmark of a person who is polite, possesses good manners and “does unto others as….”

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