Monday, April 30, 2012
Fr Barron comments on the new movie, "Bully", that hasn't been released in New Zealand yet, but looks like it's coming soon according to Flicks. He says it's very hard to watch it without an intense feeling of helplessness and sadness. What he found especially troubling was the cluelessness of the adults involved - they seemed to have no idea what to do.
He then goes on to mentioning Dr Leonard Sax who wrote Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences. Fr Barron mentioned this book in one of his YouTube videos and as a result, Dr Sax sent him another one of this books (which I have as well), Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men. My title, Revenge of the Forsaken Gods comes from Boys Adrift, which Fr Barron talks about in the above YouTube on this post.
Fr Barron starts by asking what happens when we forget something that our ancestors knew, what happens when we forgot that boys just don't naturally become men. The ancients knew that boys had to go through a very conscious and disciplined process, which tests them, which awakens their courage, which tests their perseverance; and after this they are able to become men who can make a contribution to the wider society, who can face the challenges of life with courage, who can become people of selflessness and service. Otherwise boys remain in a narcissistic attitude, self-protective attitude or in our terms the sort of slacker attitude, or they become bullies.
Yes, the lack of testing and guidance of boys in our culture led by mature men has a lot to do with the bully phenomenon. Boys need mature men to model for them what it means to be a man. When that's lacking, the energies that these boys have get unfocused (ie the slacker dude) or they become focused in an unhealthy way, so all this energy becomes violence against the weak. They need the proper process to direct their energies toward the good of the community instead and towards a selfless love and protection of the weak and the innocent.
Fr Barron quotes Dr Sax who says that you might not be able to turn a bully into a flower child, but with the right mentoring and initiation, you might be able to turn a bully into a knight.