Friday, June 10, 2011

Being a Man

I recently came across a great article over at the Art of Manliness entitled "6 Lessons I Learned About Being a Man from Growing Up Fatherless." Why am I bringing this article up? As you know, intrepid reader, there is always an alternative reason!

"Dad" Labagh, "Dad" Berry, and myself often have conversations about the DeMolay program. One of the topics that has come up time and time again is the concept of the first precept - Filial Love. In a time when a large number of marriages end in divorce and blended families are the norm, we've had many young men and parents say that they don't agree with the "nuclear family" concept that our first precept seems to preach. I can understand their concern, because in many cases in modern society, this just isn't happening any more.

However, I'd argue that the concept of Filial Love is still important. First, I'd like to use a quote from the article I referenced above:

If you have a father who’s incarcerated, or who left you, or who didn’t have much success in life, look for a father figure in someone else. Every man needs a father figure, even far into adulthood. You don’t even need to know him personally, and he doesn’t even need to be alive. Most successful men leave a legacy and lessons behind, whether in a book or video. You can then read, watch, and practice their advice; just like any other father figure. My four most influential father-like figures are Chris Gardner, Andrew Carnegie, Richard Branson, and Randy Pausch.

Just because you're in a 
situation where you family doesn't match the traditional view of Filial Love outlined in our ceremonies, does not mean that the concept is invalid. It's been proven through much sociological research that a two parent family is  much better prepared for child rearing than a one parent family. Therefore, as a DeMolay, I think it's important that we recognize the value in this kind of family unit and support that idea. Even if that family unit hasn't existed for you, there is no reason to deride its existence.

Family life can be a touchy subject and I assure you that it's not my goal to dredge up bad feelings. Rather, I wanted to contribute to a constructive debate about the modern day application of our principles. I hope that it at least made you think!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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