Disenfranchisement is a common malaise amongst humanity, young folk in particular will display their orphanage from guidance in seeking a new identity to re-establish a belonging to tribe, one which holds the seed essence of their inner pain.
Throughout history, the baton of heritage has been passed on to our children, traditionally through family structures where the father laid down the law, for better or for worse.
The days of sons following their father’s footsteps in the hand-me-down tradition are well and truly over but something has been lost along the way. Traditional nuclear families have also been overtaken by blended and in many cases, dysfunctional families, in that the balance of gender roles has been altered and a standard blueprint no longer applies.
In tribal cultures the process of initiation of young males into manhood was of the greatest significance both symbolically and practically, giving the new apprentice purpose and meaning in a cultural sense and providing an identification that served both the tribe and the individual.
Admittedly history has not been immune from sons losing their fathers to wars, sickness or misadventure but usually there would have been a support network of uncles and tribal elders to uphold the scaffolding structure and substitute for the missing paternal influence.
Sadly in our western cultures this is largely no longer the case. The success of purveyors of discontent in fomenting disillusioned young men into radicalised movements such as jihad is testimony to the need for a process of socialisation which restores the sense of meaning and purpose to young people, especially males.
For a man to be a good father, the best guarantee is that he had a good one himself. Unfortunately this has become a luxury rather than a necessity and as a result we see more women filling the gaps left behind in a trail of domestic wreckage or moral delinquency. As much as this is a safety net, it is not the same as the rite of passage provided by paternal or avuncular influence.
The rise of female emancipation after a history of suppression has been accompanied by a slide in male domination, at least in a domestic sense, the power groups dominating religion and corporate culture still being an ‘old boys club’.
With so much commercial attention being paid to the ‘individual’, the whole that is comprised of ‘individuals’ has been largely side-stepped. There are now more holes in that ‘whole’ than a Swiss cheese.
Maybe that’s why we can smell a rat, rather than a mouse that roared.