Ian and I worked with young men from Essex who did not have a Dad in their lives and when you heard their stories it would bring tears to your eyes and put your own life into perspective. I have nothing but respect for our youth of today the saying, ‘we had it harder in my day’ I feel no longer applies as I would not like to be a young person today, they are under so much pressure and with the lack of guidance be it parental, social or culture, is it any wonder they display unacceptable behaviours (but by whose standards are these behaviours unacceptable?) true they have a responsibility in what they say and do and this letter for me proves that very thing.
If we as men take our rightful place, this is what can be achieved.
Nice to hear from you! I met one of the young men we worked with in the very first group just last week. He is a caring and involved dad now. During our talking he asked after you. He still remembers the blindfolded, bare foot walking in the woods that you did, sensing the trees. He was still affected by it, with a sense of wonder and a big smile on his face!
Long ago I stopped believing in the saying ‘you have to earn respect’ I feel this sets people up to fail because they have to reach your standards of which they know nothing.
I feel it is more like this. I do not know you, who you are or what you are about, therefore I will afford you all the respect your rightfully deserve as a human being. The only time that respect is lost is when you do something to take that away. However, I will always leave the door open for you to come back home again. This way you have the responsibility for your own thoughts, words and deeds.
Drawing from: Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking