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The latest tragedies, raw and painful, seem to be reflecting a similar thread: young men. Look at the age of the recent shooter at a Walmart in Texas (21 years old,) the killer in Dayton (24), the age of the boy being accused of the murder of the young co-ed at Ole Miss. Look at the ages of the boys on a murderous rampage across Canada, the Florida school shooting, the recent California shooting at the Garlic Festival, the Synagogue in Pittsburgh. They are all young men consumed with hate and vengeance, and armed to do as much damage as possible. They leave “manifestos,” they shout, “I’m angry!”, they cease to think and feel, or see their fellow human beings as part of their world.
The struggle to find blame is next. Social media, politics, violent video games, rampant porn and the new virile push of social engineering are playing a role. Young men begin as young boys, innocent, but are being influenced by all of these things, and their core personalities, their sense of self, is being corrupted, at younger and younger ages. I am not sympathizing with the killers, these acts are beyond despicable, but the patterns are showing these similarities.
The radical group Antifa, whose network now stretches across the continent to Europe, is composed of young men mostly, very angry, courting physical confrontation, and at the very least, intimidation and control. Young women have become more fearful and maybe rightly so. I have to think that the removal of boundaries, lack of consequences for actions, monitoring what is being taught in schools, what is accessible on the Internet, the decline of the family and faith, are now all bearing rotten fruit. The family and the Church have always been the armor before sending young people into the world to live their dream and find their purpose, and to sustain them going forward.
Now social engineering is producing rampant gender confusion, separation of families, labeling any word spoken as questionable, even the words “male and female.” A baby boy is born with more testosterone, more aggression than baby girls. This is natural and trying to re-direct this physical difference (among others) into some sort of “neutral,” neutered safe expression isn’t working. Neither is labeling people as racist, sexist, homophobic, at every turn.
A mind and soul that is influenced only by a cell phone or computer screen will eventually cease to look up and see the natural world and their place in it, will not feel and relate to actual people or care. They eventually believe the simulated world is what’s real and has all the answers, and become cut off from meaningful life that brings balance and forms healthy people. They eventually become cut off from themselves, unable to think rationally and are easily manipulated. We’re losing our youth – our boys to rage and hate more each day because of this separation from real life.
The state can’t solve this, or hardening more “soft targets,” or ignoring laws, screening more social media, and expecting those things to produce more stable and balanced human beings. The human person is both body and soul – there isn’t one without the other. The fact that some “men’s hearts have grown cold,” indifferent and lifeless, is going to keep happening unless we get back to the basics. I recently read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Men – a classic. It’s simple, heartfelt, beautiful – a tiny manual in the formation of youth, the recognition that boys are boys and need guidance and love to become solid, stable, strong and hopeful adults. It’s a sort of God’s blueprint in miniature. There is no better Architect.
Boys haven’t changed, but society has. I hope we can find a way to save our boys. What can we do now?Published in