Sometimes we can worry about our children living in the 21st century, especially when they may not learn the essential attitudes, values and skills of eras gone by. Courage, valour, respect, brotherhood, compassion, perseverance and tenacity; all of these traits are essential allies on our journey through life.
But where can our young children learn of such wisdom? Wouldn’t it be great if there were some kind of tribe or community that could teach our children these core necessities?
As a mother of two boys, I have always been conscious of how important it is for me to help expose my male offspring, to some kind of environment that can teach such attributes. But does that place or opportunity even exist these days?
I had my doubts until …
A DAY AT A MONSTER SKATEPARK when my youngest son Jackson, was 10 year old! WOW! What an amazing experience. I had accompanied him many times to the skate park but had never really immersed my attention into the intricate and carefully structured hierarchy of this modern day ‘tribal grooming ground’.
My attention was normally on him and his effort to push himself to the next level or try a new trick, but as I watched in amazement, I saw for the first time, a breeding ground for warriors!
These wonderful warriors of all ages (male & female) displayed incredible focus as they pushed their boundaries and tested their personal courage, to continually build on their skill set.
I felt so privileged as I watched them encourage each other to stretch beyond what even they, themselves, thought impossible.
They celebrated each others’ successes and outwardly empathised with their constant misses. They would do their attempts over and over, with the very few achieving their goal. For the lucky few there would be that rush of success!
I was touched by their instant and spontaneous concern for each other, should someone fall or be injured. What a wonderful canvas for their youthfulness to create a powerful platform for the future.
The older warriors have respect from those younger in the “tribe” – it’s a given and they take this leadership role seriously. There is also a sense of healthy fear from those they lead, which is balanced by their sense of compassion for their “students”. These untitled leaders display such passion and commitment for their sport and as such create a positive influence and indicator of what is required to achieve greatness in this difficult, yet exhilarating sport.
There appears to be an unspoken law or code of some sort; which each member of the community understands. With so many skaters in such a confined area, this becomes obvious by the smooth flow of “traffic” and overall calmness in the centre. Everyone gets a turn; everyone belongs; everyone is there for a purpose.
We haven’t lost our ancestral wisdom or tribal pathways – it has just changed form and it is a pleasure and honour to watch the intricate web of mastery that this community has created.
If ever you need to see passion in flight and young warriors learning how to be men, then I beg you to visit a skate park …
and become inspired!
by Terry Hawkins