The judgements of young boys, as Emerson noted, are swift, confident, and summary. Eventually, they become more equivocal, less certain. Their eyes flicker. They begin to speak from the calculator in the head.
Either I trust myself or I doubt myself. Self-trust is the iron string.
“An actually existent fly is more important than a possibly existent angel.” Emerson’s epigraph flicks at our consciousness like an awakening stick. Two questions immediately assert themselves: Where am I? What’s around me?
Male initiation is not about teaching boys how to be men. It is about teaching boys how to be themselves. A man is a boy who knows himself. Shall he model himself on someone else? Hell, no. Imitation is suicide.
Rules are made to be broken. Except for one. Trust yourself.