Why Younger Men Need Older Men: The Elephant Story
The absence of a strong male role model not only deprives young men of essential boundaries necessary for a healthy and fulfilling life but also hinders their ability to make a positive contribution to society.
By Patrick Morley
Man in the Mirror Founder
When Gus Van Dyk, an ecologist at Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa, discovered a series of attacks on rhinos, he found that a group of adolescent male elephants in a state of heightened aggression, known as “musth,” were responsible. These young elephants had killed over 50 rhinos, mutilating their carcasses.
Van Dyk realized that the absence of older bull elephants to regulate the musth behavior was a key factor. To address this, he introduced six large bull elephants from Kruger National Park, causing the teenage elephants to immediately drop out of musth. They mentored the younger bulls so they could see what normal male behavior looked like. No more rhinos were killed once the mature bulls arrived.The absence of a strong male role model deprives young men of essential boundaries necessary for a healthy and fulfilling life.Click To Tweet
Too many of our young men today are growing up like those young bulls–essentially, “practical” orphans. They’re having to “guess” what normal male behavior looks like. The results are devastating. If you’re an employer looking for young men who want to work, or a young woman looking for a responsible young man to marry, you have seen this firsthand.
God has provided a solution–a silver bullet–for these young men to be mentored into manhood: making disciples. Making disciples is about mature men taking younger men under their wings and showing them the ropes. Because it takes a man to teach a man how to be a man.