Neil Tambe

Let’s go.

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

1 Corinthians 13:11

So, it's kind of unexpected...I draw on the Bible for small snippets of wisdom sometimes. Nearly all of the passages that I think of often come from fraternity lore. I'm reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:11 today. It reads (King James Version):


When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

And I think of this passage tonight.

Whether you know this or not, I often feel like I didn't have a childhood. At least, I don't really remember the feeling of my consciousness as a child. Maybe it's because I'm dumb and can't remember. Maybe I just led a boring life as a kid, I'm not sure why. But nonetheless, I don't remember the irreverence and gleefulness of being a kid. I feel the same today as I always have.

But today, I remember what that unintentional apathy - borne from ignorance - feels like, or, I want to. I remember wool covering my eyes. I can't decide if it's a good feeling.

You see, even though I didn't have a childhood filled with particularly tumultuous events...somewhere along the line I grew up a little bit fast, I think. Even in the past year. Sometimes I feel like a dad, like a man of the house. In college and high school, at times, I felt like an elder statesman. Lately, I just feel un-relatedly old.

And sometimes I want to reject it. I want to willfully disregard responsibility. I crave the intellectual, emotional and social freedom that comes with being young. But, I'm not sure that I can now. And to my brothers who have become men - either voluntarily or those who've had it thrust upon them - I don't think you can go back either.

[This is where the ominous voice in your head says, "sorry."]

I know I sound like self-righteous (duh, I always sound self-righteous) when I say this, by the way. But I really feel this way. I seriously feel pressure to stay in the saddle. Because the world needs boys to become men.

If I am able to, then why not me? Or you? Or us? Isn't it a moral obligation? And not necessarily an obligation, but almost a sacred duty? Isn't growing up a timeless way to honor the sacrifice of one's parents and mentors?

I think that it is, because that's the way to a better world...standing up tall and figuring it out. That's what our parents raised us to do. To be strong. To do the right thing. To work together with others for the benefit of others. To make sacrifices and take risks. The whole lot.

Shoot, I sound like a conservative.

Also, if you're thinking that I'm some sort of jerk for making this post gendered and that I'm neglecting the important role women have in being stewards of society, etc...save it. Read between the effing lines.

Please do say hello: neil.tambe[at]gmail[dot]com