wonders if anyone ever says that to a kid today . . . well, anyone besides the twelve people he probably knows who do. But, he further wonders, if anyone does say that, does the kid have any frame of reference worthy of note from which to gauge what a man is? Increasingly, the answer appears to be "no" or "not much of one."
Prager outlines a series of potential causes for what he views as a sad decline in American manhood. Many of the themes are familiar and things about which we have had some good discussions here. But one that strikes me, perhaps because I had never really questioned it, is the mindless practice of men in authority (think coaches, teachers, etc.) "high-fiving" a boy instead of shaking his hand when he's done well. I'm not sure that a kid can't respect a man who gives him a high five instead of offering a handshake. And I am pretty sure that, in many contexts, a hand extended for a shaking might get a slap in any event. Indeed, I'm pretty sure that a handshake suggested might cause, at least at first, a snicker or a mocking in some places. But I wonder, too, if there isn't something to this. Maybe a real man would insist on a handshake. Maybe a handshake is more serious, more dignified, more manly. And maybe, just maybe, a kid might sense this and, in turn, comport himself more like a man and less like a boy.
It's a small thing, I know. But it strikes me as a good one.