The culture in which you parent, mentor, or educate boys exhorts them to be individualistic and group-oriented at once, but does not give them a tribal structure in which to accomplish both in balance. It used to be that the tribe formed a boy's character while the peer group existed primarily to test and befriend that character. Nowadays, boys' characters are often formed in the peer group. Mentors and intimate role models rarely exist to show the growing boy in any long-term and consistent way how both to serve a group and flourish as an independent self.
Each day befriend a single fear, and the miscellaneous terrors of being human will never join together to form such a morass of vague anxiety that it rules your life from the shadows of the unconscious. We learn to fly not by being fearless, but by the daily practice of courage.
On the other side, the conservative party, composed of the most moderate, able, and cultivated part of the population, is timid, and merely defensive of property. It vindicates no right, it aspires to no real good, it brands no crime, it proposes no generous policy, it does not build, nor write, nor cherish the arts, nor foster religion, nor establish schools, nor encourage science, nor emancipate the slave, nor befriend the poor, or the Indian, or the immigrant.
Now you are in the true world, and a great deal more is required of you. Here you must befriend real wolves, and lure real birds down from the sky. Here you must endure real people around you, and we are not uniformly kind; we are damaged and impulsive, each in our own way. It is harder. It is not safe. But it is what you were born to.
Because (grandparents) are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young without having to take daily responsibility for them, they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations.
Will pointed a finger accusingly in their direction. "You're ganging up on me. Is this how it's going to be from now on? I'll be the odd man out? Dear God, I'll have to befriend Jessamine." "Jessamine can't stand you," Jem pointed out. "Henry, then." "Henry will set you on fire.