The author, now out of college, writes about meeting the fathers of some of his college friends and noticing that there were two basic types: fathers who were detached and unengaged and fathers who wanted to be “cool” so they acted like they were buddies with the sons to the point that they didn’t step in with wisdom or correction when needed.
But the author says that in our time, sages are needed, and that means that younger men need older men to lead them well.
The author refers to another writer, Robert Bly, and says:
Bly writes that in American culture people have stopped wanting to grow up, to face difficult choices, and other such coming-of-age posturing. The effect is a culture of peers who all stop maturing beyond their twenties, because to be free and spontaneous and easygoing is much better than facing moral dilemmas and making tough choices.
The idea of Sages certainly has a mythic feel about it. We readily accept them in films or stories that are set in places such as Middle Earth.
Sometimes — actually, much of the time — stories set in mythical worlds have a lot to tell us in our time because the reality of our lives is much more mythic than we realize.