Each society has its own form of rite of passage.
Mine came unexpectedly at the age of 10. By then, I was an expert shot. In 15 minutes I could shoot more birds than all the boys, the whole day. Though, I wouldn't go near the dead animals or put them out of their misery.
Shooting was a skill, seeing the consequence of such a skill was a different matter. Then one day, my father held a little bird and ordered me to slit its throat. Everyone was watching and I was so unprepared.
I love my father dearly and wanted to make him proud especially when he went on to tell me of my 9 year old brother's cowardly refusal. But the bird looked at me with those frightened eyes, and its heart was visibly beating in its chest.
I envied my brother's ability to say no. For I was weak, all eyes were on me. So I attempted to fake the slit with my knife, only to terrify the poor bird even more.
This cruelty, so outraged my father,he quickly slit the bird's throat. And I wished I had Died. This incident helped me turn vegetarian and a pacifist.
What was your rite of passage and how do you feel it had impacted you?
Thank you, namaste
Reflecting back over the years, I can say my rite of passage was when my seven year old sister died, and I a teenager (15) had to take care of my entire family: my mother who suffered a nervous break down after my sister’s death, and was bedridden for almost two years, my working father, and my younger brother, and sister who were also going to school. I also had to manage, budget and maintain the house and living expensive, and still allocated a certain amount of money for the savings.
It was a lot of responsibility, I had to grow up really fast, but looking back I can say that experience prepared me for facing the many challenges of life, and has helped in molding me into the person that I am today. I learned how to be creative, and resourceful, and how to make things work for me, instead of against me, especially since I was concerned about loosing my mother also.
However, as it turned out my mother lived to a ripe old, and I ended up once more caring for her in her old age.
answered 09 Nov '10, 05:29
Inactive User ♦♦
Based on the Wikipedia definition for rite of passage, I would say that getting my degrees (later in life) is the only real rite of passage I have ever had.
Not because I feel that the degrees changed me in any substantial way (although my wife says that I have better clarity of thinking), but because I began to be perceived differently in the career space: employers finally began taking me seriously.
Weird how that happens.
answered 08 Nov '10, 17:44
I can't think of any rite of passage that I've experienced. Maybe I'd feel more like an adult if I had had one.
answered 09 Nov '10, 02:15
We had to get circumcised at age 13...
just kidding, I would say going on a dating in my society and circle.
answered 09 Nov '10, 03:21
My rite of passage was to out shoot my dad. As a rifle and pistol instructor in the Marine Corps my dad was quite a shot. Opening day for bird hunting is still a big deal for me. I love animals and have the sweetest dog. I take pleasure in knowing my hunting license pays for so many species that are in trouble. I took my son hunting and passed on the legacy to him. I ask if he could live with killing the birds. He said he could and then he did. I go with my brother now and is the greatest. He shoots 4-10 so more birds go by us then we put down. We clean up our hunting area and respect any farms. Sometimes we look for almost 45 minutes if we can't find a downed bird. I consider the friendships and the cooperation of all the strangers we meet to be a spiritual experience. Sorry, but I do understand your experience.
answered 09 Nov '10, 04:05
Most religious cultures have a rite of passage at different ages. Being brought up catholic, I was baptised at a couple of weeks old which was considered the first sacrament or rite of passage. At seven years old I had my first holy communion ( received the body of Christ in the form of the Eucharist ), and at eight years old I underwent confirmation which meant welcoming the Holy Spirit into my life. Quite honestly when I look back now to me these were just occasions for dressing up and celebrating, because I was far too young and immature to understand the core message or rite of passage contained within the sacraments.
Getting married and having children could definitely be conceived as very impotant rites of passage. However, for me, I would have to say my most important rite of passage was when I had my first genuine connection to the Divine during meditation - that realization is what really set me on the road to becoming the person I'm meant to be.
answered 09 Nov '10, 15:07
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