The importance of uncles to young people
But something went wrong when I became old enough to be an uncle. Somewhere in the 1990s, I was given advice to never interact with children. Up to that point, I had always talked to kids. I had fixed the brakes on their bicycles. No, I didn't hang around with kids. But I had been avuncular, and that's an old-fashioned term for a kindly uncle type. So I stopped. I never spoke to children, never made eye contact, never acknowledged them after that. Yeah, I'll admit that under certain circumstances, I couldn't resist playing rock-paper-scissors, especially if I was at a boring party, with a kid. But I immediately caught myself and stopped, thinking that someone would think that I was a creep.
As a professional man and a bachelor, I would have made a good big brother. Or really, an uncle. But society had started to get *creeped out* by men who interacted with children. It's sad, but true. There are a lot of bad people out there, and I understand.
But I remember the uncles in my life. When I was a little kid, and they acknowledged me as a human being, I felt great. As a young man, I had uncles who gave me career advice, shared their wisdom. I had uncles who made suggestions of what tie I should wear, and how to tie it.
I hope that they are still uncles out there.
Posted by Brad Hall