A Rite of Passage

I saw the pilots in a group, concerted and in training. They glanced up at me and then went back to their preoccupation. They were not full-fledged; before them was a simulator and a possible career.

We of the human race become engrossed, and in our dignity—when we are seriously intent—we rise from being the rich and spoiled youth of yesterday to something of manhood and even perhaps of consequence.

How is it we assume responsibility and manhood? It must come all metaphysically, in gradual storms we do not realize till it is dark and the possibility of light has mostly all departed. We burrowing creatures, and erect.

They were not real pilots yet, and all the problem of it lay before them in long days, high concentration and a lot of tedious work. The prospect of holding other people’s lives was before them like a long, dark tunnel. So there was a weight on them, a sense of rite of passage on their shoulders.

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