At the forefront of “A Search for a Son” is a quotation from an American poet:
Vachel Lindsay:

Let not young souls be smothered out before
They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride
It is the world’s one crime its babes grow dull…

The poem is saying that the young may grow very frustrated If they have to buckle down to duty too early in life.

And frustration can lead to misadventures of a worse type, like drug-taking or having children they cannot support.

I am an old man, but I sympathise with the young, who have no foreign country to explore and no cause to espouse.

For the last 25 years I have helped with and set up organisations for the homeless and addicts and other vulnerable people, largely voluntarily…. and helped the local Scouts, who are on the right lines about adventure in young people’s lives.

And I am lucky in having had a very varied life myself.