*It’s been a long time since this blog has been updated but once the school year starts there seems to be little time for much else. It’s winter break and hopefully I can crank out some more fraternal thoughts! Prepare yourself.
The holiday season is one of the most joyous times of the year. Everyone seems to set aside their differences and come together to celebrate what’s important in life, family and friends. As fraternity men, this is our time to do the same. In my chapter in particular when we all depart for break there’s radio silence and no communication whatsoever between brothers. I can only imagine the brothers who are closest, or reside in the vicinity of one another still interact but the majority go our separate ways and put “fraternity” on hold. The thing about that break is that it’s a separation not only physically but to us as chapter. You can’t pause “fraternity” – that’s not how it works. It should not only be when we see our brothers in person that we think about them or talk to them. What would distinguish us from any other mere acquaintance we’ve made in our college experience? We pledged that we would always be there for another and now (as always) is the time to live up to our promises. It’s time to do some brotherly outreach.
Check-In: Almost every chapter, at least in my experience, has that one brother who makes sure everyone else is doing okay. He’s everyone’s go to for support, advice, and somehow seems to know exactly what to do or say at all times. When you’re feeling down or need help, all of a sudden he’ll text you when you need it most. He seems to go above and beyond the fraternal duty. The truth is, he only appears that way because the majority of us are not doing what he’s doing. His action is contrasted by our inaction and outreach to our fellow men. Check-in with your brothers. What’s the harm in sending a text out of the blue (better yet a phone call or a Skype session) to your other chapter members. Most likely they’re perfectly fine but it’s just another way to show that you care. If they do need someone to talk to, then you’re creating an outlet for them to do so. We all want to be the brother that makes sure the rest are pushing forward. It’s not so hard but why then don’t we do it? Maybe we take that brother for granted or don’t realize the significance of his small actions, either way – what he does, in retrospect, is truly remarkable. Check-in with your brothers over this break. These are people you know, you don’t need a reason to strike up a conversation. This is just brotherly outreach.
Reconnect: Graduating from college and subsequently your chapter is both an amazing thing but almost always results in a disconnect from the brothers you spent so much of your time with. We all have brothers who have moved on or seemingly disappeared. This time of the year is the perfect opportunity to remake those bonds you cherished so dearly. Do what you need to, write a Facebook message, tweet at them, call them, send them a letter – it doesn’t matter just find them. These are connections that could be important down the line and at the very least, people you invested your time in so why let that go to waste? Choose a brother and make it your winter break mission to hear from him. I promise you it’ll be more than worth the time and effort it takes. There’s nothing more fulfilling than feeling another person’s smile and excitement just from hearing the sound of your voice. It does the soul good and truly is the best part of brotherhood. This is brotherly outreach.
If you’re really feeling ambitious, sending out holiday greetings and new year’s tidings is always a welcome gesture. Those who work behind the scenes at your national headquarters, your alumni association, and even the adminstrators on your own campus deserve some gratitude. Send out a thank you, maybe even include a gift. Brotherly outreach is all about letting people know you value them and appreciate having them in your life.