This past week, my wife and I had the privilege of speaking on relationships at Missouri State University. We were part of an initiative by Theta Chi Fraternity called The Sacred Purpose. The Animal House stereotype has degraded fraternities’ reputations over the years, and there’s a whole slew of media continuing to perpetuate it like the upcoming Neighbors movie and websites like TotalFratMove.com. Most Greeks like Theta Chi are returning to their roots and living out the creeds from which their organizations began.
There’s a deep purpose to being in a fraternity. Fraternal organizations were created to make men better men.
Theta Chi’s Sacred Purpose initiative states, “The highest expression of manhood and true friendship is caring for and helping others.”
What is your sacred purpose?
We all have a sacred purpose and we can find it through caring for and helping others.
When is the last time you took time out of your day for someone? Were you too busy to call a family member when you were thinking of them? Did you brush off a friend who wanted to hang out? Is your idea of caring for, writing “I’m so sorry” underneath a status update on Facebook? Did you skip spending time with your girlfriend because you wanted to watch a game? Do you spend more time fighting your own anxiety than injustice?
You have a sacred purpose.
You were created for more than a 9-5 job, a house, a car, and a 401k plan. There’s more to life than clawing to make it to the top, than trying to show people you have your life together. You have so much more to offer behind the inauthentic exterior of trying to act cool, wearing the latest trends, and rocking a six-pack.
You were created for connection.
This past weekend at my parent’s house, a next-door neighbor kid came by. On the outside he looked completely normal, but he suffers from a mental disability. As an infant in a Russian orphanage, he was never touched. In fact, the back of his head is flat because he was never even picked up.
According to Psychology Today,
“babies who are not held and nuzzled and hugged enough will literally stop growing and-if the situation lasts long enough, even if they are receiving proper nutrition-die.”
Connection is critical for life and development. This is why fraternity and sorority members go on to become the most successful in business, politics, etc. It’s beyond networking. Connection develops you as a person, and hones your leadership skills.
You were created to grow
Growth happens through connection. When fruit is connected to the branch, it grows. Do you feel stuck? Where is your place of deep connection? Choose your friends and the people you spend the most time with carefully because they will determine the extent of your growth. Do you want to become a better man? Then spend time with other men who are trying to become better men as well.
My club-going days are pretty much over, but I can remember how fun it was to go out night after night, the invigoration of partying with friends, and getting into the VIP sections. I thought I had found my niche, but I wasn’t growing. I didn’t care. When I got taken out of the scene for a few weeks, I realized my club friends were my friends as long as I was at the club. In other words, they weren’t real friends.
Here’s how to evaluate whether of not you have real friends: are you growing? Are your friends pushing you to be a better man? Do they call you out when you’re not living responsibly? Do they hold you accountable for your actions? If you can’t answer yes to any of these, where will these people be when you need them?
Your sacred purpose is to connect and grow with authentic friendships and relationships. A brotherhood doesn’t spontaneously happen. It’s developed and deepened through time, hardships, and commitment. Find your brotherhood, and you will find your sacred purpose.