The Why – my version and advice for finding yours

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During recruitment the men of Chi Psi need to know why they joined their organization. I have noticed on my visits that it is very difficult for us to articulate completely why we joined the bonds of Chi Psi. The act of sitting down and really analyzing why we joined Chi Psi can be very emotional. Growing up we have been taught that emotions are something that need to be stifled, I am going to combat this notion and proceed to give you the reasons why I joined Chi Psi and what the organization means to me.

My Why

I can’t begin to explain the impact Chi Psi has had on my life, but I am going to try to keep it brief. As some of you know, I didn’t get a bid to Chi Psi my first attempt. That coupled with not getting into business school and my girlfriend at the time breaking up with me. I was in a bad place. Luckily Chi Psi brought me out of my rut.

When I was given a bid to Chi Psi I cried a little bit. I was so happy, but not for a particular reason, I guess it was the feeling of being part of a group. I decided on Chi Psi because I wanted to be surrounded by gentlemen that would push me to be better. I could have never imagined how far I would be pushed. I still have a long way to go, but it has been a good start.

I was never this much of a “frat dog”, in high school. I was always told that I would be good in a fraternity, but I never wanted to. I did not want to be associated with the organizations that we have all seen on TV. But this is so much more. I have learned more here than I ever will in class. The skills that I learned here overflowed into every aspect of my life.

I have felt that the majority of my education comes from the tacit knowledge that was passed down from others. It is that knowledge that will create a greater understanding of life and allow you to live successfully.

I have always had friends who were older than me. I was always the younger guy. Being in the Lodge was the first time I have ever looked up to people younger than me. Each Brother taught me a life lesson that has had such an effect on me that you could not begin to fathom.

For me “Why Chi Psi?” can be answered with the Preamble, but sometimes I feel that the meaning of the preamble is lost. The beginning quote “Few forsake the throng and seek retirement for its proper use”- William Cooper knew what he was talking about. This is the first and only quote of the preamble. Why? Because Chi Psi was founded on brotherhood. Enjoy that brotherhood. Seek retirement in the doings of your brothers, and create opportunities to foster brotherhood.

The preamble also states that the silver cord which binds together kindred hearts is so easily severed. But I believe that there is a sufficient anecdote to the poisonous infusion of envy. And that is brotherly love. Love your Brothers. Love the crap out of everyone, Chi Psi or not. There is no room in life for petty jealousies and misunderstandings. Who cares? I am telling you right now that there is no reason to hate another. You are Brothers. You will fight, but what comes after the fight is what is most important. Learn to talk, and forgive. Without forgiveness we would all be screwed.

I think that I did a few things wrong while in college. Maybe I should have gone to class more. But one thing I think I got right was loving people. Let me define brotherly love.

Love is the first day of college being spent in the hospital while a Brother is getting stitches and a new tooth. Love is driving hours to see a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Love is sitting on the front porch smoking a cigar and being completely honest with each other. Love is sleeping outside. Loving is playing FIFA. Love is waking up at 5am to help cook a pig.

Some advice:

Your love for each other is noticed even when you don’t see it. Remember that.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help- this place is a wealth of knowledge that you have access to.

Talk-a lot. Spend time with others. Don’t spend it watching TV alone or FB stalking, there is an outside world, and you would be amazed at the conversations you will have and the lives of those you see everyday. I promise you that you do not know as much as you think about your brothers, and these dudes are pretty cool.

Don’t take yourself too seriously, just have fun.

Love yourself

Forgive others and yourself.

Stop complaining- seriously, life sucks. Grow up, and get used to it. The more you complain the worse it is for you and those you complain to.

Give to the Lodge, and give it respect.

Give thanks to others when they do a good job.

Be happy in the moment, do not live life too fast or too slow, this goes by faster than you can ever imagine.

Step out of the Paradigm- surprise others and yourself.

Become Leaders- You cannot lead others without first leading yourself.

To those who have started their senior year:

Every senior in Chi Psi has a personal obligation to leave their permanent mark. The best memories I have made come on times where nothing is going on. Boredom produces great interaction.

Life is about the relationships, the impact you have on others. Although sometimes we slip, still strive to live your life positively and listen to your morals and virtues.

Influence upon the private character late in life is only a weak influence. It is in youth that we plant our chief habits and prejudices, it is in youth that we choose a job, what to pursue, and who to pursue it with. In youth therefore the turn is give, in youth the education even of the next generation is give, in youth the private and public character is determined and veiled from the rude gaze of public scrutiny. And the term of life extending but from our youth to age, life ought to begin well from youth and more especially life ought to be enjoyed in our youth before we take on our principle responsibilities.

To the Brotherhood, invite all the wise men to become like yourself. Who you are and where you come from are unnecessary to your happiness, virtue and greatness. Become leaders, become great, and above all, love each other, love life, and experience all that you can in the time you are given.

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