You Deserve Nothing, Remember That

An older male mentor of mine used to say to me: “You deserve nothing. Remember that.”
At first, I dismissed it as the preaching of a generation that really had nothing for a long-time. But as I grew older, I realized that his repetition of that saying was meant to remind me to be thankful.
He was steering me away from the trap of an entitlement attitude. He was urging me to see how blessed I really was.
In our current society of “I’ll take everything, and I want it yesterday,” it’s great to have a constant reminder of just how fortunate we really are.
The men and women of generations past combined this blessed attitude with an unwavering work ethic. It’s a combo that we simply rarely see these days.
Whenever I let my entitlement attitude creep back in, I find myself complaining, procrastinating, blaming, whining, and moaning.
-Excerpt from Art of Manliness

That above story describes me way too often. I feel that the art of actually being a man has left our society now.  When undergraduates come to school they expect things to happen a certain way, and that is just foolish.

You should never expect anything in your life. You need to take responsibility for your life and then hopefully someone older and wiser will be kind enough to show you how to get by. But never think that anyone will do anything for you. That is the biggest fault of every Alpha I see.

So much of the time I see Brothers who seem to expect everything in their Alpha to “just get done,” but that attitude leads nowhere. If you want something done, then you need to put forth the effort yourself. I can tell you from personal experience that if you do, Chi Psi will give you more than you could ever dream of. If you allow Chi Psi to change who you are and let you become the best you can be, then you will realize all the benefits. But this is not easy so stop thinking that there is an easy solution.

I believe that every young man needs to do manual labor. I have noticed a sense of laziness in the Alphas that I have visited. It is a hard realization that work is the best way to develop character. You should actually look forward to manual labor. Not only is it mentally easy, it is a great opportunity for you to get to know other Brothers in the Lodge.

Rho Delta Brothers prepping their Lodge to move in last fall

Rho Delta Brothers prepping their Lodge to move in last fall

Hard work fosters a sense of pride in everything you do. Studying for a test, and acing said test is a great accomplishment, but for men, the accomplishment of finishing a project that was physically taxing cannot be beat.

On my way up to Baltimore I stopped off at a gas station where an employee was taking out the trash. Not only did he have a genuine smile on his face, he also held the door open for me. Why? Because it was the right thing to do. Manual labor reminds men of their place in the world, in my opinion, to be a servant to all. The material things of life do not matter, what matters in the end is the character of a man. Build that character through hard work at an early age.

Manual labor is amazing because the work you do is actually not work, it is a break from reality. It is a break from your grades and what else you have to do that week. It is like going on a long walk, a past time seldom enjoyed. The action not only benefits the Lodge but it also helps with what you have going on. I cannot even begin to explain the beauty in the interaction that comes from working with a Brother. Manual labor fosters conversations because you are both doing something that distracts you from other responsibilities while benefiting your Alpha. You can open your mind to the conversations that you rarely have with your other brothers. I can say from my own experience that my favorite way of getting to know a brother is through manual labor or running errands.

During this holiday season think about why you really joined Chi Psi. Why so many men have grown so much through the relationships built at a young age and why these relationships are so important. Be thankful for every relationship you’ve made through Chi Psi.

Remember that you really deserve nothing. Being a Chi Psi is a privilege, so make sure you are putting effort into the organization. Just like manual labor, keeping relationships is difficult, especially with all of the distractions of today. Alumni, this holiday season, give a call to a Brother you haven’t spoken to in a while. Undergraduates, enjoy the company of Brothers in a relaxing atmosphere keeping in mind that the semester is ending and soon college will be, too. Cultivate these relationships now so you can reap the benefits later in your life.

You deserve nothing, but through your hard work you earned the company of great men you can call your Brothers. Show your appreciation to these men and this organization by cultivating and keeping relationships that so few get to experience.

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