This month's blog may seem like more of a rambling, tangential collection of thoughts, but I promise there will be a point. (I think...)
It's the holiday season, and regardless of which religious affiliation you associate with, or your family background, everyone has a few similar motivations this season. Some relish the opportunity to see family and friends they haven't seen all year. Some enjoy the thrill of watching their loved ones open that one gift they really wanted this year, and some of us enjoy the thrill of being the one to open that gift. Whatever it is that gets you in the spirit of the holiday season, I think we can all agree that the season is better with company.
Which brings me to my first point: inclusivity. This feeling we all get when we go home for the holidays, or see our best friend from high school, or that relative who is always making funny jokes and slipping you some extra spending money behind your parents back, that feeling is probably best compared to belonging. We are there because we are MEANT to be there, with the people who matter the most to us. Now, let's translate that to a Univeristy context, since this is, after all, a fraternity blog. No matter your university, no matter your Greek system, no matter what type of school you are attending, I guarantee that there are more students than you can count on campus who haven't found their place to belong yet. They don't have that group of friends they couldn't live without yet. They don't have that home away from home. Wouldn't it be incredible if we took the time to get to know them and maybe give someone else the gift of fraternity? The gift of brotherhood and belonging?
My second lesson from this holiday season is this: awareness. As I'm currently sitting on a plane back to my hometown, I'm understandably very conscious of the fact that I have exactly 8 days in town to spend with family, see old friends, do some last minute shopping, hit every restaurant I haven't pigged out at in years, and celebrate Christmas with my extended family before I have to get on another plane. Time is precious, and to again attempt to transition this back into the fraternity context of this blog, our time in our chapters is precious as well. We often get caught up in the "it will get done soon" mentalities, or the "our exec couldn't get it done, so the next will have to start over" crutches. Make the most of your time as an undergraduate, because if you don't set that one standard, if you don't host that one service project, if you don't take the initiative to create positive change within your chapter, it may never happen.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, my last lesson is this: don't worry about what everyone else gets. Some of us will walk away with some new Beats by Dre headphones this season (though I can't for the life of me understand why anyone uses those bass amplifying ear dumpsters...) and some of us will get a book and a Starbucks gift card. Everyone's situation is different, and to allow your holiday spirit to be dictated by what someone else received and you didn't is missing the true point of the season, togetherness. Some of our chapters are small, some are very large, but for those of you in smaller or struggling chapters, never let anyone make you feel like your brotherhood and dedication to the ideals of Sigma Pi are less than that of someone else. Appreciate those around you, and be a good brother and citizen to everyone you meet, regardless of your situation. That's the real Sigma Pi holiday spirit.