Nov 4, 2010

How Would You Define Brotherhood?

Brotherhood GHQ Staff Blogger
How Would You Define Brotherhood?

By David Wyble – Leadership Consultant

It’s not a trick question.  Stop and think about it.

Each year we recruit men with whom we want to share our brotherhood. We have team building activities, meetings, social events, and anniversaries to strengthen and celebrate this invisible, intangible thing we fraternity men refer to as brotherhood. So what is brotherhood?

Webster’s Dictionary won’t help you much, so don’t bother looking it up there. Honestly, I don’t think you can really give it a thorough definition because much of it is bigger and deeper than words and can only be felt. You may need to ponder on it a bit, because it is not the superficial answer you might expect. The brotherhood of Phi Delta Theta is something that extends far beyond the realm of your local chapter.  It encompasses all members of our great Fraternity, both living and deceased.

I have come to understand this, because I have seen and felt it in chapter meetings, conferences, training exercises and social settings all across the United States and Canada.  Of course, by now, you may be asking yourself, “What do I have in common with men who entered our Chapter Grand more than 160 years ago?”

Men of Phi Delta Theta come from all walks of life. We vary by chapter, state, province, country, and culture. Even though we are an eclectic group, we have much more than just letters in common with each other. Our brotherhood is the backbone of the fraternity. Brotherhood is that common bond we share with not only our chapter brothers but also our brothers from all over North America. One thing I have always found to be so rewarding and refreshing is to see the way we all interact with one another, even though, in almost all regards, we are complete strangers. I’m sure you have been in a situation when you have approached someone wearing the Phi Delt letters and struck up a conversation with them like you were old friends. We all share a common bond and this exceeds far beyond our written document.

Few living Phis have had the privilege to meet the great men who began our beloved fraternity 162 years ago, but I’m sure, like me, you got goosebumps during your initiation or first Founding Fathers ceremony.  None of us will ever have the pleasure of listening to that original conversation between Robert Morrison and our founding fathers. We cannot sit in the Yankees dugout with Lou Gehrig or the presidential office with Benjamin Harrison (the Oval Office was still a thing of the future when brother Harrison served his term as our American president.) But, be honest, don’t you feel pride that in some way you do have a real bond with them?  Doesn’t it feel nice to count them as a peer — a brother of yours?  Maybe, just maybe, someone someday will point to your portrait hanging on the walls of a local chapter house or our General Headquarters in Oxford, Ohio and say that they are proud to share such a bond — a brotherhood — with you!

Your Brother,

David Wyble

Brother Wyble is member of the Missouri Eta Chapter at Missouri Western State University, where he graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. While at Missouri Western, David held the positions of Chapter President, Vice-President, Historian and Community Service. Brother Wyble is also a past Homecoming King, winner of the University‟s “Western Excellence” award, 4 time Dean‟s List student, Regents Scholar, and nominated as “Mr. Missouri Western” in 2008. David was also involved in several other organizations on campus including Griffon Habitat for Humanity, Orientation Leaders, the Wildlife Society, and Communication Connections. David spends most of his free time outside fishing, hunting, camping, and kayaking. He is also a die-hard LSU fan. David is traveling the Midwest region this school-year as a Leadership Consultant.

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