There are general agreements all fraternities that brotherhood is an important aspect and it is soul that binds members together towards achieving the desired purpose. Etymologically speaking the word fraternity comes from the Latin word “frater” meaning brother. So, fraternity is a brotherhood with common interests, goals or purpose.
The moot question then is what ingredients create a strong brotherhood. Although ways might differ but the core idea of any functional fraternity since its beginning in Greek times is the promotion of bonding amongst brothers. It is a philosophy that binds all to stand together and support each other in achieving the desired goal.
Fraternity is one of the most fundamental and important ideas of modern society and considered as a necessary base to the challenges of rising injustice, inequality and hatred. In other words, without fraternity the idea of equality and liberty could not be ensured. Feminists, however, criticize the philosophy of brotherhood as a word and in terms of imagination as it excludes sisterhood.
Recent global trend, however, suggests that the divisive and polarising ideas are gaining ground globally at the cost of fraternity. Why this shift? One very common reason could be the missing connecting-link between people and the idea of fraternity is least discussed and least practices. This is making the prejudice and inequality more intense. Brotherhood is the principle which gives unity and solidarity to social life. Brotherhood is all about finding the commonality in human life despite having differences of culture, ethnicity, class, gender, language and religious belief.
However, one set of people are on view that the moment you set any goal with the idea of brotherhood you create a fictional boundary that excludes some or the other for one or other reason creating one new divide. Just like brotherhood, let’s focus on ways to strengthen the bond.
What Strengthen Brotherhood?
Fraternity is all about social solidarity. As a social animal we might have thousand of differences, but with public empathy we could visualise that there are equal number of fundamental factors that are equally among all whether dignity, emotions like happiness, sorrow, pain, love, anger, hate, triumph, defeat. Empathy helps you see similarities more than the differences and divides.
Empathy is all about understanding how the “other” feel. As empathy is cognitive function, the flow of empathy will depend on your relation, similarities with the “other”. If you bring the divisive elements into play the identity of “other” will create a barrier for you to build the bond of brotherhood.
Humans are uniquely gifted with inborn “empathy” and this could be nurtured. However, the divisive barriers, with higher emotional quotient, could have more impact on you resulting into empathy decline. Whatever is the defined purpose of your fraternity, for strong brotherhood empathy is of foremost importance. It is for you to observe all divisive factors neutrally and remain untouched.
Check this article to know more about the advantages of having a strong brotherhood!
Challenges are inseparable part of human life, and one must not complain about having challenges. The volume, intensity and timing of the challenges might vary, but we all have our challenges. Individually, we might find it extremely difficult or impossible to overcome those challenges. But if we come together, we can. This is all about togetherness in brotherhood. This social solidarity helps you fight the battle not just for self but for others. Your goal might be to educate, social uplifment, environment, social justice, inequality, gender justice or simply spreading love, and you can do wonders if the sense of togetherness prevails in your brotherhood.
The idea isn’t new. It is with human civilisation since its birth. But, other human emotions normally dominate over solidarity in times of crisis. So, it is all about remain committed towards a common goal and do your part in terms of understanding what the “other” feel.
Caring on Scale
Another most important ingredient of strong bond of brotherhood is the sense of caring that too at very higher scale. Just look around and you will find numerous example of utter suffering because somehow the element of caring on scale is missing. You can say that the philosophy of brotherhood getting weaker day by day as they fail to stand for each other and the “other”.
As human we are born with element of caring because that is the way we grew by supporting each other in normal and troubled times. We can blame institutional setup for every failure, but our institutions are what we are. As a big brother in your brotherhood society of your college, you can mobilize resources to help your younger brothers so that they could achieve the desired potential. On a larger scale, you can contribute in making any mission, campaign a success by holding hand showing them the path.
If we change the scale and look towards society, we can work towards solving hardship the less privileged people’s faces on day-to-day basis. In theory, everyone has equal rights on available resources, but in reality the divide in increasing. If we go basis, it is all about caring for each other and ensuring universal social protection for all. Although the idea of social caring goes against the prevailing notion of market driven corrective measure, but this doesn’t absolve one of the duty towards society. The strong bond of brotherhood in the fraternity can be a great mobilizer and make the difference.
The power of the fraternity is immeasurable in terms of outcomes it can achieve. There are so many things that cannot be measured in economic scale, but the value it generates makes a deep impact on the people involved. It all comes down to solidarity and caring for each other. You can strengthen the bond of brotherhood if you start caring for each other.
Love to Care
The idea of brotherhood is all about nourishing love, which is totally opposite of hate. You can nourish love only when you get rid of the signs of hate from your life and surroundings. Hate has the capacity to freeze your sense of care and love is the warmness that helps it thaws and spread. The simplest possible way to stop hatred is to observe neutrally find the reasons without memory induced biases. Once you know the reason of hate, work on those reasons and you will find your hate evaporated making way for love.
Most of the time, we fail to understand why do we hate at all. Once deliberated upon, you find that it was never intentional and when it happened you don’t know.
The philosophy of brotherhood is embedded in the most intrinsic trait of humanity i.e. love. We do not need any external learning on how to love, but definitely need some inputs on how not to hate. Your love for your brothers will make you great and that greatness will make your fraternity proud.
Brotherhood is identity neutral and inclusive in nature. It is all about inclusive pursuit of happiness. Your identity evaporates when you join any group and you are simply a brother in arm to face challenges and solve them. You might be a new member in the fraternity, but your peers treat you equally and train you for the journey ahead.
Any process that creates any kind of separation in identity will definitely create friction resulting in goal distortions. This separation, practical or ideological or hierarchical, will make brotherhood just a forum to discuss isolation. This will breed inequality among brothers resulting in lack of togetherness, lack of empathy and lack of sense of care. To make brotherhood effective in terms of goal, it is absolutely necessary to get rid of hatred and let love flourish. This will help generate and strengthen the sense of solidarity among brothers.
One more important component any successful fraternity is openness and transparency in sharing views, thought by brothers freely. If there is any sense of hurdle in expression, this might dilute the brotherhood as this creates a situation where one stops seeking support. This weakens the notion of solidarity and care. Once they start sharing their issues with a hope that someone is listening and taking care properly, the bond of brotherhood strengthens.
The whole idea of brotherhood, whether at collage level, national or global level, is to make a system where people could come and express challenges and seek support. A robust system will ensure that every challenge is properly take care of and desired support is provided in stipulated time. There is no room for any divisive agenda, whatever might be the importance, in brotherhood as bias simply kills the whole idea of fraternity at the root itself.
As a big brother, although that bigness is not separation, you can be of great help in maintaining and nourishing the environment of mutual trust, love and support. When you are welcoming the new brother, it is your duty to make one feel open so that one could express freely and be an active brother in the support system. Your brotherhood will make the difference in the lives of each other and the “other” if you focus on inclusion and ignore divisive exclusion.