Stronger together or struggle apart

Growing up I was always taught you are stronger in a group than you are on your own. In the Bible, we see multiple examples of a sheep straying from his Sheppard. In sports, it seems like every week on Sports Center there is a replay of one man operating solo, instead of as a team. The end results of these examples is always the same: The sheep comes back dead or injured and the ball hog always makes his team lose. This lesson confirms the message that there really is “NO I in TEAM.

Last semester I was  the pledge captain for the Rho Chapter of Beta Upsilon Chi, otherwise known as “BYX” Brothers Under Christ. We operate under the message of brotherhood and unity. As the pledge captain, it is my job to raise the pledges in a way that glorifies God through brotherhood and unity. But as always, there are always a few “black sheep”of the group who have a hard time understanding how to operate as a group, instead of as a single unit.

One particular week, the pledges had 2 missions. First, to complete 12 study hours. Second, to do a service project with their big. (A pledge’s big is an upperclassman that mentors them throughout their pledge semester.) They also had a strict warning to turn in a paper they had written that was due 3-weeks ago. At this point, only three of them had not turned the paper in yet. One would guess that having three extra weeks to finish a 300 word paper would be a piece of cake. I can’t say I was too surprised to learn those three pledges didn’t turn their paper in.

When the pledges fail a mission, they are given a punishment. Usually, part of their punishments will consist of an increase in study hours for their week. This week, at the fault of the three pledges not turning in their paper, I asked a pledge to pick a number between one and thirty. He chose 29. I then asked him to choose another pledge. Upon doing this, I informed the chosen pledge that he has 29 study hours for this week. Harsh…. perhaps, did it get the message across… I guess we will find out.

When operating in a group; when one fails, the group is harmed.  If those three would have turned in their paper and followed directions, there would not have been a punishment. A group is stronger together when they hold each other accountable and build each other up. A group struggles when a member operates apart from the unit. I always find it humorous when pledge thinks they are above the rest and don’t have to operate together. This happens every semester as the pledges slowly learn to operate under brotherhood and unity. When you stray, bad things happen. When you stray, the group is harmed. When you stray, the group cannot succeed. Failure is not an option.

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