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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

What brotherhood really means

Gonzaga College High School is known around Washington, D.C. for many different programs and activities, but most people overlook the cause of why so many young men latch to it. On the first day I walked onto Gonzaga’s campus as an Eagle, the student I was shadowing and I walked to the cafeteria to find all of his friends greeting me with a great welcome. I felt the brotherhood that simply couldn’t be felt by just hearing about it.

Nowadays, brotherhood gets confused with friendship. Too often groups of “friends” don’t stick around when one is having a tough time—whatever the challenge may be. This type of friendship is dull and meaningless unless the only goal of it is to have a “good time.” It also may leave the person with an issue to feel stranded or alone. The difference to me, after being at Gonzaga for nearly four years, is being there unconditionally for your “brothers,” regardless of how they acted or what they’re going through. 

Brotherhood is a word that can be used to describe a sense of unity among a group of people who may or may not share common interests but all share the same goals. It should imply a strong sense of loyalty, mutual support and shared accountability. A few concepts related to brotherhood include fraternity and teamwork. It is not limited to this as it typically encompasses a sense of respect, understanding and empathy for others, regardless of who the person is or what they go through. Brotherhood should be seen as a positive force that adds harmony to a community.

After going through Gonzaga’s activities such as Kairos and the freshman retreat, I’ve learned that brotherhood means being vulnerable with my peers without judgment. This lesson taught me the importance of reaching out when I need help and gave me trust that my brothers will always support me. As I went further into my Gonzaga education, the importance of accountability struck me. I faced many instances where I had to stop one of my buddies from doing something wrong. 

Brotherhood creates a group of individuals who are stronger than they were prior to the bond. It allows for community growth as well as understanding. If I learned one lesson from being at Gonzaga, it is that no matter what, every student at the school is my brother, and I should look out for him no matter what. It goes the same way, as I can trust somebody in the community will have my back through any struggle. This will not end when graduation hits because I know in the future I will run into a Gonzaga graduate, and we will connect without even needing to talk. Gonzaga’s brotherhood is something so strong, and it should be valued at a high price.

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