I certainly have seen the worst of what fraternity life can be. But despite that experience, I believe in the positive potential of fraternities and sororities, and I have worked for 20 years to protect them from the dangerous, dysfunctional, and destructive forces of hazing.
After the announcement of the ban this week, the bold move by the NIC was (deservedly) praised for being a much needed, albeit long overdue, step in the fight against hazing and other alcohol-related issues that have plagued fraternities throughout their history. In the wake of what may have been fraternities' deadliest year on record, the collective call for a significant changes was deafening.
But make no mistake: this is only a step toward a solution, not the be-all, end-all solution.
If we look at these two research studies together, it is easy to come to the conclusion that our groups, organizations, and teams are failing to connect our work with our own larger sense of purpose, our most powerful and renewable source of motivation.
Although many years have passed, I have yet to meet anyone, TV presence or regular human being, that has brought the same level of caring, love, and kindness to our world. And anyone taking a good look around our current world would see just how much we need someone to help teach how to manage our emotions and to love our neighbors. But Mr. Rogers isn’t here to do those things anymore, and it’s easy to feel that things will never get any better. It’s easy to be overcome by our emotions. It’s easy to focus on ourselves and forget about our neighbors.
The fact that McNair's death was pointless and wholly avoidable is obvious, and hardly a revelation at all. But, what the player's death and the months thereafter illustrate are the addictive, insidious, destructive, and systematic nature of organizations that are tearing people down rather than building them up.