“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
“Brothers don’t shake hands, brothers gotta hug!”
– Chris Farley in Tommy Boy
Although we’ve already discussed the importance of battling beside each other, and challenging and encouraging each other, another important facet of brotherhood is the ability to let our hair down* and have some fun.
Work Hard, Play Hard
As a Type A person, I have a hard time sitting still. It seems as though I am always working on some project. I
probably try to do too much.
Yes, I have a problem.
Therefore much of my teaching for young adults talks about the benefits of hard work, organizing and prioritizing, and setting goals and achieving them. Which are all good topics, but often I forget to balance them with a phrase I do believe in: Work Hard, Play Hard.
Notice that “work hard” appears first. So I take that to mean that we put in the hard work first, but after that we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor and enjoy some downtime. But to me play hard means that even in a game, a sport, or any competitive endeavor, we need to play with the same determination that we work at. As brothers, it is vital that there is an element of “play” in our time together.
A football game at lunch time. A chill out session at the pub or coffee shop. A serious game of cards in the evening… some time where we get to see the lighter side of each other. Where instead of giving orders to each other, we can tell a joke and laugh together.
On the fields…
On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory.
– General Douglas MacArthur
You find out so much about a person by putting them on a playing field. What Gen. MacArthur was referring to was that on the sports field, we get to test our bodies, minds, and relationships in mini-battles: so that when the real battles come, we are stronger, more resilient. When the stressful times hit, our bodies will be less effected; when the emotional trying situations arise, we can cope with the ups and downs; and when the spiritual moral struggles rear their ugly head, we have the integrity to stand firm.
Brotherhood needs to be tried and tested in a fun, light atmosphere of a game or enjoyable activity. If not, then the mountains are just long walks, the contests are just silly games. Make the activity something that you can smile through, something that your team can come together on and cooperate. Just as in those hard-pitched struggles, you’ll be making memories.
This week’s challenge: Go Play. Find something fun to do with a brother. No serious discussions, no debates, no unloading of offenses or griefs. Go have some fun.
*go ahead. make your bald jokes…