Fraternity For All: We Are One Global Family
My first memory of the American dream is from 1987, arriving late at night at the Montana State University Campus and finding my dorm closed. Coming straight from the JFK airport, I had my luggage with me and didn’t quite know what to do. I didn’t know a single soul.
My second memory of the American dream was being helped by a group of fellow Indian students who had seen me through a corridor window and offered to let me crash in their dorm room for the night.
You may look at this story as a symbol of the American Dream, but for me, it is first and foremost a tale of fraternity. We were all young students on a journey to improve our lives through education, studying in the same halls that had brought success to many, and nurturing relationships where the moment one of us needed help, everyone chipped in.
This gesture of fraternity, of opening the heart, is not only one of my fondest memories, but also one that shaped me. Since then, global human fraternity is something I have strived to imbibe in my everyday life, in my work, and every project I take on.
Fraternity Equals Help
Fast forward to recent times, a virus disrupted our lives at every level, and made fraternity more relevant to our global family. It drove home the importance of solidarity while also highlighting the great divides that exist between communities and countries.
In times like these, we needed more than just resources, but also more empathy for all.
It made us question is there more to the word than its use for corporate grandstanding? Does it go beyond being a PR-friendly buzzword? Or a label for college social clubs?
We need to reevaluate the true meaning of the word “fraternity.” Though the Latin root of fraternity, frater means brother, but fraternity is not confined to any gender.
As I discovered on my first night at Montana State, help is the cornerstone of fraternity. Not transactional, eye-for-an-eye help, but real, raw, unrequited help. Help that is tolerant. Help that does not hold the beneficiary to account, but simply shows them that they are loved. Fraternity is not about one-upmanship, but about dialogue.
The Big Picture
This kinship is central to Wholistic Wellbeing, as we grow in our journeys as wellbeing seekers. And that’s why I am committed to inspiring fraternity in my homeland, Punjab, in India.
The Roundglass Foundation, which I founded in 2018, works to improve the lives of children, youth, and women and help communities and the environment flourish by making significant social, cultural, and economic investments in the state. We support government agencies and build partnerships across social and private sectors to implement initiatives that enhance self-reliance, learning, and sustainability in the region.
It is my fondest hope that the Roundglass Foundation will transform the state of Punjab by enabling Wholistic Wellbeing for all. Through our actions, we hope to inspire tolerance, celebrate pluralistic traditions, build mutual respect, and respect religious diversity and beliefs to promote human solidarity.
Fraternity is not to be learned or conceptualized, but rather experienced. Go out and hug your friends, share a meal and celebrate being together. After all, we are one big family.