I was actually all set to write this before this weekend and had been pondering it since several moments and discussions at the Bay Area demo. Then my entire weekend rather stood on its head by my elevation being announced at court and its taken me a few more days to really be able to articulate this concept.
The peer like quality of helping others be better people.
Not many people really mention this as a peer like quality. I suppose it might fall under courtesy or chivalry or grace but I prefer to think of it in more in this mundane phrasing because it is, to me, the main purpose of peers. Yes there is advisement to the crown and teaching and service and inspiration and leadership and a bunch of organizational fu but it really struck me that all of that lends back to the purpose of helping people be better.
Maybe it's the teacher in me but this concept is pretty darn important to me.
Sometimes it happens by simple leadership by example - providing a good model for behavior and action or thought.
Sometimes it happens by direct advice - sitting and advising someone or discussing a difficult topic honestly and with constructive feedback.
Sometimes it happens by teaching a class or hosting a discussion.
Sometimes it happens by inspiration - a moment of leadership, a kind word on a touch day, a stretched out hand that shows someone a different side of things, or an optimistic outlook where there wasn't one before.
But really this is the crux of it - that the main job of a peer is to be an example of the Dream (in whatever way that Peer fits into it as we all have such different ideals for that Dream) and to help others reach toward it and be better in whatever ways that Peer can. That doesn't mean perfection or being critical - there was never a snarky comment on seams that made anyone feel better or be a better seamstress - but it does mean finding what it is that others need in them to grow and be better and nurturing that aspect, be that an art, a service, fighting, or a personal quality.
I have been blessed with so many brilliant examples of this I cannot even list them all - but lets just say trimaris is often particularly lucky.