Monday, March 5, 2012

National Ritual Celebration Week

In one of the many conversations I’ve had with my father about his fraternity experience, he said this about his initiation ceremony from 1968: “I don’t really remember much. I couldn’t tell you what every symbol stands for, but I will never forget how incredible it felt.” I would bet the same goes for most fraternity and sorority members.


Every member has their own journey in understanding their Ritual, but we need to do more to incorporate how to translate the ceremony into daily lives. We know that values congruence is the key to fraternal relevance and we cannot talk about values without talking about Ritual. The juxtaposition of this is that because we take vows to “never reveal the secrets of the Fraternity,” many members are scared to talk openly about the concept.

The first time I read Edward M. King’s essay “Secret Thoughts of the Ritual,” my mind was officially blown. One of many parts of Mr. King’s essay that stands out is when he writes, “If non-members found out what I stood for, they might expect the members to live by it.” I find this to be the key to this conversation. We must balance the idea that certain ceremonies are secret but our values are not. While teaching this subject for a fraternal leadership experience, I converted some of the key messages from this essay in a video*, with the intention that members use it with their own chapters in reinforcing the importance of putting #valuesinaction.

Ritual Appreciation Week is a great time to reflect on your own journey about understanding your Ritual and how you incorporate those values into your life. It’s not the ceremonies that make us different than other organizations; it’s living those values for the rest of our lives that make us different.

Written by guest blogger, Cara Jenkins. This video was created by Cara to be used as an educational teaching tool. AFLV is sharing it with her permission.

1 comment:

Ethan Steve said...

That helped me a lot! Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again!
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