Love Continues to Move Us

in General News, RT&J

By Robin Beltramini, Iota (U of Illinois), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee

Our Founders shared a diverse, uncommon friendship. Yet they found lessons to leave us on how to live our lives with tolerance, restraint, open-mindedness, passion, and action in ways the world would see but not perceive as boastful or overbearing. Through their words and deeds during the almost 60 years they were with us, they modeled those behaviors in a myriad of ways. Jessie was an activist all her life. Bess gently but firmly, taught, and molded young minds to be informed, generous and helpful. Helen not only drafted our first constitution and bylaws, but, through her legal training, formed persuasive arguments for the positions she and her friends espoused. Stella, we know, was constantly writing—poetry, papers, letters, books—all with a prodigious amount of enlightening information, kindness, and sensibility. 

Our first sisters gave us a legacy of examples, and throughout their lifetimes, showed us how to act, persuade, relate, and work for the betterment of all around us. Examples of our Founders’ modeling behaviors of change include activities that gave women the right to vote in the USA. Our Founders were active suffragettes. There are many stories of them marching and writing letters, imploring friends of all sorts that women voting is a right and a just cause necessary for a sustainable successful democracy. I could go on and on about the hot button issues over time. 

AOII’s Founders have passed. Today’s struggles are not different. Our values and principles, our accepted courses of action, our grounding and motivation to act are all explicit in the Ritual they left us. The outline of standing for character, dignity, service, and loyalty is right there in our public Constitution for all to see. Civil rights, women’s movement, DEI have made positive progress through the same avenues. The labels may be different, but the human struggle is the same and is often led by women. Diversity, creativity, and articulate persuasion are in our DNA.   

AOII began as a friendship over which the four Founders wanted to maintain control, not as a new group just for the sake of having a new group. Questions they asked themselves include “What have we in our hearts to give that the world most needs? And in that aspect of it, is it most lacking and most needed?” (Stella G. S. Perry 1939).  In 1931, Stella said simply, “Love moved us.” With those thoughts and the foundation of our Rituals, we can move the world!

You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about anything Ritual-related at RT&

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