By Rene Fitzgerald, Pi Kappa (University of Texas at Austin), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
The holiday season is here and, hopefully, we can take time to reflect on activities of the past year, how we lived our lives, and how we can make this coming year more rewarding. 2020 has been a challenging year in many regards. But, in their wisdom, our Founders developed a wonderful plan based on values and convictions of their steadfast relationship which is a wonderful guide for us this year and every year: the Ritual of our Fraternity.
R – When we reflect on how our Ritual affects our lives, we know it was meant to be real! It guides us to approach situations that are trying with tolerance and loving judgment. It advises us to treasure our AOII friendships and not take our sisters and friends for granted. We’re also encouraged to participate in community service with the spirit of sweet love.
I – Individuality and what we bring to our Fraternity are basic parts of our Ritual. Our Founders were so completely different. Yet, they developed an organization based on democracy and love. They saw it as a two-way street – a mutuality of promises. There is nothing AOII asks of any of us without AOII promising something in return.
T – Our Ritual is timely. As Past International President Mary Lindrooth said, “…Think of Ritual as a device. Think of it as an exercise bar. In our chapters, we should use it, bring it your own interpretations, take it apart, discuss it. You’ll find plenty of times to use it.”
U – Our Ritual is unique. Even after 123 years it is still very applicable to everyday living and everyday decisions. Understanding that love which is unselfish, which is patient and kind, which extols right and not wrong is a blueprint for us to use as a guide in our daily lives.
A – Abiding by the principles of our Ritual is what we should expect of ourselves. When decisions are hard to make and stands are hard to take, let us recall the special qualities that first attracted us to AOII and the meaningful Ritual that we all hold in common.
L – When we see the light, we see clearer. Light is a guide in our AOII Ritual. Quoting Past International President Ginger Banks, “Light the way for your sisters. Light the way because you believe in AOII people, philosophy, and plans. Light the way not because of an oath you took, but because your heart won’t let you forget it.”
RITUAL – A guide by which to live our lives with honor, courage, integrity, fidelity, tolerance, judgment restrained by love, self-control, humility, and sweetness. These values make us better sorority sisters and better human beings.
You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about anything Ritual-related at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.