by Kay Elam, Sigma Delta (Huntingdon College), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
Way back in the dark ages when I was in college, we sang songs and chants…all of the time. One of my favorites was to the tune of the Marine Corps Hymn:
You can always tell an AOII
You can tell her by her walk
You can always tell an AOII
You can tell her by her talk
You can tell her by her attitude
And her friendly smile and such
You can always tell an AOII…
But you cannot tell her much.
While I’m not sure how you’d tell an AOII (or any organization’s member) by her walk, I would like to think potential new members, administrators, teachers, parents, classmates, and others could identify an AOII by her “talk,” her “attitude,” and her “friendly smile and such.”
Our public and private personas, our essence, and our values are reflected to the outside world in how we conduct ourselves. Whether we’re aware or not, if we’re around others, we’re being observed either consciously or subconsciously as role models and mentors, or perhaps future employees, friends, or even spouses. How we conduct ourselves is important. Our behavior matters.
There’s an old adage that says, “Actions speak louder than words.” How many times have you observed someone being rude or disrespectful and immediately formed a negative impression of the person? It’s a two-way street. Another adage states, “You only have one opportunity to make a first impression.” While it is always possible to change someone’s opinion of us, isn’t it better (and easier) to start in a positive light in the first place and not have to overcome negative first impressions?
I’ve always said I’d love for some insightful person to approach me and say, “I’m not a member of AOII, but I know what you’re all about.” Then this fictitious person would go on to tell me how, by observing our members, he/she knows we are an organization…
…based on friendship
…proud of its heritage
…with strong traditions
…and founded on high ideals.
…democratic in nature
…kind not only to our own members, but to the world around us
…and serious about our membership commitment.
…stay involved as alumnae
…and give back to the organization that has given so much to us.
These are some of the qualities reflected in our Ritual, the qualities that have held us together for almost 125 years, the qualities we value and embrace as individual members and as chapter members. These are the qualities that make us who we are and who we are perceived to be.
So, I have to ask myself what my new imaginary friend would think about the last line of my old college song: “You can always tell an AOII, but you cannot tell her much.”
I would hope he/she would see the humor in it. At the same time, I hope there would be recognition that because of how AOIIs live their lives, there’s not much anyone could tell us about how to lead principle-centered lives that reflect credit on our Fraternity, ourselves, and each of our members.
You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about anything Ritual-related at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.