March 1, 2016
According to Webster’s Dictionary, “family” is defined as a group of people related to each other. As kids, many of us were interested in our family’s history. Who came before us? From what part of the world did our family originate?
I remember researching my family history for a project in elementary school. What I learned helped shape my identity. It helped me better understand my family and myself. Through it all, I developed a sense of loyalty and respect for those who came before me.
From the day we signed our bid cards, we became a part of Kappa Delta’s “family.” Throughout the new-member program, we discovered the values, principles and rituals of our new family. We learned about those who came before us, and the foundation upon which our family was built. We were taught that, as Kappa Deltas, we should “strive for that which is honorable, beautiful, and highest.” During initiation, we discovered the secrets and elements of our Ritual that bind us together. And then our Ritual book was likely tucked away in the closet until spring or the next fall. Is that what our founders envisioned for the Ritual? Ritual should not be something we “do” a couple times a year. It is how we should live our lives each day.
Whether you are on chapter council or hold an appointed position, whether you’re a new member, senior or alumna, whether you’re from the East Coast or the West Coast, each of you will have a different experience within Kappa Delta. However, the one consistent experience that all initiated members of Kappa Delta have common is our Ritual. Every Kappa Delta hears the same words and songs and takes the same oath. It has been the same for 119 years! Imagine our founders and early leaders reciting the same words, making the same pledge. Ritual is the common thread that binds us together.
We must read and embrace our Ritual to truly strive for that which is honorable, beautiful, and highest. We need to understand the meaning behind the words that Lenora, Sarah, Julia and Mary wrote for us, and we should hear them more often than during the new-member program. We will have a stronger sisterhood if each chapter takes time to regularly talk about our Ritual and how to live our values. It’s time to dust off the Ritual book and invest in
Kappa Delta’s history. By doing this you invest in yourself, your sisters and our founders’ legacy.
Like a report on our family lineage, Ritual is our guide to where we’ve been and where we are going. Without our values there would be no purpose for Kappa Delta. No lifelong friendships or sisters to lean on. Without our Ritual, we have nothing.
Chapter Services Coordinator