Apr 30, 2009

From Memorization to Action

GHQ Staff Blogger Ritual
From Memorization to Action

Let’s talk briefly about commonalities. As Phi Delts, we all share the same ritual (that some of us still don’t know or just mumble through) and we all (hopefully) learned a little bit about our great Fraternity as a Phikeia by reading the Phikeia manual.

I would be willing to bet that many of us are still able to recite the Immortal Six and the Greek alphabet from memory (and speaking of the Greek alphabet, where is the real world application of THAT now that the world of high finance has crumbled?).

Now before I go too far, I will say that the history of the fraternity and the information in the Phikeia manual is very important and does provide the basis of knowledge to become a member of Phi Delta Theta. My challenge to all of our members out there is to move from simply memorizing and regurgitating that information for some Phikeia test to acting upon it.

Take for example two of the most commonly memorized phrases in Phi Delta Theta: the last line of the Phikeia Oath and Robert Morrison’s Famous quote (and just in case it’s been a while since you last opened your Phikeia manual, here they are).

Last Line of the Phikeia Oath: I will strive in all ways to transmit the fraternity to those who may follow after, not only, not less, but greater than it was transmitted to me.

Robert Morrison’s Famous Quote: “To do what ought to be done but would not have been done unless I did it, I thought to be my duty.”

I will wager that a lot of Phi Delts can say both of those quotes from memory. This is a good thing, but it means very little if they aren’t applied and acted on. An idea without followers, no matter how great, is still just an idea. Those two quotes only contain 51 words, but those words have the power to dramatically change our fraternity for the better.

Think hard about the Phikeia Oath. We all (again, hopefully) made a pledge to this.

When was the last time you actually thought about those words?

When was the last time you did something to ensure that the fraternity or your chapter would be handed over better off for future generations of Phi Delts?

If you can’t think of a specific time, don’t despair, but instead go out and pledge to yourself that you will do one thing to better the fraternity or your chapter. If you can think of a time, I am glad, but now is not the time to pat yourself on the back. Go and do more.

Now answer those same two questions about Robert Morrison’s quote.

I truly believe that most of the problems in our organization stem from a lack of leadership. I can hardly imagine how great our chapters would be if our officers simply embraced this quote. Put in the work you know you should do and don’t wait for someone else to get it done. Pretty simple, right?

Enjoy the summer break and take some time for personal reflection (including, hopefully being honest with yourself about those earlier questions), but come back to the fall semester ready to take those words you have memorized and put them into action. Our fraternity depends on it.

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