“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.” – G.K. Chesterton
In commemoration of National Ritual Celebration Week, it is important to draw corollaries from the above quote. Sigma Nu is at its core a democracy. This means that chapter members have an equal right to participation in and decision making of the Fraternity. In addition, all are charged with upholding its mission and purpose. This is the foundation of Sigma Nu. As brothers we have committed ourselves to its advancement.
Unfortunately, like in all democracies, Sigma Nu members are prone to drift. Chapter members forget their commitment to the purpose and mission of the Fraternity. When this happens we must look to the tradition of our Fraternity.
For Sigma Nu this tradition is The Ritual. The Ritual centers us. It reminds us of the original intent of the founding of Sigma Nu. When we perform The Ritual, Hopkins’ very words are filling the chapter room. We hear the identity of our beloved Fraternity from the mouth of the men who created it.
This then is why our Ritual is absolutely necessary: we must be reminded of why Sigma Nu was founded from the men who founded it. We must be reminded of our core values of brotherhood, love, honor, truth, and anti-hazing. We have all committed ourselves to uphold and defend these values.
By reciting The Ritual we are being admonished and encouraged by the men who first upheld this fraternity and values. We are giving votes to our founders.
//Leadership Consultant Ben Nye (Arkansas)