Making our Ritual a ritual

Last month, we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a holiday designed to commemorate love. But some ask, why Feb. 14? Shouldn’t we celebrate and express “the greatest of all things” each and every day?

This week is similar. It’s National Ritual Celebration Week, a week first launched by Phi Mu in 2011 to reflect on the values of which sororities and fraternities were founded. Yet, like with Valentine’s Day, we find ourselves asking, “What would life be like if we reflected on these values every day? What would the world be like if living the principles taught in our Ritual were more like everyday rituals—habits.”

ZTA’s five open values taught in the new member program are loyalty, responsibility, service, leadership and commitment. What if enacting those values felt like a habit as much as brushing your teeth or tying your shoes?


Let’s take a closer look at each one.

So, what does loyalty look like in real life? To us, it’s those, “Sisters, we’ve got your back” moments. It’s supporting a friend through a tough time or difficult decision, and even celebrating her successes.

Loyalty is providing friendship when a person needs it most. Or being there when someone needs a little help being put back together.

Responsibility is about each of us owning our actions. It’s about being woman enough to own our screw ups AND our successes! It’s about not making excuses for ourselves. It’s saying, “Yup, I did that;” and learning from our mistakes as well as our achievements to consistently “Seek the Noblest.”

Zetas who truly live this value seek out ways to help friends, neighbors and those who need it most. Service doesn’t just have to mean helping in an organized volunteer project; it can really be about acts of service—of kindness—each and every day. From giving a friend a ride to class…

 to holding the elevator for someone…

kindness goes a long way!

Everyday leadership is about gearing your actions to create positive change in the world around you.

It’s about make decisions for the best interest of others.

Knowing that sometimes, you might be dancing to the beat of your own drum.

And sometimes, it means knowing when to follow, supporting the leadership of another.

When you make a promise, commitment is about follow through. It’s about doing what you say you will do. Showing up when you sign up. Sticking to a goal until you achieve it!

In Zeta Tau Alpha, it means being in it for the long haul, making good on the promise you made as a new member —to be committed to your sisters and to “have the welfare and harmony of the fraternity at heart.” This is for a lifetime, not just four years. Because after all, Zeta Is Forever.


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