Insights

Short Description

This resource is offered as a way to stimulate reflection about the values of The Phi Kappa Tau
Fraternity.

Target Audience

Any associate member, any officer, any undergraduates and alumni member

Borradaile Challenge or Area of Focus

Membership Orientation, Community Service, Philanthropy

Introduction

This resource is offered as a way to stimulate reflection about the values of The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. There are reflections contained here. Orientation officers may read a reflection as part of the opening of each meeting or as a resource for retreats designed to foster discussion about what it means to uphold the values of our fraternity. Each associate member will find this series of reflections a springboard for his own reflection upon what it means to be a responsible brother of The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. However used, the hoped-for goal is that these reflections will help make each brother, each chapter, and ultimately the whole Fraternity stronger, more responsible and more grounded in the values of Phi Kappa Tau.

Content

Leadership

Anyone can be a leader if someone else is
willing to follow. Effective leadership requires a
worthwhile destination and leaders who believe in
that destination.
… By far the most influential method of
leadership is leading by example. What better way
to show would-be followers that it is not only a
good idea, it is one worth practicing? We must
strive to lead by example in all our endeavors, and
follow only those who would lead us to a
worthwhile destination consistent with the
principles to which we adhere.

Love

Charity comes from the Latin word caritas
which means love.
Authentic love is a movement of the will
outward toward the other. It is wishing for the other
all the best he can have and being willing to do
what one can to help him achieve that.
Authentic love is not foremost an act of the affect.
It is not equal to romance or physical arousal. It is
for this reason that one can accurately say he loves
another person but does not like that other person.
Loving is the act of the will; liking is the affective
part. Ideally one would both love and like the other,
but this doesn't always happen.
With this in mind, each brother can look
within himself and ask whether he loves his parents,
friends, fraternity brothers, teachers.
What would you do or not do so that another
person could attain what is best for him? What
would you do or not do for one whom you don't
like, especially if he is a fraternity brother?

Brotherhood

Foremost in the minds of the members of
this Fraternity is that we are brothers. We state it
often; we celebrate it and proclaim it to others. We
should consider often the wealth of meaning in that
statement that we are brothers.
One of the many facets of brotherhood is the
reality that we must be our brothers' keepers. While
we may be hesitant to tell another what to do or
attempt to restrict his freedom, this is exactly what,
at times, we need to do.
When we want to back away from a brother
who is drinking too much, not studying enough or
headed on some other path of destruction, we
cannot do that if we really mean that we are
brothers.
It's a risk we take when we set out to be our
brother's keeper. It's a risk when we set out to forge
bonds of brotherhood with another. We have taken
that risk; now we must live it's meaning.

Moral Living

Human civilization has witnessed many
forms of moral codes. They have often been rooted
in religious belief. They also come from the
collective wisdom of the human race. While they
can vary from society to society they also have
many aspects in common. These societal moral
codes exercise a significant influence on one's
personal code of conduct.
What is your code for living nobly and
right?
Have you taken the time to clarify for
yourself what your values are? Reflect on what
factors have influenced your values and to what
extent they are valid for your life.
Are there shall and shall nots that you
strive to follow or do you just go with the flow,
deciding on the spur of the moment what you will
or will not do? When the moment is past and you
reflect back do you always find your decision to
have been the best one or do you regret your
actions, wishing you had acted differently?
Take time to explicate your basic
principles and a moral code of conduct that will
guide you. From time to time evaluate your moral
code and adjust it as needed.

Patience

Patience is the virtue that disposes one to
bear up under trials and difficulties. Trials and
difficulties come from many sources. They can
come from other people. Another person's annoying
habits or abrasive personality is one such source.
There are the trials and difficulties that
come from academics. Subjects in which one does
not excel require much patience to persevere and do
one's best.
Especially trying is the situation of limited
finances. One needs patience when he hasn't
enough money to buy something he would like to
have or to enjoy some form of recreation with his
friends.
Difficulties occur through personal
relationships, whether with one's family, friends,
brothers or a girlfriend. The virtue of patience will
help one bear up under the emotional struggle and
pain that occurs.
Patience in any situation will help you bear
up while you try to resolve the trials and difficulties
of your life.

Virtue

Virtue is the habit of doing what is good and
right. A habit is something that is a way of life,
something that occurs spontaneously because it has
been practiced and practiced.
Prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance
have been called the cardinal virtues.
Prudence is the ability to form right judgments
about how to live one's life.
Justice is rendering to each what is his due.
Fortitude is the strength and courage to do what is
right even when it is difficult. Temperance is a
proper control over ones' desires and the proper use
of what pleases one's senses.
Besides these cardinal virtues there are
many others. How are the following reflected in
your life?
filial piety patriotism
obedience truthfulness
liberality patience
humility purity
The practice of these virtues is the measure
of the man you are.

Social Interaction

Human beings are communal by nature. It
takes a whole human community interacting to
provide for each others' needs.
While it is not impossible to go it alone,
most people prefer to enjoy the advantages derived
from living with others in a society.
The drawback of this is that people living in
close contact can fail to understand and appreciate
one another. Conflicts arise. Avoiding them or
resolving them requires a willing spirit of give and
take. It demands a respect for the needs and
property of other people.
The give part of the give and take means
shouldering responsibility and being trustworthy in
daily life.
Above all, living in society and enjoying its
benefits means an on-going development of
personality and social awareness.

Friendship

Friendship should broad and liberal with an
openness to others. Stereotyping people and
prejudging them closes off the benefits that can
arise from a broad and liberal friendship.
When there is a willingness to meet people
and make new acquaintances, the barriers of
prejudice and racism disappear. Where there is
open embracing of people very different from
oneself, new horizons open up.
This broad and liberal acceptance of others
for who they are requires effort. It can even
challenge one's most cherished ideas and opinions.
It will demand a sincere effort to know and
understand other people.
As this understanding deepens it will lead to
a greater willingness to respond sincerely to the
needs of others.
This interaction, in turn, will bring a return
and a mutuality.

Courtesy

The Golden Rule, in one form or another,
has been a handy guide to courtesy in many
cultures.
There are several large books of etiquette on
the market. They contain rules and guidelines for
every possible social situation. These rules range
from things such as putting one's elbows on the
dinner table to the proper protocol for attending
weddings and funerals. While these can be very
helpful at times, the simple principle of the Golden
Rule is the best summary of all of that complexity.
Courtesy is showing respect for the other
person and that person's needs and rights. It is
showing an active concern for the common good
rather than one's individual good. It is what makes
it possible for people to live in the close quarters
necessary for community without killing one
another, figuratively or literally.
Courtesy among the brothers in a chapter
reflects a true spirit of brotherhood. Courtesy in the
house during meals, meetings or recreation makes it
possible for men of many personalities to live
together as brothers.

Temperance

All things in moderation has been a rule of
life for centuries. Excess in one's lifestyle is usually
self-destructive, as anyone who has lived an
intemperate life can attest.
Moderation is called for in action, thought
and feeling. To be moderate is to be well-balanced.
It is to live a balanced life; it is to use the things
around one in a balanced way; it is to have a
healthy balance in interpersonal relationships.
Is there moderation in your life? Do you
handle money in a balanced way, being neither a
spendthrift nor a miser? Is there moderation in your
relationships with others, not being exclusive in
those relationships nor sexually indulgent? Is your
time used in a balanced way so that study, work and
recreation all have their time and place?
Perhaps this appears to lead to a boring life,
with no opportunity for exuberance or frivolity.
Remember that even moderation must be exercised
with moderation.

Democracy

True democratic participation requires one
to maintain an active awareness of the situation
around him. He must take every effort to stay
informed. If the needed information is not
forthcoming, it is his duty to seek it out, not being
satisfied with saying, "Nobody told me."
Voting for issues, one should keep in mind what is
best for the whole group, not just a few members.
The election of officers requires voting for
the best qualified person. Voting for someone out of
friendship or some other, lesser motive does a
disservice to all.
Democracy requires that each person work
for the common good, not only looking at what is in
it for himself. This means taking on responsibility
and faithfully carrying out the tasks involved, even
at the cost of self-sacrifice.

Responsibility

The word, responsibility, suggests that one
has the ability to respond to the people and
situations around him. It connotes a sense of
obligation.
The response and the obligation can be to
the chapter, the school, to one's family, and even to
oneself.
Responsibility requires accountability. A
person is held accountable for properly fulfilling the
obligations he has.
It is all too easy to disclaim responsibility
for one's actions and to blame the circumstances.
The dysfunctional family is an easy whipping boy.
A person says he acts in a dysfunctional way
because he comes from a dysfunctional family.
Recognizing such a situation is not an excuse; it is
the first step in a solution. The responsible person
takes the rest of the steps to control his own life and
behavior.
"I had no other choice," is a frequent
disclaimer. There are always other choices, even if
they seem distasteful. One has simply chosen the
alternative that seems better or less onerous. A
person is always responsible for his choices and his
life.

Faith

The Greek word which is translated into the
English word, faith, is pistis. It goes beyond a mere
acceptance of certain information as true and
reliable fact. It is foremost trust in a person and
then, because of that trust, acceptance of what he
says as true and reliable.
This faith that is trust in the other is usually
used in reference to God but can also be used of
other people.
For example, one has faith in what a
professor teaches because one trusts the professor to
know the subject matter thoroughly. Similarly, one
should be able to have faith in his brothers. Because
he knows each of them well he can trust them.
Because all have sworn to uphold and live the
values of Phi Kappa Tau he can trust them. Because
they are always there for him he can trust them.
Trust among brothers must be mutual. You
can have faith in your fraternal brothers; but, more
importantly, can they have faith in you?

Kindness

Kindness is the disposition to be helpful and
solicitous. There are some who would assert that
kindness is a feminine trait. That is simply untrue.
Kindness is as much a masculine characteristic as a
feminine one. It is an aspect of the Jungian male
archetype of lover. Masculine kindness has a
certain firmness to it and in this it differs from
feminine kindness.
The man who is kind will make himself
available to others. He will be ready to respond to
the needs of others generously, but he will expect
others to take his response seriously.
Kindness in a man makes him forbearing.
He can put up with the quirks and annoying traits of
other people. His forbearance only ends when faced
with true evil in another, for he can never tolerate
evil.
Sympathy is another aspect of kindness. It
means feeling in accord with another, sharing the
feelings of another person. What affects the other
affects oneself.
Kindness among the brothers will make the
chapter house a home where peace and joy abound.

Time management

Proper time management presents a daily
challenge. Even when a person has a plan for the
day, the unexpected can occur and make the
schedule irrelevant. Interesting opportunities that
arise can challenge even the most carefully planned
schedule.
Another challenge is the tedium or boredom
that sticking with a schedule can involve. Only a
firm commitment to carrying out the plan can get a
person through such drudgery.
A careful time management plan, however,
will take account of an individual's personality and
life patterns. It will be realistic, neither expecting
too little nor demanding too much. It will accept his
limitations.
With this kind of time management, a
person will be able to maintain a high standard of
scholarship, carry out his responsibilities in the
chapter and have adequate time for recreation and
relaxation.

Order

In a person's life there exists both order and
chaos. A responsible person strives to maintain
order in his life, even though life's unpredictability
tends to introduce chaos.
Truth is the basis for structuring order, and
truth is conformity with reality. Chaos is the
fragmentation of reality and the disruption of truth.
To build on chaos is to build on a shaky foundation.
Order is often shaken because of the
unexpected that occurs because of things which we
don't fully understand. Circumstances of life
beyond our control can be confusing and disruptive
in our lives. Some of these circumstances are
brought about by other people.
The challenge is to find a solid basis for
order in one's life and then build upon it. In this,
one must avoid the rigid orderliness of the dead.
Rather, there should be an orderliness that is
creative, productive and open to the new an
orderliness that can accept and incorporate change.

Cheerfulness

Cheerfulness is the ability to be pleasant
even when the situation or task is not. As the saying
goes, "Smile and the whole world smiles with you;
weep and you weep alone."
Although it is easy to be cheerful when life
is going well, it requires a certain degree of
maturity and equilibrium not to become despondent
at every bad turn of circumstances. A mature person
knows he cannot have his own way all of the time
but must sometimes give in to others.
Cheerfulness is not the same as a false
heartiness. This is a difficult front to maintain and
extremely annoying to others.
Cheerfulness maintained in difficult
circumstances often passes on to others. This helps
make any burden lighter, any task more agreeable.
It helps to make every effort to make the
best of a difficult situation, to look for the positive
side of things.
It is not the good times that will make you
the man you want to be. It is overcoming the bad
times with cheerfulness that will bring further
maturity.

Hospitality

Hospitality is the art of showing welcome
and generosity to guests. Are you hospitable to
guests? Is the chapter hospitable to guests?
How do you treat the stranger or visitor to
your chapter house, to your room, to your life? Do
you greet him with warmth or give him the cold
shoulder? Do you set aside what you are doing at
the moment and give him your time or do you
ignore him?
When a visitor, either a contemporary or
older person visits he should be received with
welcome and attention. While finding out the
reason for the visit, you shouldn't give the
impression that the visit is an intrusion upon your
already busy and important life.
Aspects of hospitality include the offer of a
chair, some refreshment at least a glass of water
and the assurance that you will find the person the
visitor wishes to see. Hospitality also means the
offer of companionship to the visitor while he
waits.
While this may be an inconvenience to you,
it will make the hospitality you offer during
recruitment the more gracious, natural and
believable.

Meeting The Challenge

Challenge can be enlivening and exciting or
it can be painful and disorienting, calling for a
re-evaluation of one's life and circumstances.
Challenge, accepted and pursued, leads to
growth in knowledge and in personality.
The foremost challenge faced by a student is the
challenge to his intellectual ability. Courses in
subjects for which one does not have a natural
aptitude can end in failure unless he takes up the
challenge and gives it his wholehearted best effort.
Even if he does not do well in the course, he will
know he has done all that was possible and will
have grown from taking up the challenge.
For one who holds an office, there are also
challenges to his leadership. Whatever a leader does
there will always be some who criticize him. There
will be those who are sure they can do the job
better. Maintaining composure in these
circumstances is a challenge that also leads to
personal growth. Such challenges are also
challenges to one's self-image.
A challenge actively embraced leads to
victory.

Fiscal Management

Responsible fiscal management is rarely as
difficult as when one is a college student. Sources
of income are few and expenses can be great. All
the more important, then, is careful fiscal
management.
Whether one's income is from wages,
scholarships, gifts or parental or other relative
support, he should have a well-planned and
balanced budget. In this way he can be more sure of
being able to meet financial obligations and yet still
have the means for recreation. A good budget
should also provide for savings to meet the
unexpected expenses that occur.
At the top of the budget should be dues,
housing fees and any social dues. Picking up one's
share of the expenses of running a chapter is a
matter of true brotherhood. Getting behind in these
payments hurts the other brothers. As a former
executive director of Phi Kappa Tau often said,
"Brotherhood begins when the bills are paid."
When a brother gets behind financially, it is a mark
of true brotherhood to help him out, especially by
helping prepare a budget that will guide him to
good fiscal management.

Integrity

At a very early age we begin learning a set
of values by which we are to live. The learning
process, often a subconscious one, continues
throughout the developmental years. This acquired
set of values may vary somewhat from person to
person, but the principles behind the values are
universal. Truthfulness, honor, respect, and loving
kindness are examples.
A man's integrity is a measure of his
conviction how vehemently he upholds his
morals, his beliefs, his values. To avoid
compromising his integrity, a man may have to
resist relentless temptations or endure seemingly
unnecessary hardship.
A man of questionable character, one whose
integrity is not intact, is neither trustworthy nor
reliable. If he does not remain true to himself, how
can others be expected to believe in him?
Integrity is an indicator of a man's worth.
Only by maintaining his integrity can he truly earn
the honor, respect and trust of others.

Goals

Setting goals is a way one can become all he
is capable of being. These goals, then, must seem to
exceed one's reach, not being limited to what one
thinks he can do but extending toward that of which
he thinks himself incapable.
First determine the long-range goals.
Determine who you want to be, what you want to
accomplish. Review these goals from time to time
and adjust them as the circumstances of your life
change.
Based on your long-range goals, make a list
of objectives that will help you attain those goals.
Finally, make a plan of action for the coming year.
This plan will be the detailed means for working
toward your objectives day by day.
Expect to implement your plan. Expect to
obtain most of your objectives. If you accomplish
your goals, you will know that they were too small.
You will know that you are capable of much more,
so choose new goals. In the words of authoress J.
K. Rowling, "It is our choices, … far more than our
abilities, that show us who we really are."

Study to Learn

Some students study simply to pass tests and
exams; others study to learn for life. Which is the
true way to acquire knowledge?
The commonly-heard question, "Will this be
on the exam?" shows an attitude that learning is
only for the moment, that the only point of going to
college is to get a degree so that one can get a good
job.
A true student who desires knowledge for its
own sake will be driven by insatiable curiosity. He
won't limit himself to what's in the textbooks but
will search further in the library, on the Internet,
with his professors, to know and understand more
of the subject.
A good student doesn't compartmentalize
his courses but looks for interrelationships and
connections between one subject and another. This
cross-learning is analogous to cross-training in
athletics. It's the process of learning to learn, of
learning for life, not just for the exam.

The Common Good

In a culture that places a priority on the
rights of the individual, the common good often
gets subordinated or lost. People are quick to claim
their rights, their personal freedom.
What about the common good? What about
advancing the best interests of the fraternity rather
than one's own personal best interests? A chapter in
which every brother is out for himself cannot last
long as a brotherhood. At best it will become a
boarding house; at worst it will become a place of
tension and stress.
When one sacrifices his personal interests or
gain to advance the interests of the chapter or the
national fraternity, the college or the university, he
acts in a most noble way. Laying down one's life
for one's friends has long been considered a
virtuous path. Laying down one's life for others is
expressed in many ways other than physical death.
In a healthy chapter there is a balance between the
good of the individual and the good of the chapter.

Obedience

For one to be obedient implies that there is
some authority and that the authority has a right to
expect compliance with its dictates.
This authority may be the constitutions and
by-laws of our fraternity, the national officers or the
local officers. It can be school authorities, civil
authorities, parental or religious authorities.
Whatever the authority, the expectations of
compliance must be rational. No one is ever bound
to obey what is irrational. These dictates must also
be consistent with good morals as one's conscience
informs him.
Obedience to legitimate authority promotes
the common good and helps maintain good order in
a society. It can be a necessary aspect of arriving at
some common goal for a society, such as a
fraternity, family, college or country.
Obedience to lawful authority should be the
norm for one's life. Disobedience can be
appropriate at times, but only after careful
reflection and self-evaluation to be sure of the
propriety of such a course of action.

Success

What are your criteria for success? What
accomplishment will let you know that you have
been successful, that you are a success? Are there
short-term and long-term criteria in your life?
For some people it is acquiring a certain
amount of money or net worth. For some it is in
obtaining a certain position in a chosen career.
Others consider themselves successful when they
know they have great influence over the lives of
other people. For some, success is measured by the
degree of happiness they have at any given time.
Achieving one's goals is still another possible
measure of success.
Whatever your criteria for success, how will
you achieve that success? What will you do or not
do in striving to obtain success? Are there limits to
what you consider appropriate means to achieve
success?
Think carefully. How you define success
and what you are willing to do to obtain it tell
others a great deal about the person you are.

Code of Values

Make a list of the things you value most; put
them in order of importance in your life. Put a
checkmark in front of those you have given
attention at least once in the past week. Now put an
"x" in front of those you have given attention at
least once in the past month. Now put a plus sign in
front of those you have given attention at least once
in the past year. Do your stated values match your
lived values?
If not, reflect upon what your true values
are, as evidenced by your list. Are there things you
give a great deal of attention but are not on your
list? Why aren't they there? Where did you get the
values you listed? Are they truly your own or have
they been imposed by others but never embraced by
you?
Revise your list to reflect your actual lived
values. Are you happy with this list? If not, what are
you going to do about it?

Cooperation

Teamwork in the chapter is essential for a
good chapter. Even for those who like to go it
alone, the cooperation of others makes a task easier
and more enjoyable. It also brings the energy and
creativity of others to the task. Thus the result will
be better than if only one person carried it out.
The good leader is not concerned that all
who work together for a job well done will get
credit and not just himself. He knows that he will
stand out all the more as a leader because he has
catalyzed the cooperation needed to accomplish the
task with the best result possible.
A second aspect of this teamwork is the
willingness to lend a hand when called upon. It's
easy enough to say that it's not your job, or that you
never get cooperation from anyone else so why
should you cooperate with others. Is this the way to
have an outstanding chapter and fraternal
experience?
Whether the leader or a member of the
group, the willingness to cooperate as a team will
show one's true character.

Honor

The signers of the Declaration of
Independence pledged their sacred honor to the
cause they espoused. What is this honor?
Think of those whom you consider to be
people of honor and those whom you deem
dishonorable.
The man of honor has integrity of person.
He claims to be reliable for doing good and he is
who he says he is. People can rely on him to do
what he says he will do. They can trust him because
they know he lives rightly. He is a virtuous person,
showing forth good qualities and demonstrating
high morals.
One does not accept the pledge of a thief
who pledges on his honor. Accepting the pledge of
one who pledges on his honor as a man means that
his dependability comes from his very manhood
itself. It calls forth the best and noblest that he can
be. It means manhood worthy of the name requires
righteous living. This is the foundation for the
sanctity of such an oath.

Life Journey

All of life is a journey with a destination of
self-realization. The destination is the achievement
of the excellence for which one strives as an
individual. The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity strives for
self-realization and excellence as a brotherhood.
As any journey, life's journey can become
wearisome. It is challenging at times, disappointing
at times. Hardship is part of a journey, too.
To be on a journey is to have left one place
for another. The destination is usually better in
some way than the point of departure.
Any journey requires the proper baggage
and life's journey is no exception. The baggage may
be the help of true friends and brothers. Certainly it
requires accepting directions from those who have
been where you are going. Having a good road map
a life plan is essential to staying on course. The
compass is a sense of right and wrong.
No matter how hard the journey may be at
times it must continue. To stop is to stagnate as a
person.

Courage

Courage is the ability to persevere to the end
no matter what difficulties, hardships or fear may
arise.
It may be the courage to carry out the duties
of an office in the chapter or complete a job, even
when you don't feel up to the task.
Perhaps it's the courage to stick it out in a
difficult or challenging class. Have the will and the
fortitude not to withdraw from the course, but to
spend all of the time and energy necessary to pass,
even if that means a lot of self-sacrifice.
There is also the courage to stand up for
what you believe, to live according to your
principles. This is especially true when you face
opposition or ridicule.
It takes a particular type of courage to
maintain a relationship, even in the difficult times.
It also take courage to sever a relationship when it
is apparent that that has become necessary.
Courage, then, is about much more than
physical bravery. It is the effort necessary to do
what is needed, regardless of the difficulty of the
task.

Knowledge

Acquiring knowledge is the primary task of
any student. As good as that is, there is more to
knowledge than a mere stockpiling of facts.
Retaining that knowledge is what leads to wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to use one's knowledge to
live life more effectively, more fully, more
enjoyably.
When you study, do you simply store up
information to call up again for a test or exam? Do
you look at the bigger picture and try to apply that
knowledge to life so to acquire wisdom? Do you
seek to use your knowledge to live your life more
effectively?
The knowledge that one gains must be
related to the real world and life in that world. True
knowledge is much more than information. It is the
tool for a better understanding of life and the world
outside of oneself.

Self Knowledge

The ancient philosophers admonished,
"Know thyself."
How well do you know yourself? Perhaps at
times you find that you overestimate yourself and at
other times you underestimate yourself. You don't
have a clear picture of who you are as a person.
Write a self-description, then have a couple
of friends each write a description of you. If they
don't match, reflect on those points that differ. If
you find that you see yourself differently from your
friends, imagine how your enemies see you.
Think of the times when you have surprised
yourself, either at how well you have acted or how
badly. The better you know yourself, the fewer
surprises there will be.
Knowing oneself requires the time for silent,
honest introspection. It means taking others'
criticisms of you seriously enough to evaluate them
as objectively as possible. When your behavior
surprises you, it should be another occasion for
self-reflection and evaluation. You can never stop
gaining insight into yourself.

Self Denial

Anything worthwhile has its price. That
price usually involves denying oneself one thing in
order to gain another. No pain, no gain is a popular
phrase that puts one on alert that some sort of
hardship is often the price for achieving something
of value. One denies himself certain foods to be
healthier or he may give up a weekend of rest and
recreation to study to get a good grade. Sometimes
one denies himself in order to foster a relationship
with someone else.
Living as a brother of Phi Kappa Tau
involves many kinds of self-denial for the sake of
the brotherhood. The denial may be financial so
that there is money for dues. It may be denying
oneself some recreation so that the time can be used
for study, thus increasing the chapter's grade point
average. One may sacrifice his time so that he can
work on a project with the rest of his brothers for
the good of the chapter.
If it's worth having, it's worth the price of
self-denial.

Truth

What is truth? This is the question of the
philosopher. Truth is conformity to reality. Truth is
absolute, never relative. There is one truth, and only
one truth, for all people.
Disagreements arise among people because
they perceive reality in different ways and,
therefore, have differing perceptions of what the
truth is. These disputes should bring about
collaboration in the search for truth, not intolerance
of one another.
Recall the story of the blind men and the
elephant. Each man thought he had the whole truth
about the elephant, but each one had only a small
portion of the truth. Together, however, they could
arrive at a true understanding of what an elephant
is.
While remaining firm in our convictions, we
can still remain open to the insights of others. These
insights will lead us to a deeper appreciation of the
truth we already know and open us up to that which
we don't know.
Only on solid truth can there be a foundation
for building our existence.

Service

The principles of The Phi Kappa Fraternity
call each brother to a life of service. Serving others
is not always easy. It can demand serious
self-sacrifice made for the sake of others. That
sacrifice may be time or money or talent; it may be
great or small, but it is always there.
Each person has his own plans, projects or business
to attend and being at the service of others can
interfere with that.
Service, however, means going out of one's
way for the sake of another. It can involve
inconvenience, even grave inconvenience, to
oneself.
The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity has adopted
Paul Newman's Hole-in-the-Wall Gang camps as its
national philanthropy. Being of service to this noble
cause will take time, it may take the effort of
serving on a camp staff, but it is worth it it is an
important part of what being a Phi Tau means.

Human Dignity

No one has the right to treat another person
in a negative or disparaging way. It matters not
what the other person's cultural background, racial
mix, religious beliefs or physical appearance may
be. All people deserve the respect of their dignity as
human beings. We may not like another person, but
we must treat that person with the respect and
dignity with which the Creator has endowed him.
Respecting another's human dignity means
not infringing on his rights. Those rights include the
right to freedom, to living life according to his inner
voice, to pursuing happiness as he understands it.
No matter who the person is, or what his
station in life, each person has the right to his
dignity as a human being created in the image of
God.

Best Practices

This can be read to the Associate members before or after each meeting. It can also be read by the Chaplain or President before or after every meeting.

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