What does it mean to be fraternal? Why isn’t there a gender-neutral term for fraternity or sorority?
Si Vales, Valeo
Someone said to me today that there is little they wouldn’t do for their Brothers and Sisters in this Clan we call OTK. It isn’t something that most people think about on a conscious level. If someone needs help, and a Brother or Sister can help, then they do.
In OTK, we have all taken the same oaths. The oaths have multi-faceted, multi-layered statements that are not mere metaphors to us. Someone calls you at 2 AM on a work night, and tells you they need you, or maybe you are at a party or a family event: If it is humanly possible for a person to do so, you must go. If someone needs to talk about something no one else can ever know, you should be there for them and keep their secrets. Do you need to always agree with someone to help? No, but….
When you disagree, do so to each other’s face. We don’t find out through the grapevine, nor do we involve other people in the drama. It is a one-on-one event behind closed doors event. If you are in the right and are attacked physically or otherwise, a Brother or Sister will fight side by side with you to make sure that you walk away with no worse for wear. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty, no matter how old you are. You can debate about the specifics later… over a coffee, beer or a stiff drink, depending on how things go.
And if you are angry with a Brother and Sister, wait until your anger has passed and extend the hand of troth. Admit mistakes. Admit fault when you are responsible. You will never receive reconciliation if you aren’t willing to own up.
If someone speaks behind a Sibling’s back, embarrass them for being cowards so that they will think twice before doing it again, to you or to someone else. When you cry, a Brother will cry with you, and be there to laugh with you. Make fun of you when you make an ass of yourself… in private. We do this because when we call you Brother or Sister, we are really saying that you are one of ours.
As I have said many times before, most people will never know what it is to be truly loved and respected. For the few, there is no better place to be than working together toward some common goal. The unattainable goal is fun. There is nothing like seeing how big a ripple a person can make on the world. But even if the sole motivation is to be surrounded by exceptional individuals, it is a worthwhile endeavor.
Fraternal Love, Brotherhood, Respect, and Loyalty are a mystery to many… dare I say most. If you do not know the initiated meanings of those words, there is no reason to ever think you could possibly understand why we do what we do and why we are who we are.