Less Is More

By Todd, Mary | Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Fall 2019 | Go to article overview

Less Is More


Todd, Mary, Phi Kappa Phi Forum


I didn't grow up in a home with a lot of rules. Our house was a parsonage, situated next door to the church my father served as pastor. Embedded in the family culture was the religious tradition we practiced, but with less emphasis on rule-following than on what our tradition considered the ultimate commandments: love of God and love of neighbor. Honesty was central to what was expected of us - oh, and recognition that any misbehavior by the preacher's kids would reflect poorly on the preacher himself.

It was our mother who had the primary influence, and by the time I came along, she had raised five teenagers, four of them boys. From my father, I learned the importance of being nice; from my mother, I learned the importance of doing my best. Because I believe, with the author of Where the Crawdads Sing, that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, my parents' admonitions remain central to my being.

But neither of those is a rule. They never were. They were instead goals, aspirations, words to live by.

Associations are not families but collectives of like-minded individuals who share a common interest. Most operate with rules. We call them bylaws. The Society is mindful that its bylaws work for the organization and its chapters, each of which has its own bylaws. Society bylaws outline our governance framework, eligibility requirements for membership, expectations for chapters and members, and more. …

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