At one of our Kappa Delta meetings this past semester, we watched our organization’s national president Beth Martin Langford’s keynote address from the 2013 National Collegiate Training Academy as part of our PACE workshop. (PACE is a philosophy Kappa Delta endorses, standing for: Personal Presence, Attitude & Academics, Communication, and Enlarging our World). It was a more powerful speech than I had remembered from attending the conference. The speech is titled As a KD Thinketh, and it emphasizes the importance of living up to our potentials and using our leadersip skills to express KD’s values. Langford bolsters her points with an old prophecy—As a Woman Thinketh, so is She, as well as 1 Timothy 4:12, 14. She so gracefully holds us accountable and inspires me to be, think, and achieve those things that are honorable, beautiful, and highest.
honorable: characterized by integrity; guided by a high sense of honor and duty (Merriam-Webster) .
Honor is one of my most beloved values. Integrity-drive actions reside deeply with me: I love when good triumphs evil, and if I weren’t a muggle, I’d surely be a Gryffindor. While I enjoy the romantic depiction of honor and glory, it sometimes seems too fantastic a notion to exist in my mundane life. I am very fortunate for all that I have; however, I am consumed by school and work. I do not sit at a round table. I sit at a desk filled will forms to be completed and presentations to be created. I do not save my school from a dark wizard. I save my GPA from a dark letter. How does someone so ordinary aspire to be honorable? 1 Timothy 4:12, 14 states,
12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity…14Do not neglect your gift…
Is setting a good example despite how others view me not honorable? Honor is achievable in mundane life, but it requires attention.
beautiful: of a very high standard; excellent (Merriam-Webster).
Life’s beauty is different for every person. For me, beauty is a genuine smile (complete with a scrunched nose), white space on my calendar, or the chilly, buzzing feeling I get when I walk outside on a spring morning. The pleasurable things in life are beautiful. Yet, I view my pleasures as distractions that can only guiltlessly be enjoyed once every assignment has been submitted, every document has been filed, and every task on my to-do list has a check mark next to it. But here is a novel thought: what if I gave myself permission to enjoy life’s beauty regardless of my lists? Langford brings out her favorite coffee mug during the address. It says, “ Do what you like, and like what you do.” How laissez-faire of this mug! But maybe it is on to something. Langford explains that while the mug’s message may seem self-centered, it really isn’t if we base our pleasures on our values (e.g. honor!). It is important to prioritize and do the work hard, but what is the point if we don’t pause to enjoy what is beautiful?
highest: lofty or exalted in quality or character (Merriam-Webster).
I often push myself for higher grades, higher productivity, higher standards, and so on. I have never consciously striven for higher thoughts though. Sure, I sometimes try to “think positive,” but in general, I treat my mind as my secret dumping ground for negativity, jealousy, and other ugly traits. Langford points out that our minds are precious, so why do we litter them with such lowly thoughts? After all, As a Woman Thinketh, so is She. I believe that if I strive to have better, higher thoughts, then I will see better and higher results as well. It is so easy to think that silence of an impure tongue is good enough; however, I am going to challenge myself to thoughts more exalted in character.
I am so glad I listened to this speech again. Beth Martin Langford is such an empowering person with an inspiring message to women. I encourage you to give her keynote a listen: