One of the first things which you are exposed to and learn when you become is Soroptimist is the Soroptimist Pledge. We may take varying times to eventually learn all of the words, but after sometime it becomes like second nature and we are able to rattle it off without even a second thought. However, I want to take a moment to reflect on some of the words and phrases contained within this pledge and to encourage us to truly recommit ourselves to them.
The sincerity of friendship
Many of us join the organization as Soroptimists and quickly evolve into friends. I can definitely attest to this being my experience as many of my Soroptimist friends are now my lifelong friends. We’ve shared in each other’s joys, sorrows and all the in-betweens. Without a doubt this has been one of the main positive features of Soroptimism throughout the years, as not only do we develop great friendships within our own clubs, but we also develop worldwide friendships through club friendship links, conferences and other activities. It’s no secret that this element of Soroptimism may have been the most tested over the last year but I can certainly say that it has brought out a level of creativity that we could never have imagined. We have seen Virtual Celebrations of varying kinds from birthday parties, tea afternoons, baby showers, conference and even Virtual Friendship Days. While we may have missed the hugs and other forms of physical interaction, we were still able to maintain the true sincerity of these friendships and expand even more as the virtual world does have the benefit of allowing so many more of us to be part of events that we may have been hindered from usually.
The joy of achievement
Well let’s start here by recognizing the fact that we are actually celebrating our Centenary year! I can’t think of a better achievement than that which we can choose to focus on and celebrate. We are also celebrating the “Who is She” campaign, where we have been able to read and share in the amazing stories of Soroptimist women worldwide who have made tremendous contributions to the lives and development of women and girls. This is the true essence of celebrating the great joy of achievement!
The dignity of service
Our service to women and girls is the backbone and lifeblood of Soroptimism, and is usually our main area of focus. While the pandemic may have affected our ability to be as hands-on in our communities as we may have liked, it surely didn’t stop clubs from stepping up to the plate to serve in any way possible. We have seen everything from the production of masks, donation of devices and even food hampers, which may have been seen as simple acts, but would have gone an extremely long way to serve the women and girls in our communities. We have been able to show our creativity and flexibility by facilitating virtual education projects and ensuring that the true dignity of our service was not affected.
The integrity of profession
Many Soroptimists worldwide are frontline workers as well as educators who have been immensely stretched to the limit in the fight against this pandemic. This would have tested our time with our families, friends, and even time previously given to our club work. However, despite this, we have seen a high number of projects uploaded to the database, which shows that we did not allow our increasingly demanding roles within our lives to affect our focus and what we do. This is the integrity of profession!
The love of country
I think it’s safe to say that all of the above ties together to emulate this final feature. Every little bit that we have individually done, especially over the last year, has contributed in some little way to preserving our own lives and the lives of our fellow citizens.
Therefore, as we continue to move forward as an organization, even amidst our challenges, let us always come back to these principles and be reminded of our commitment to them. Let’s focus on the friendships, on celebrating the achievements and most importantly on maintaining the dignity of our service for this is what makes us Soroptimists!
SIGBI Director of Membership