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Psychologists often refer to the period of life known as adolescence as

one of the most difficult stages of development that an individual will endure.

It has been stated that adolescence is the time when an individual forms

his/her own sense of identity. A sense of identity is defined as "an organized

sense of how our own personality traits, values, and beliefs fit together in

defining who we are." Therefor, the development of a sense of identity is, in

fact, the basis for a stable adult personality.

Certain responsibilities accompany this development of an identity, such

as the commitments "to oneself, to one's family, to significant others, and to

the various subgroups in society of which one is a member." One's sense of

identity is chronically jeopardized by the difficulty in holding to these

commitments; one important attribute in the retention of these commitments

involves a belief and faith in a given religion. This religion yields a basis

for all decisions that must be made in adolescent life; it forms the moral and

ethical skeleton of an individual, and affects all choices that are made and all

actions that are taken. The students here at Texas Christian University are

faced with difficult choices each and every day, and are in dire need of a

source of higher direction. It is my opinion that a belief in the religion

known as "Kadelphianism" serves as a firm basis for self commitment, peer

commitment, and social commitment, and provides an excellent example of the

correct way to lead one's life.

The religion known as Kadelphianism differs from many conventional

religions due to the fact that it does not actually affect a student until

he/she makes the decision to attend Texas Christian University. Upon making

this decision, each student will immediately begin his transition into the

Kadelphian way. The mythology behind Kadelphianism is quite simple; it is this

simplicity and basic severity of its ideals that makes the religion so

successful. From it's earliest origination in the nineteenth century,

Kadelphianism has exemplified human kindness, friendship, and peer unity. The

earliest Kadelphians formed the religion as a means of uniting the students at

T.C.U. The founding fathers, Robert Tucker Fitzgerald and Edward Pierce Turner,

began the organization based on the belief that Kadelphianism is more than a

ritual or a symbol; they believed it was a way of life. The basic principle

formed by the founders was that of friendship and unity of the students; through

this friendship and unity, an individual is able to develop his/her own sense of

identity and responsibility. The founders believed in unselfish service to

mankind, and they felt that personal leadership requires confidence tempered

with humility and tolerance.

The rituals of Kadelphianism are also quite simple and pure in nature.

With Frog Fountain serving as a center for all activity, the Kadelphian students

meet on a bi-weekly basis; during these meetings there is an opening prayer

session, a candle lighting ceremony, and an open discussion or forum involving

all of the students present. The members discuss private and public issues

which they attempt to resolve through peer support and interaction. After the

forum is complete, the candles are blown out simultaneously, and a closing

prayer is recited. During the ritual ceremony, all Kadelphians wear a small pin

bearing the symbol of Kadelphianism: a diamond shaped badge with the inscribed

letters TCU and a pair of hands clasped in friendship.

The hierarchy of the Kadelphians is based on the leadership and

dedication set forth by its members. The Grand Kadelphian, or leader of the

students, is chosen by majority opinion; the other leading Kadelphians are

chosen by the Grand Kadelphian based on merit, scholarship, and service to

fellow students. It is considered an honor to be chosen by one's peers for any

of the above-mentioned leadership roles, however, every Kadelphian is believed

to be equal and comparable in the religion. The main text, or manual of the

Kadelphians is a small book bearing the diamond shaped symbol of Kadlephianism,

and is known as the Sorgan. It contains the basic beliefs and teachings of

Kadelphianism, and provides the students with the true way to lead their daily

life; the Sorgan also highlights the way all students can support each other and

forms a basis for the development of friendship and unity so important to the

Kadelphian way.

The most representational figures known to the Kadelphians do not come

in the form of gods and goddesses so common to other religions. They are,

instead, mere human beings who, upon the founding of Kadelphianism, exemplified

the beliefs and values set forth by the founding fathers. The first, known only

as Andrew, proved to be the finest example of courage and honesty; today he is

viewed as a superior example of the way a Kadelphian should behave. Secondly,

the woman known only as Sophronia, serves as an example of the patient and

accepting manner that is synonymous with Kadelphianism. Finally, the woman

known as Octavia, provides a model of the qualities of loyalty and friendship

that radiate from every Kadelphian. The figures do not serve as gods or

goddesses to be worshipped; they instead serve as role models by which the

Kadelphians look to for an example on how to fashion their own lives.

It is painfully obvious that the basic principles set forth in

Kadelphianism are rare, or in some cases, completely non-existent throughout the

universities of this nation. Crime rates are at an all time high, drop out

rates are extraordinary, and there is an overall absence of direction and

identity in the students across the world. Perhaps, with the examples set forth

here at Texas Christian University by the Kadelphians, we truly can make a

difference in the moral and ethical beliefs of the young people of the world.

Adolescence is an extremely troubling period of life; without the development of

a true sense of identity, adulthood will prove to be no easier. It is

absolutely necessary to have a firm religious belief that will aid an adolescent

in the choices he/she makes, and the actions he/she takes; I believe that

Kadelphianism is the first step in this pursuit of friendship, unity, and

responsibility that inevitably leads to success here at TCU and in the world


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