This was QUESTION and this is how I answered it.
Brothers, in your own words, what do our principles mean to you? How do you apply them?
This an interesting question for the brothers of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity and it deserved an answer because I feel that many brothers don't fully comprehend the power that is instilled in the 5 stars that create the founding principles and structure of Iota. We should've created this motto to to promote our fraternity "Through the Stars We Build A Greater Community of Black Brothers" because each one of the Stars can stand alone but the five stars united create a unbeatable force that cannot be challenged by any organization. Each day offers one an opportunity to apply each star whether that star is brotherhood, leadership, citizenship, scholarship or fidelity. You see each star is a lifelong journey of to create the excellence needed for our Black communities to prosper. You simply don't stop seeking scholarship just because you no longer are attending an institution of higher learning. Because learning for yourself and others never ends if we want to truly impact our communities. Fidelity is vital to our community and fraternity's building blocks of growth because if one doesn't has the principle of fidelity refined then you cannot develop the faith that is necessary for brothers to depend on each other. Being a outstanding citizen in your community not only builds the image of Iota for those looking in but it also builds the unity for those in looking out. If you work daily on your abilities to lead not only do you become a better more responsible leader but those around you whether they are in the fraternity or now feed off your leadership energies that will hopefully nurture their own leadership abilities. You lead by example and that example can be replicated. Finally, brotherhood must be practiced daily I may disagree with you on issues but I will never lessen the leash that binds us through the principles desired in the star of brotherhood. These are my words and I hope you can comprehend them as they are intended after being involved in Iota Phi Theta Fraternity for nearly 47 years. I understood the need for the motto “Building a Tradition Not Resting Upon Them” it was. A great slogan for a tee shirt but it doesn't build solid foundations necessary for the growth of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. I say this Building Through The Stars To Impact Our Communities creates the foundation for growth and the ability to fulfill the destiny that the founders and the earliest brothers of Iota Phi Theta desired. Those earlier members wanted future brothers to hold fast to the stars because it is through those stars that the pathway to greatness for Iota Phi Theta Fraternity will be achieved. Not many brothers understand the absolute power of the stars united they only see them on the shield or on a shirt but further, inspection is necessary to gain the knowledge necessary to interact with them. I know brothers who pledged during the time I pledged in the 70’s that couldn't comprehend the power of the stars unified. So it isn't something that just happened losing the focus of stars alignment. We simply didn't do a great job in detailing how this alignment should've been incorporated and implemented. Just like the Black Panther Party lost it direction through infiltration and misdirection. Our fraternity has wandered off course. But we can and must put this train back on course because now more than ever our black communities are in desperate for new and forceful directions.