In the Constitution of Junior Chamber International, it says that the purposes of the Jaycees shall be inspired by the Creed.
The Creed was adopted in 1947 to indicate to all members a set of principles that they must believe in. Hence, all members are asked to subscribe to the Creed when they are inducted to show that they accept certain principles and standards as part of their life.
Each Jaycee has the responsibility to learn the meaning of the Creed, to understand it, and, above all, practice its principles. Jaycee membership should not be taken lightly and our Creed adds a purpose to belonging.
This moving declaration of principles was composed by Bill Brownfield, who was so inspired by the spirit and ideals of the Jaycees after attending his first National Convention in 1946 that he wanted to convey what the group stood for.
Cool trivia: The Jaycee Creed was put to paper in a car parked just west of Junction City, Ohio. Brownfield consciously rejected the idea of mentioning God in the Creed as the Jaycees were not a sectarian organization but included men of all faiths.
Here is a brief explanation of the Creed, though its meaning seems to deepen as the years go by:
THAT FAITH IN GOD GIVES MEANING AND PURPOSE TO HUMAN LIFE
- This organization shall refrain from sectarian or religious activities. The concept of “God” in the context of the JCI Creed is to be interpreted according to one’s own religious belief.
- Brownfield interpreted it in this way: “The Junior Chamber membership, drawn from many religious backgrounds, is united by a common bond of faith; that man lives by the will of (his/her) God, that God’s will for man is good; and that the life worthwhile is lived in harmony with His eternal plan.”
THAT THE BROTHERHOOD OF MEN TRANSCENDS THE SOVEREIGNTY OF NATIONS
- That more can be accomplished toward world peace by appreciating and acknowledging the race, colors and creed of all people, than by building individual nations into ones full of power to be feared by others.
- Brownfield put it this way: “Man-made boundaries have been drawn and redrawn, separating the human race into many nations. But across these unnatural divisions there has been an intercourse in art, science, commerce and religion; evidence of man’s universal brotherhood; proof that man himself, not his territorial divisions, is of basic worth.”
THAT ECONOMIC JUSTICE CAN BEST BE WON BY FREE MEN THROUGH FREE ENTERPRISE
- This association shall refrain from any partisan political activity. The expression “Free Enterprise” is to be interpreted as: expressing faith in the sanctity of freedom; proclaiming belief in the basic nobility of human life; protecting the right of the individual to live in dignity; and providing for each individual the opportunity to develop his or her maximum potential within his/her own society.
- That no man can be truly free unless he is free from economic bondage
- Brownfield expressed it this way: “Where economic improvement has been greatest, man has been free to follow his dream of making a personal fortune by doing something never done before, or by doing it better.” He also said, “the system of self development through private enterprise could be adapted with variations to suit local conditions in many parts of the world.”
THAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE OF LAWS RATHER THAN OF MEN
- That rule of the people through the people’s representatives who govern by the people’s law is the only way for a nation to prosper.
- Brownfield expressed the meaning this way: “In a free society, the fundamental law is derived from the people. It is they who hold the final authority.”
THAT EARTH’S GREAT TREASURE LIES IN HUMAN PERSONALITY
- The development of leaders is the Jaycees’ primary objective. This is based on the firm belief that leadership is learned through active participation in internal and external activities.
- Brownfield’s views on this line are: “True treasure lies in the hearts of men. There is about us a vast field of opportunity for cultivation of the human personality. It is not the quantity nor the length of life that gives it zest, but the quality of living, the achievement we make in terms of human progress.”
THAT SERVICE TO HUMANITY IS THE BEST WORK OF LIFE
- That by dispelling selfish thoughts from the mind and devoting life to the betterment of the community, we will play a large role in making this world of ours a much better place in which to live.