From the Grand Master …

Noah Reuben, a student at the University of Rochester, wrote for an article in the New York Times (2020/09/17):

This has not been a good year. We have faced a global pandemic that threatens us as a species. I, in America, have been forced to grapple with our original sin, slavery, which has haunted our country since its founding. Hundreds of students have had to change the way they learn.

It has not been a good year. I have found my record of these times defined by absence. In my senior speech I wrote for my high school that no one will ever hear. In the pictures I have on my phone of Times Square, empty for what will probably be the only instance in my lifetime. This year has challenged me in so many ways.

However, I have found solace from the sickly absence which has haunted my year in a quote from a comic book called “The Sandman” by Neil Gaiman, “It’s astonishing how much trouble one can get oneself into if one works at it. And astonishing how much trouble on can get oneself out of if one simply assumes that everything will, somehow or other, work out for the best.” I will continue to assume that everything will, in fact, work out for the best. It is hope that fills the absences in my life. I have found myself becoming more hopeful. I have found myself looking forward to what is to come.

As freshman in college, I find myself looking forward to the uncertainty that the next couple of years will bring as I find the certainty of uncertainty, in a strange way, comforting. I know that I am changing, and all I can hope for is that I am changing for the better.

Brethren, I do not know if this young man is a Mason (yet) but he shows the character of one we would welcome into our Craft. Yes, he makes references to things some would think odd: comic books and pictures on his phone. But he also espouses things with which we, as Masons, are very familiar: writing speeches, striving to become a better man, and trust in Divine Providence. One might say he is a model candidate.

January is named after Janus, the Roman god of gateways. He had two faces: one looking back and one looking forward. And so January is a time when we take stock; we look back at the past year, and we look forward, with uncertainty, through the gateway to the new year. Whatever befalls us, let us act as the dictates of right reason prompt us, cultivate harmony, practice charity, and live in peace with all men.

David J. Cameron, Grand Master

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