One of my favorite quotes of all time is from President and Brother Theodore Roosevelt. During a 1910 speech in France entitled “Citizenship in a Republic,” he said:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
While these words always seem to push me to do better, they are especially poignant in a crisis. There are Brothers and non-Brothers alike who are providing vital services for our nation and the world, but not everyone can serve so actively. So, for everyone out there who wants to get involved but doesn’t know how, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight other ways you can utilize this time to “step into the arena” and help as our nation continues to fight this COID-19 epidemic.
As Masons, we look to serve. We serve each other, our communities, and the world. Every year, Masons give millions to charities and donation countless hours of their time volunteering. It is at the core of our being “good and true”. That is needed now, more than ever, and everyone, from the newest Entered Apprentice to the most senior Past Master, can participate.