My Dear Brethren,
I still remember the college professor who taught Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. He was careful not to present biological evolution as a system whereby the various species grow tails, lungs, or opposable thumbs as a solution to a changing environment. Instead, he stressed that evolution, which has no set schedule or time limit, consists of a series of random mutations. A species survives or not depending upon its ability to adapt its mutation to the world. To apply a well-worn metaphor, we play the cards we are dealt.
The subject of balance in all things is a favorite of mine because it describes the daily struggle to give each important thing in our lives its rightful amount of attention. Far from being a passive process, we must labor to strike the perfect balance between work and play, family and friends, Blue Lodge and our favorite appendant bodies, etc. Of course, the “perfect” balance is situationally dependent, which makes it difficult to quantify. To paraphrase a certain Supreme Court justice (in a completely different context), “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.” For me, the world just feels right when I’m properly allocating my time and energy. I also know instinctively that when I am feeling dissatisfied with some aspect of my life, there is an imbalance to be attended to.
Finally, let us remember to balance our attention to the esoteric part of our Craft, i.e., the “secret” knowledge, with the exoteric. In other words, we must pay as much attention to the public face of our institution as we do to its hidden aspects. This is how we will continue to attract good men and future leaders of our great Fraternity.
Sincerely and Fraternally Yours,
Vito J. Petitti