My Dear Brethren,
The Gold Token symbolizes the acknowledgement and approbation of our brethren for 50 years of labor in the quarries. We might be tempted to think of Gold Token Night as the peak of one’s success as a Mason, but Gold Token recipients know that, in reality, we stand on the shoulders of all those who came before us – and each new class of Entered Apprentices begins the journey standing on our shoulders. We always have much work ahead of us in shaping the next generation.
On the topic of success, a dear friend and brother gave me a beautiful piece of inspirational wall art. It is an image of an iceberg, most of which is, of course, submerged. The top portion is brilliant in the sunlight with the word “SUCCESS”superimposed across it. Beneath the waterline, the bulk of the shadowy, silent behemoth displays its own list of interesting words: “Hard Work,” “Growth Mindset,” “Persistence,” “Rejection,” “Sacrifice,” “Discipline,” “Criticism,” “Doubt,” “Failure,” and “Risk.” Upon reflection, the message becomes clear: the prerequisites and underpinnings of SUCCESS are not always apparent, but they are there nonetheless, and we have to be willing to personally experience them before we can get to the metaphorical
bright and shiny tip of the iceberg where victory awaits. And if a certain amount of perseverance is necessary before we can attain our goals, so should we remember to be patient with our brethren, who we may assume are also striving to attain theirs.
Our ancient brethren erected beautiful and lasting physical structures. We speculative Masons labor to build spiritual temples, i.e., our minds. And while our Masonic tools and goals are intangible, the obstacles we encounter on the path to enlightenment are very real. Vincit qui se vincit. He conquers who conquers himself.
Sincerely and Fraternally Yours,
Vito J. Petitti