One of the things I value about Freemasonry is the idea that our Masonic lessons are built upon insights and enlightenment that are truly timeless. An example is the cardinal virtue of fortitude, which is an important part of our Entered Apprentice Degree. We can trace our Masonic teaching of this virtue back to the Greek philosophers, including Aristotle.

Aristotle taught that virtue, as a right behavior, is the middle point between two extremes, which become vices. With the virtue of fortitude, Masons are taught that it is a noble and steady purpose of mind that allows us to face danger when necessary and that it is at an equal distance (the middle point) between rashness and cowardice.

In this health emergency, I try to act and approach each day with fortitude. I recognize that there are dangers, but I try to continue living and doing what needs to be done with reasonable care and caution. I don’t ignore the danger (rashness), but I don’t let it paralyze me with fear either (cowardice). Yes, I wash my hands a lot more than I used to. I practice social distancing. I eat right, get plenty of sleep, and try to get in a good walk each day.

And finally, I work on improving my patience each day, knowing that with time, patience, and perseverance, we will get through this.