When I was into my first year of medical school, a friend urged me to join a fraternity( Beta Gamma Phi) he was already a member of. Knowing quite a bit of why and how fraternities work I was not too enthusiastic about the prospect of becoming a "neophyte". Despite my misgivings I relented partially because of my friend's relentlessnes, and mostly because I thought being in a fraternity would enhance my social standing among peers and superiors alike. I passed the "initiation" process, but barely. I remember crying like a baby when, during one of these initiations, we, the neophytes, had to slap each other's face hard to test how we would endure physical pain inflicted by among others your best friend. When I became a "master", I was asked by the "grand master" to write a prayer that would best capture the central essence of our fraternity. Being part of a "brotherhood" did have its peculiar advantages, but I was mostly concerned about the fraternity being more than a vehicle for one's social advancement. The fraternity unanimously voted to have this prayer as its own.
Bless us Lord, that we may bear TRUST where there is suspicion,
give HONOR where there is shame,
plant seeds of DIGNITY where there is persecution.
Grant us Lord, the way that we may not grope,
the truth that we may not falter,
the life that we may not perish.
Pleading, we your humble servants offer you these supplications,
that with your eyes upon us, we forever remain the
Bearers of Goodwill and Prosperity. Amen.
I paused to think that when I wrote this prayer I was a 19 year old wet behind the ears medical student. Now that I am a 62 year old Pediatrician , and getting closer to my going "gently into that good night", I pause to wonder where did all those years go.
I am being disengenious of course. I know where it all went, but there is really no use blaring one's own horn when the chances of it being heard is sufficiently nil.