Saturday, November 01, 2008

Founder's Day 2008

Brothers,

Greetings on this 107th anniversary of the founding of our fraternity, an opportune time to remember the influence of Sigma Phi Epsilon on our lives.

So many events mark the passage of our time in this world: the attainment of goals like a promotion or graduation, the birth of a child, the finding a lifelong partner, or the passing of a loved one. These events, though they happen to us all at one time or another, are unique in the feelings they produce individually. Consistently, though, we can rely on our brothers to celebrate with us, encourage us, or sustain us through out the journey of life. The companionship we gained through Sigma Phi Epsilon is at the very heart of our life experience. Over the years, many of you have honored me by sharing some of the significant events in your lives and in the last few years I have enjoyed visiting with many of you either here in Toledo or on my travels throughout the country.

The friendships made through the everlasting bonds of our brotherhood are without a doubt its greatest benefit. Nowhere else have we the chance to meet people with such a diversity of skills, philosophies, and life experiences all the while sharing those important basic principles of virtue, diligence, and brotherly love. Of course, sometimes this diversity can lead to misunderstandings and disillusionment. Sometimes our brothers may disappoint us. Sometimes, perhaps, it is we who disappoint. But such is the nature of human interaction. Disappointment, however, can be fleeting, quickly replaced by the joys of our fraternal relationship. We need only take a moment to recall the pleasant memories of our Sigma Phi Epsilon experience. The love within our brotherhood is binding and holy, forever tying us to one another.

Could those twelve men in Richmond 107 years ago have imagined our world as it is today? Our lives can be a cacophony of competing interests. Careers and family can easily overwhelm us. We are pulled in so many directions we forget those small but important parts of our lives. But the lessons of our beloved fraternity are there to lead us through the chaos; an advantage we should be ever mindful of. In virtue, we find strength; through diligence, we endure; and in brotherly love, we become aware of all those things that make life worth living.

Take a moment today to contemplate the part Sigma Phi Epsilon has played in your life. Take time to call a brother, or send him an email, or write him a letter and share your triumphs and tragedies. Whether your time in SigEp is as long as mine or just a few months; whether you're active in the brotherhood today or find yourself detached from the organization; I think you'll find somewhere somehow the fraternity had a positive impact on your life and still can. We are watched over even when we are far apart one from another.

Thanks to Sammy for the thoughts and ideas. I wish you all a happy Founders' Day.

In the Bonds
Rick St. John
Order of the Golden Heart