He deserves some time to cool down, and I hope he takes it. However, I know Brother Joe as one of my best friends, and I know his dedication to the craft. I admire his focus and dedication to making the most of his 24-inch gauge. It will be difficult for him to sit on the sidelines, and I know it’s only a matter of time before the offers come pouring in for him to assist here, take the helm there, and be active in whatever is next on his horizon.
There are some lessons we can learn from Worshipful Brother Joe, and observing his work I can only hope to pass these lessons along. Worshipful Brother Joe understands what it means to do what you can and that much of what happens is beyond your control. Sometimes that is frustrating, but putting your best foot forward still accomplishes goals. Maybe the goal wasn’t exactly what was planned, but success follows accomplishment. That’s my paraphrasing, but WB Joe embodies the spirit of getting things accomplished. He won the very first Craftsman Of The Year award our lodge decided to give annually.
Approach life with humor. WB Joe is quick with humor, makes the most of situations, and on the very few times I’ve ever seen him down, he had already started the process of climbing out of the hole of darkness. He had already refocused on the light and how to get back to making the best of the situation. Humor is an attitude, how it applies to you will be different in every situation. My lesson from my Brother Joe is to find the way to levity, even if only a short distraction, in order to keep everything in perspective.
Live within the chaos. We all have chaos in our lives, and WB Joe’s lesson here is understanding that everything has chaos, find a means of structure, and build on it. Maybe the lodge reconstruction isn’t exactly the most organized with tools and materials scattered, but a quick break, a good look around, and tracking down where that hammer went can go a long way toward creating your own mental structure of how that project is progressing. I witnessed Bro. Joe take charge through the chaos many times.
Celebrate your successes. It seems to me to be a natural, but many people don’t stop to celebrate the successes no matter how small the success, nor how small the celebration might be. Worshipful Brother Joe can take a 5-minute breather and celebrate the progress made, and it inspires others around to get more done.
We can all take a moment, as leaders in this fraternity, to understand the above. Many of us already do much of the same in our own ways, and many of us, me included, can benefit from a bit of work toward our attitude and how we approach projects, the lodge, the brethren, and our lives. Be like Joe.