Bay Light Blog

General Education

27
May

Brotherhood in the 21’st Century

Photo Credit: Tiffany Roberts Photography- Lodge Veritas
No. 556 Officer Installation

Guest Contributor: Bro. Byron J. Collier

As Freemasons we pride ourselves on the antiquity and history of the Craft, but will our ceremonies and ritual in and of themselves be enough to satisfy future generations? The future will demand a better understanding of what it really means to be a Mason through better knowing ourselves and practicing those principles we have all vowed to uphold in our oaths or obligations. I further believe that the silent example of men with integrity who display the moral and social virtues of good men, and who do the right thing for righteousness sake, will prevail and fill the societal gaps created in this new age.

In order for our fraternity to not only survive, but thrive, we must make the welcoming of new members and retention of existing brethren an important part of what we do in Lodge. The experiences of an Entered Apprentice’s and Fellowcraft’s first few months, and a new Master Mason’s first years will determine how they view Freemasonry for the rest of their lives. This is why commitment to mentoring and the sustaining of fellowship is relevant, now more than ever. I believe our Lodges should strive for better masons rather than more Masons.

There’s an old story about a man who was considering offering himself as a candidate to Freemasonry. He selected one of the two Lodges in his local area. After he was made a Freemason a friend asked why he had selected his particular Lodge. His reply was that after interviews with officers from the two Lodges, his selection was easy because one Lodge was very interested in him as a candidate while the other was interested in him as a brother. Which do you think he chose?

Although we make our meetings more interesting by social events and Masonic education, the driving force that brings Masons together is our fellowship when we meet; whether at Lodge meetings or by chance encounters on the street. It does not take very long for a new Mason to realize that he can expect to form new friendships for the rest of his life. However, one of the major dangers comes when the “newness” of the Masonic experience begins to wear off. When a man’s attendance becomes irregular or he stops coming to Lodge it suggests that: 1) his priorities have changed, 2) he is becoming overwhelmed with Lodge duties, or 3) something has changed in his life. In order to find out what has changed for the brother, we must be willing and able to engage in open and frank dialogue.

To get to the point of honest and open conversation with our Masonic Brethren we must be closer. We must make a concerted effort to elicit the views and feelings of all members, not just a few. Therefore, if the formality of a lodge meeting impedes input from some members we must recognize that and solicit their opinions at less formal meetings or by one-on-one discussions. It is important that every Brother feel that he is not left out, that the Lodge welcomes his views, and that “has had his say.”

One of the more common pitfalls that we must be careful to avoid, is just associating with our perceived like-minded Masons, for we can create what appears to be “cliques.” I say perceived because sometimes we don’t spend enough time to fully understand all of our brethren. They may be like-minded more than we realize!

Finally and most importantly, we must practice openness and tolerance. Openness to feel free to discuss delicate issues, human issues that are important to making and keeping good relationships. Because we are all different, each of us comes from different backgrounds and each of us think and act differently; therefore, we must get to know one another sufficiently so that we can converse on a level that will promote friendship and at the same time avoid discord. We must also assume an attitude that is completely tolerant of the views and ideas of our fellow Brethren. We may feel that their idea or point of view is wrong, but we must recognize that they have their own reasons for their expressions, and it is not our lot to judge them for that. As people we all say and do things that later we wish we could take back. Well, we can openly try to take them back by being honest with ourselves and try to right those wrongs and to quickly and easily forgive those transgressions by others. I daresay we all know brethren of the Craft who for one reason or another are in some level of emotional dispute with other Masons. Are these disputes really important in the grand scheme of things? I truly believe that good honest discussion would make most disputes non-existent. We each must learn to seek out and accept admonitions and whispers of good counsel from others, and at the very least have some accordance by “agreeing to disagree.”

I ask you to consider and to practice that openness, tolerance and to express a genuine interest in your fellow Freemason, the man you call Brother.

Re-Published, by permission of/from The Laudable Pursuit.

18
Jan

Fraternalism–The Lost Word in Charity

GENERAL EDUCATION
BY: ROBERT G. DAVIS, 33*, GRAND CROSS

Any study of the beginnings of Freemasonry will clearly show that fraternalism was the first and most distinguishing characteristic of Masons and Masonry. We are, above everything else, our own brother’s keeper. This has been the raison d’ etre which distinguishes us from all other groups.

Masonic charity, in its original terminology, meant fraternal, or private, charity—and is represented by the meaning of Brotherly Love and Relief in the great Masonic triad of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. It is “the cement which unites us into one common band, or society, of friends and brothers.”

Our obligations are obligations we have taken on behalf of each other. Our moral, social and financial duties are first and foremost to our brothers, their family members and survivors. In the ties and duties we received at the altar of Masonry we swore “to help with generous care all those in sorrow hidden; the brother on the darkened square….while tears gush forth unbidden ”

The admonition we get from the lodge Master in his opening charge, “let us be happy ourselves,”has everything to do with our kindness and brotherly affection toward each other. We are reminded of this again in the installation of officers: “we have one aim; to please each other and unite in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness.”

Until the Shrine of North America institutionalized Masonic charity in 1922 by introducing an outside cause into Masonry, Masons always took care of their brothers and families first. They understood the traditional meaning of fraternity and fraternalism.

But institutional charity was appealing. It felt good to help others outside the lodge, and even better when that effort was directed at mitigating childhood misfortune. So, on the coattails of the good publicity the Shrine received nationally, we decided to move our charitable hearts beyond the confines of our lodges. It didn’t happen all at once; like some passing fad. It was a one lodge at a time inspiration which just kept growing across the landscape of communities.

Of course, it wasn’t long until the Masons also discovered it was much easier to tell their friends about Masonry by pointing to what we did, rather than explain what we were. Too, it was much easier for the public to discover and accept us when we were doing things they could see, rather than wonder what we were up to behind our closed doors.

By the 1950’s, this public charity thing had become an exciting partnership for all Bodies of Masonry. It felt good. It was convenient.

We should have known where all this would take us; but we didn’t pay much attention. As our lodges continued to grow in numbers, it became more difficult to stay intimately connected with every lodge member. In American Freemasonry, bigger was perceived as better. Especially in the larger urban areas, there was a kind of competition among lodges as to which would have the most members. It became nothing to boast of a lodge membership exceeding 500 brothers. The largest lodges had more than 5,000. It was no wonder outside charity became more important. It was simply much easier to apply our charitable dollars to outside causes than to stay on top of the needs of our own brothers, their widows, and children. Besides, the publicity was better; and the positive public image was both appealing and tempting.

Our brothers in need didn’t really know what was lost to them. The process of moving our charitable focus from inside our lodges to the outside world was so gradual, so subtle, we didn’t even realize when we had corporately lost the single most important tangible benefit of being a Mason—that we and our surviving families would have the security of Masonic aid and assistance for as long as we lived. The new reality is, in many lodges, the faithful few who regularly attend meetings rarely know those who don’t–let alone their human condition. Yet the lodge community charitable program is often firmly established and well known. In my own state, 227 lodges gave $2.7 million to community causes last year. That’s no small change.

In retrospect, with the increasing mobility of our society over the past few decades, who’s to know whether this has been a good or bad thing. Maybe we would not have retained our intimate connections anyway. Perhaps we would not have survived without better public contact and the improved public image that good works create.

This is really not the main concern of this musing anyway. To me, the scary thing is that it took only three generations of men to change a 400 year tradition. It makes one wonder how many other Masonic traditions have been lost to time only because a current generation had not a clue about the past.

Reprinted by Permission, from The Laudable Pursuit.

18
Jan

To Live in Hearts We Leave Behind is Not to Die

GENERAL EDUCATION
BY: ROBERT G. DAVIS, 33*, GRAND CROSS

It is the custom of many fraternal societies to come together once each year to remember and honor those friends and brothers who have been called from their earthly labors. The winter and summer solstices are good times for this duty, as both are symbolic of death and re-birth and the cycle of life. In every true brotherhood of men, it is an act of fraternal courtesy to remember those we have lost whom we personally knew and most admired in life.

But this comradely connection is true of many thoughtful men, even beyond the ceremonies of fraternity. Men remember the men who are no longer with them who made the biggest difference in their lives.

These were the men who showed us what integrity looks like. They taught us that our own transformation to an improved being, fully capable of making a difference in the lives of others, is up to us; and can be realized in the example we leave for others.

In our fraternal society, those special few who have come before us and been an influence in our own life have always been the agents for this transmission. This is true in our Lodges and our Rites. But, on a broader scale, it is also true in occupations, communities, families and social relationships. The significance and meaning of social honor and integrity can only be carried forth in each generation by those honored men who have lived their life in such a way that the attributes of their good example seem right and compelling to the next generation. We should never forget that the kind of man we are will ultimately be the kind of man others see in us. Then, through us, to those who come after us. This is the chain of union in manhood. This is the legacy of good men.

And it is one reason we annually commemorate the memory of our forefathers. We do this to show manly respect; and we do it to check our own progress against the standards they bequeathed to us.

It is the way legacy works. The real ideals of heroism do not come from movies or comic books. Our heroes are found among those whom we have known and followed and admired to be the best models for our own life. They were once real live men with whom we could relate and touch and talk. They are the men we selected to best represent who we wanted to be like when we grew up. We craved their anointment. And, to a large degree, they now define us.

We face life with their kindness and honesty; their confidence and determination. We confront death with their faithfulness, courage and disinterestedness.

So, you see, if we have paid attention, the examples of the fathers, father-figures, brothers, companions and knights we once knew and most admired have prepared us to be worthy as men in our own time. Our task is to carry on the work which they have furthered so that it may also be said of us, as we can truly say of them, that the world is better because we have lived.

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.

Reprinted with Permission of The Laudable Pursuit

09
Oct

The Symbolic Teachings of a Mechanical Pocket Watch

GENERAL EDUCATION
BY: SPECIAL GUEST CONTRIBUTOR – WOR. SHAWN CARRICK

Masons are taught many different lessons throughout the three degrees of Masonry. Not only when we experienced them as a candidate, but also as we provide the degrees to the new Brothers and as we sit on the sideline. There are many items that are used to impress the lessons of Masonry upon our consciousness. One item that is not used to impress the lessons in our work but that I have embraced because of the lesson I believe it will teach, is the mechanical pocket watch.

Most recently a Brother shared his newly acquired Dudley Masonic pocket watch, and I started to think about all the movements and parts of a pocket watch which must occur together in unison for the dial to be able to provide the correct time.

The parts that compose the inner workings of the pocket watch are numerous, intricate, and dependent on each other. Looking at the diagram, we see that there is not just one or two gears, rather there are a number of gears, springs and other smaller parts working in unison. Each dependent on the other, no matter how large or small the part is. You may be asking what lesson might be taught to us from this simple and useful tool.

I believe that the pocket watch is emblematical of the Masonic Lodge, each part of the pocket watch contained within the walls of its case representing the membership of the Lodge. Just as the pocket watch has the numerous, different and unique parts working together, so a Lodge has its numerous members each one unique and different from each other yet working together to improve each other. This view is not to say that everyone has to be actively engaged in the lodge, as are the gears and springs of a pocket watch.

Rather, remember that the gears and springs are just two parts of the watch. In addition to the housing of the pocket watch, another part of the watch that we can relate back to the Lodge is the different plates that support the gears and springs. These plates are also emblematical of the members of the Lodge that are not actively involved with the workings of the Lodge at every meeting and event but are active in the background not always completely seen but providing the needed support and encouragement for the lodge and the membership to be able to function successfully.

There is also another teaching provided by the Pocket Watches inner parts. When the springs and gears of the pocket watch fail to work together in unison with the support of the plates, the pocket watch may begin to function less reliable as time passes on. In the Lodge, when the members are not working together in unison the Lodge may similarly suffer and unlike a pocket watch with all its parts unable to leave from within its case, the same is not true of Lodge members in relation to the Lodge.

A successful Lodge is one that is able to reach its goals with each member of the Lodge working together in unison, combining those that are active and those that are being supportive, like that of a properly working pocket watch to ensure that the work is completed. I hope you will look at this tool and let it impact your consciousness as you consider how your Lodge is or is not similar to that of a proper working mechanical pocket watch.

Originally published at The Laudable Pursuit. Re-published with permission.

02
Oct

Who Do You Sit by in Lodge?

GENERAL EDUCATION
BY: WOR. JASON E. MARSHALL

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A few nights ago, Bro. Nathan Warren came over to my house, and as we sat on my porch smoking cigars, drinking scotch, and enjoying a nice cool fall evening, the conversation inevitably weaved itself in and around Freemasonry. During the conversation, Bro, Warren relayed how some people (non-Masons) were astounded that we can actually go to Lodge and sit next to people from almost any conceivable religion, race, or social background, and be totally comfortable around them. While this ability to “meet on the level” with one another is a hallmark of our fraternity, it is unfortunately not always put into practice, and even when it is, we too often take advantage of it by failing to truly get to know the people that we sit in Lodge with on a personal and intimate level.

As Bro. Chris Hodap has covered on his blog: Freemasons for Dummies, the Grand Lodges of Tennessee and Georgia have recently made moves to ban homosexuals from being Freemasons. This is most likely a misplaced knee-jerk reaction to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Obergfell v. Hodges) that struck down gay marriage bans across the country, and held that marriage is a universal right regardless of one’s sexual orientation. The moves by the Grand Lodges of Tennessee and Georgia are particularly disturbing, because the Lodge has long been a safe haven for those seeking a place of acceptance and enlightenment ideals. This is why our rituals contain admonishments that it is the internal and not the external qualifications that make a man fit to be a Freemason, and that no disharmony or contention should exist between brothers.

The Lodge is simply not a place that any strife over religion, race, or sexual orientation should exist. The Lodge should be place of harmony, reflection, and spiritual growth, and in order to accomplish that lofty and fundamental ideal, arbitrary divisions such as race, sexual orientation, or social background, should not get in the way of spreading the cement of brotherly love. Ever.

Most of the negative associations that people have about minorities, the LGBT community, and religions other than Christianity, come from a place of fear and ignorance. Fear is a natural human reaction and emotion to things that are unknown to us. It is what kept our ancient ancestors from being eaten by lions and tigers; however, ignorance driven fear morphs into fanaticism, and fanaticism gives way to tyranny. Ignorance, fanaticism, and tyranny are the antithesis of Freemasonry, and must never be allowed to take root in our hallowed halls.

For men that are supposed to be working on our international ashlars, fear has no place, especially fear that is borne out of ignorance. The only cure for ignorance is knowledge, and our fraternity is blessed to have a vast reserve of wise and diverse brethren within our ranks. In order to tap into this vast reserve of wisdom, we must first take the time to get to know our fellow brethren on a personal and intimate level, whether the individual brother is gay, straight, white, black, Hispanic, Christian, Non-christian… Any Brother. Only after spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection can we open the doors of our hearts so that we can truly learn from one another.

In order to truly meet on the level, we must be willing to actively practice the ideals that we espouse, and not close the doors to our hearts, or our Lodes, to those that don’t fit into a neat homogeneous box. We must take the time to learn from our brothers, those who sit by us and Lodge, and those who sit in Lodge hundreds or thousands of miles away. Above all, we must be truly open-minded to new ideas and concepts. After all, having a unique and diverse membership is what has always made our fraternity great. Each of us holds aloft our own Light that we have gathered and nurtured on our own personal and spiritual journeys, and the more unique Lights that we can gather around us, the more illuminated the pathway for all craftsmen will become.

First published at: The Laudable Pursuit. Re-published with permission.

22
Sep

Being a Father and a Freemason

GENERAL EDUCATION
BY: WOR. JASON E. MARSHALL
(The photo above is Jason’s oldest son, Jase, playing with his “Masonic Superhero Stuff”)

A few months ago when I came home from Lodge I snuck into my son’s room, like I always do, to check on them, tuck them back in, and give them a kiss on the forehead. As I bent down to kiss my oldest son’s forehead he woke up, smiled his big toothy smile, and asked “how was lodge?” I told him that Lodge was fine and that I got to see his Muncles (Masonic Uncles). He giggled and asked about a few of his favorites, but as I was about to turn and walk away, his face grew sad, his eyes began to tear up, and he said that he really missed me when I was at Lodge and my Masonic meetings, and he asked why would I rather be at Lodge than at home playing with him. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. We had a brief discussion about what Freemasonry means to me, and that I’m not choosing the Lodge over him, and that we all have activities that we do from time to time, and some of those activities can’t be done as a family. Luckily, he perked up and told me that when he grows up he’ll be a Freemason too, and then we can go to meetings together.

While that night ended on an upbeat note, it has really stuck with me, and it has made me really think hard about what Masonic activities I attend, or even agree to undertake.

Even though we are admonished as an EA that Freemasonry should not interfere with our family duties, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a member that has never spent a good bit more time at Lodge than his wife or kids would like. Finding balance between our Masonic and family duties and obligations can be extremely difficult, and this seems to be a constant topic on Masonic pages, forums, and websites. While every man must find that balance for himself, and it is no brother’s place to tell another how to divide or spend his time, it is important that we do take a few steps back from time to time to examine whether or not we have been rightly dividing our time, or if our 24 inch gauge has become skewed. I know for me what started as one Lodge meeting a night, and two weekends a year for the Scottish Rite (what I jokingly called my “Masonic National Guard Schedule”), has slowly but surely ballooned to several meetings and weekend activities a month.

While I have decided to be more selective in my Masonic activities, I am convinced that Freemasonry has made me a better man, husband and father. Our fraternity has given me the tools to not only better myself, but to be a better father to my children, and I will hopefully be able to subtly shape the ashlars of my sons throughout their childhood and beyond.

Freemasonry instructs us to be thoughtful, inquisitive, to be moral and upright in our dealings with others, and it teaches us to not only strive to better ourselves, but to also better those around us and society at large. These are extremely valuable lessons for a father to pass along to a son.

Freemasonry also allows me to spend time with men who help me be the best man that I can be, my brethren constantly challenge and support me, and my brethren have also become an important part in my children’s lives. What my children call their “Muncles”, are a whole set of positive male role models, which boys and young men desperately need, and which are too often in short supply.

I also believe that Freemasonry is a vehicle that I can use to build and pass my legacy on with. One of the main reasons for me initially joining the fraternity, was that both of my grandfathers were members, so I wanted to do something that would help me connect with them. Although they have both passed, one prior to me joining, I can’t help but feel a familial tie while performing ritual, or when I’m simply studying ritual late at night.

Above all for my children, I want to leave the legacy of a man who tried to be the best man that he could be, a man that loved his wife and his children, a man who was good and true to his friends and those in need, and a man that worked hard to help others. Essentially, I want to be remembered as a good father, and a good Freemason, and I’m glad that those two pivotal pieces of my life help refine and sharpen each other.

First published: The Laudable Pursuit. Reprinted by permission.

22
Sep

Mediocrity in Masonry…Shame on us!

GENERAL EDUCATION
BY: ROBERT G. DAVIS, 33*, GRAND CROSS

One of the questions that occasionally eats at me when I am driving home from a Masonic event, degree, or function that has been woefully mediocre is how our members can sit through such Masonic happenings month after month and still believe our fraternity is relevant and meaningful to men’s lives? How honest are we in claiming we make good men better while persistently repeating practices and behaviors which are so distinctively average, or worse? Self improvement involves some form of positive change. It requires some level of progress; entails some elevated sense of being. Explain to me how a lodge facilitates self improvement by offering its members a venue that doesn’t “feel” any different when they are inside the lodge than outside of it.

Perhaps many of us come into Masonry looking for nothing more than fraternal association. But, if that’s the case, it ought to be the best fraternal association we have ever had!

Once we encounter the preparation room, or make our progress through the degrees, it is hard to dismiss the awareness that we are engaged in something wholly different from our other community experiences. We quickly learn that Masonry has a higher calling which requires that we make an ascent into the very center of our being.

An endeavor of such high importance and due solemnity is not a run of the mill undertaking. It becomes clear there is nothing mediocre about Masonry. So why do we make it that way?

Here’s the problem. Accepting mediocrity in our lodge practices is the same as living a mediocre life. By making un-extraordinary acts and behaviors our ordinary practice, we entrap ourselves from knowing how precious life really is. We don’t use opportunities that come our way as a means of expressing how special we really are. Instead, we walk the walk with the rest of the herd and soon find ourselves in such a deep rut of limitations we lose sight of our own value. We become trapped in mediocrity.

Regrettably, this too often seems the condition in which lodges, Scottish Rite Valleys, York Rite Chapters, Councils and Commanderies find themselves. When nothing extraordinary, educational, insightful, compelling, intellectual, contemplative, spiritual, or fraternal occurs in our private, sacred, fraternal spaces, then we become only another ordinary, average, run of the mill, dime-a-dozen organization. It is hard to see how this kind of Masonry takes good men and makes them better.

It is not the kind of Masonry we should want to share with our friends.

I believe that if we truly want to move “from the square to the compasses,” we have to dare to be different. And we can’t dare to be different by following someone else’s expectations. When a lodge does the same thing year after year, it is accepting by default someone else’s expectations. There is nothing creative, inspiring, or different about parroting ritual, paying bills, and going home. That’s doing only what many others have done before us.

To distinguish ourselves among men and organizations, we first have to perceive in our own minds that we have something to do which will ultimately set us above the average. We start by thinking about the choices before us.

Do we choose what is safe rather than what is right? Do we only do things right, or do we do the right things? Do we set out on a new path, or take the same old, comfortable way? Do we bring credit to our teachings, or debit them as ideals of the past? Do we become the examples that young men want to emulate, or do we seem to them as just another group of ho hum guys?

You see, the choice always controls the chooser. To be exemplary men, or an exemplary organization, we have to be exceptional in our awareness of who we are, what we are here to be doing, what we know, and how we practice what we know. We have to have the courage to be different from the rest of the crowd—nobler in our expectations and more refined in our state of mind.

Because that’s just the way Masonry is.

He who wants milk should not sit himself in the middle of a pasture and wait for a cow to back up to him.

First published at: The Laudable Pursuit. Republished by permission.

22
Sep

Which Public Image Do We Claim?

GENERAL EDUCATION

BY: ROBERT G. DAVIS, 33*, GRAND CROSS

I was visiting with a fellow Mason not long ago who was expressing how difficult it is for Freemasonry to articulate a public image which adequately describes our organization and is believable to the general public. This is indeed a remarkable challenge because we are bombarded with so many different perceptions about the fraternity. It seems there are many non-Masons willing to represent to the world what we are; without really knowing. The growing popularity of television documentaries, movies, and books about Freemasonry are filled with half truths, templar plots, inferred hostilities toward established religions; alleged infiltrations into the world’s most influential circles of government and elite centers of power. If this were not enough, the web is also filled with discussions asserting Masons to be extreme freethinkers unconstrained by civil authority or law.
The bane of being of the secret society tradition is that Freemasonry is constantly subjected to fanciful illusions of those who like to tell a good tale. And there are plenty of folk who are naïve enough to believe almost anything they hear.
The fact is that there are many public images regarding Freemasonry. It all depends on who you are reading and how you are reading it. There are those who choose to see a hostility between Freemasonry and religion; yet we live in a world with a huge and growing un-churched population. Many in this group perceive Freemasonry as an institution one can trust to openly and objectively discuss the tenets of all belief systems. There are those who see separation of church and state as hostile toward religion; but there are far more who agree with Freemasonry’s position regarding the necessity of teaching a society to be watchful that the zealotry of faith does not restrict personal freedoms. There are those who see Freemasons as libertines; yet there are far more who see Masons as seekers of enlightenment within the historical norms of reason and judgment. There are those who call us conspirators against moral and civil authority; but far more who see, in Masons, community men with solid moral and ethical values. There are those who believe our secret society has sinister motives; but far more who are curious about our hidden treasure, our mystery, and the quest we make for that which is unknown except to an enlightened few.
We have something else that everyone respects, yet goes unnoticed by many who have nothing good to say about Freemasonry. We have family heritage. It can be suggested that more men have come into Masonry because someone in their family was a Mason than any other reason for joining. We remember the heroes in our life. And we want to be like them. For men everywhere, that is a far more powerful reason to belong than any web-discussion, tel-evangelizing, or idle commentary of the blind catering to the ignorant is a reason for not belonging.
Surveys have shown that 10% of the population dearly loves us; 10% hate us; and the other 80% have no opinion about us at all. Methinks this puts us in the driver’s seat in terms of our opportunity to have an impact or “spin” on our own image.

I have never for a moment had any second thoughts about the value and rightness of Freemasonry. But I have struggled agonizingly long over our institution’s inertness to collectively put into practice what it teaches. The biggest weakness of our Order is that we have no way of organizing our strengths to collectively improve society in the name of Masonry. Perhaps this is why we have become more of a charitable organization than a fraternity, even to ourselves. It is easy to get behind a good cause. But we are not so sure how to be a highly valued moral voice for our society.

I’m not sure myself how we position the world’s oldest fraternity to be seen as one of the most respected voices of good judgment and right thinking. But I know image building starts with the example we each individually set for those who know us. And if we wish to project right example onto the corporate name of Freemasonry, our collective acts out in the world must at least match the instruction we receive within our lodges.

First Published at: The Laudable Pursuit. Republished by Permission

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