Between the compasses.
by Dave Bacon

Conduct and consideration.
How well do you truly practice the lessons of our craft?

I can only answer for myself. I practice it every day, to the absolute best of my abilities, Without question. How easy has it been? Not very easy at all. For me personally, it was a serious lack of guidance and personal witness of actions that (at the beginning) seemed to be acceptable... But later turned out to be the complete opposite. So over the last few days I've really tried to think hard about my experiences in the beginning compared to what I experience now. I've seen a lot... Both in person... And on social media, as well as 3rd party accounts from conversations with brethren.

Why is this relevant? Why is it important to speak upon these issues? Well, for starters, yesterday a comment was made to me in private message following a conversation in regards to a harsh political statement. The comment to me was "you speak about freemasonry like it's a religion" simply because I stated I try my hardest to keep all opinions and views in my mind when speaking. But why do I do this? That's what Freemasonry is about. Its about accepting a difference in opinion without letting go of your own.

I see the phrase "we aren't in a tyled lodge" quite often. My response in thought is always "I don't check my obligations at the door as I leave the temple" I take Freemasonry seriously. Its changed my life. Each brother practices the craft in the best way he knows how. But sometimes... I wonder how often we lack the action of truly informing the brother as he begins. And how will this affect masonry later on?

Keeping our passions within due bounds means more than just not losing control. It means to me. to keep my opinions and thoughts for me and me alone unless I feel a brother is open enough to discuss a difference in view respectfully. If not.. I simply do not offer my views and opinions as it can cause a wedge between us. I see it everyday... Many times from masons who have been in the craft longer than myself.

How Well do we truly shape our brethren? Freedom of speech and the ability to have an opinion doesn't give the right to be downright rude and disrespectful. How you feel personally is just that. Its personal. You're allowed to have an opinion... You're allowed to express it. But how respectful and noble are you as you do this? Again... This is observation... But I truly think Freemasonry should be a place where we can unite through our common goal of making a positive impact. Not uniting simply to argue. It seems to be more common than anyone will truly admit. I've had a great few mentors who have helped shape my perspective. My mentors do not live close and have not been members of my original lodge. There were a few... But mentoring and guiding is the responsibility of all masons. And we need to take charge early and do it respectfully.

How are we different from the uninitiated if we are arguing and bashing the same as those who aren't masons. What sort of example are a we truly setting for our new brothers... As well as brothers who have chosen to leave masonry by being on the receiving end of such actions? Further still... How are we influencing the public view of freemasons? Are we being the true gentlemen of our time? Or are we simply meandering through life with the same faults as if we weren't masons at all.

What makes us truly different? How well do we shape and guide incoming brothers?
Are we preparing them for a successful Masonic career? If not....are we simply looking to fill the seats with a warm body not much different than the uninitiated?





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