” Freemasonry is a lifelong contract to develop oneself, using the tools made available in the craft’s system of morality; in order to achieve perfect harmony with your brethren, and just service to your community and world.”RW Bro Malcolm Lòtter, Past Grand Junior Warden and was a Deputy Provincial Grand Master, GLSA
Freemasonry came to my attention in my high school days. I had history as my favorite subject, and our study of modern world history gave a lot of insight into the impact of men who had been members of the craft in the development of free thought, innovation and respect for human dignity as we know it today. Some would be mentioned in web pages of my further studies at the time to be members, and hence my interest in figuring out how this consistent highlighting of affiliation to the craft impacted on the conduct of these men and the accomplishments they attained.
As I carved my own road in this life, I would constantly question the basis of my moral compass. After all, we are following the example set by humans before us, and as humans, we all have mistakes that make it difficult to reconcile with the moral system to which we claim affiliation. As with every young man, I grew up with heroes to which the meeting thereof left much to be desired in terms of the humanity behind the public persona that is promoted as a result of their career accolades. This was further inflamed by the unrealistic expectation that the standard that they were failing to live up to was ground for how they measured the people under their custody.
I made a personal decision as a young man that as I pursue the ambitions and natural destiny that God has empowered me to attain, one of the things I would fight vehemently to retain is the will to be better, and the consciousness of my human frailty in order to remain grounded in faith.
Freemasonry has and continues to provide a basis from which one receives motivation and tools to develop and grow.
While our craft is enriched with ancient wisdom and secrets by which we communicate and recognize each other; the essence of our labour is in constantly being aware that none of us are perfect, but we have a standard by which we can weigh ourselves to ensure that all our efforts in life lead to just service to God, our Family, Community and our Brethren. From the first day that one is admitted into Masonry, it is imprinted in the heart of the initiate that the first duty of our labour in the craft is to always strive to know ourselves. This requires each man in our midst, to be honest with themselves and refuse the blindness that comes with the pride of opulence or achievement.
Only the man himself can truly know what is in his heart, and so only he can justly judge his intentions. We thus meet on the level to remind one another that regardless of our rank or fortune in this life, we are only as valuable as the truth we live in character and perseverance.
It is no wonder why the young man that I was a few years ago was drawn to world history. It is through this subject that I found the first examples of men who were consistently evolving as individuals, and inevitably, their journey inwardly was manifest into world-changing contributions to society. Such men can be seen in history, religion, arts, medical progression, technology and governance, to name a few sectors.
As we endeavour to develop as the human race, Freemasonry will continue to provide a system of morality that is time tested, for the answers to many of the questions of life that are presented to this generation, as it has for many generations past.
It is, therefore, an honor to be part of those men, in this lifetime, who can relay the story of how they belonged to a group of men who met on the premise that their goal is to be better and have dedicated to helping each other in the quest to achieve the common ideal to be better with each day.