Brethren I came across an article the other day that gave me much food for thought. The question had been asked as to why some individuals, enterprises and organisations were more successful than others. For the purpose of this address, I deal with one very much abbreviated aspect only, in the hope that I can convey a message in a simple way.
The example of Herbert Langley and the Wright Brothers was mentioned. Both went in search of inventing a flying machine. Langley is hardly known today, whereas the Wright Brothers are still a household name. In Langley’s case he went in pursuit of an end result that would bring him great riches. The people who assisted him all had the same motive. Making money was more important than inventing a flying machine. The Wright brothers on the other hand had as their prime objective an invention that would be of benefit to humanity. They drew like-minded supporters who were convinced that the reason they (Wright brothers) had for inventing a flying machine was pure and honourable and that they had their priorities right. They believed in the reason why the Wright Brothers wanted to invent the Flying Machine.
The message conveyed is that one possible secret to success is getting people to believe in what you have to offer. They need to know not only what you have to offer, but they need to know why you offer it and why you believe in it. They need to be informed of what they may like in that which is on offer.
This immediately made me think of the promotion of Freemasonry. There is a subtle difference between telling people what Freemasonry is all about and telling them why you believe it is a good organisation. Telling people why you are a Freemason and why you believe you are doing the right thing by being a Freemason adds an element which may be missing when you only tell them what Freemasonry is all about. Freemasons are to a large degree like-minded people and it is such people whom we would like to attract to our Order. Perhaps you could be encouraged to think about those things you like about Freemasonry. You might find some surprising facts which, when the opportunity arises, you may be able to share with others.
I have gathered 10 thoughts on why I am a Freemason or alternatively what I like about Freemasonry. I will commence with and then later conclude on a personal note as well.
- The first impression I had of Freemasonry was a positive one. As a youth I saw and experienced the good works done by Freemasons in my home town.
- Nothing outside of Religion has meant more to me than Freemasonry and I have been involved in many activities.
- I like the fact that it shares a common bond which includes a belief in one Great Creator.
- I like the fact that Masons love and revere the Bible and that it gives the Word of God a position of honour in the Lodge.
- I like the fact that members of all faiths find value in our Fraternity and yet it does not interfere with loyalty to our individual beliefs and Churches.
- I like the fact that the teachings of Freemasonry ,such as high moral and ethic standards, support our religious beliefs.
- I like the fact that Masons obligate themselves to assist the poor and the distressed.
- I like the fact that if one follows the teachings of Freemasonry it contributes to one becoming charitable by nature.
- I like the fact that charity is not restricted to Masons, but is extended to all.
- I like the fact that Freemasonry plays a major role in instilling love in ones heart.
We are sometimes asked the question, “What has Freemasonry done for you?” Here follows an example of an answer I am able to give. Sometime after having retired from teaching, I discovered something that rather startled me. One day I suddenly realised that in all the years that I spent teaching, there was never a child that I disliked - and a few thousand would have gone through my hands. There were certainly children who regularly did extremely naughty things, but even that somehow could not make me dislike them. I am not sure what had prompted me to suddenly think of this but it did make me feel good. On considering the reason as to why I simply could not dislike any children, I concluded that having regularly listened to and read about the teachings (charges) of Freemasonry must surely have played a role. Following on from this I thought about my Brethren in Freemasonry. I can in all honesty say that in the 42 years that I have been a Mason, I have never come across a Brother who I have disliked. There have been those who have done things that I have not liked, that is true, but then again the reality of the situation is that all is balanced out when I realise that I have personally done things myself that I have disliked and no doubt others would have disliked as well.
I wish to say in conclusion that as Freemasons we need to continue to have a strong bond between us and that we should never miss an opportunity to put this into practice and to tell others about it. In this regard I urge you to remember that a hand given to a Brother Freemason is a true symbol of Brotherhood which has to do with Brotherly Love. Let there never be a Brother whose hand we refuse to take.
V Wor Bro Malcolm Lötter
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