Like many of us, I glue myself to the morning news to listen to how AIG is squandering our assistance, how another 800 billion this or 800 billion that is going to double the rate of inflation and the like. I wonder how could such a small group do this and get away with it in the face of so many people.
“Hold them horses,” a few are saying right now and claiming that Masons don’t discuss politics. The heck you say. Masons better discuss politics. They are some of the best and most intellectual and caring men I have ever met and if they don’t take an interest there are going to be bigger problems in and with our country still.
To my point, and none too soon, as I am always in danger of being lost in a good story or some random ramblings—The Lodge as a Macrocosm of society and the lessons it has taught me.
Brother Eddie (the name is made up) is dutiful if nothing else. He makes every meeting, sits in the southeast next to the secretary’s desk with a long line of past masters that always sit in the same spot. They hold a kind of court. They scream out violations of parliamentary procedure to keep things on track, the screaming out of which is a violation of parliamentary procedure. They like to yell out the helpful word when one is missed on ritual and on a good night about half are yelling out the same word.
Anyway, Eddie never votes yes. He disagrees all the time. Not sure why, but we count on his no vote on every issue…even paying the bills.
Eddie, in our world is the extremist. Any and all extremist. I don’t mean this in the whole terrorist type sense…I mean those who hold views to the hard or extreme rights and lefts, always voicing their discontent on every issue. These are the one issue folks who honestly believe that every vote against their issue will destroy the world. They are happy to call names many times, fling a little mud, and then cry foul when you disagree with them even respectfully.
Back to Eddie—for forty years he has been voicing his opinion, and for about 38 years no one has listened. He used his voice a little too much, he nullified his own opinion by never quieting his passions. His vote in lodge is nullified by automatically being considered a no and his opinions are thus disregarded. He is considered as part of the process without making so much as a shadow of an impression on the minds of his fellows.
Masonry teaches many wonderful truths. One of them is the power of timing. Masons stand of the portico of the world between hard and right and wrong and stare into the Masonic world of potentiality. The possibility that there are several rights and several wrongs, or none of either, is a powerful potion for the mind. It can drive one mad, or set them free depending on the perspective.
I believe (this is important here, because these are my opinions) that the waste in the world, the theft, the extraordinary arrogance of ruling classes is made possible by the silencing of the voices by their own screams. When a society becomes chalk full of Eddies, the voices, rising collectively in their musical and anticipated whine, are so loud, they are never heard and simply discarded as part of the process. A small hiccup.
What if? What if we lived in a world where people sat back, contemplated the totality of a situation and cared for its outcome. What if we sat quietly for just a moment and then acted fast and firmly with decision and determination.
The man with the scythe stands behind her in the degrees. She weeps for that which is lost…for the loss of strength. Time has destroyed the crier and the screamer and stands poised to cut down beauty, the beauty of freewill and free choice if we do not heed the warnings.
Masonry teaches the power of words, well spoken ones. It also, via Eddie, taught me the powerlessness of words and how quickly they can come to mean nothing at all.
Pick your battles, pick your time, and choose your words wisely. Call a crime a crime, forgive the small ones, and don’t pretend that your opinion is the right one because it feels better. Stand on the portico of Masonry and look into your world from the lodge applying the lessons you have learned. Take an interest and labor in the quarry of your community, but do not ramble, do not scream, and do not believe that rhetoric without action will solve a thing. In many cases it might help to silence the masses as we all scream our wasted cries in unison.
Find the courage that you found as you were reminded that implements of man, to include your words, can be virtuous or torturous, charge forward, your faith is well founded, practice silence when necessary, and approach your world with balance.
That is the Relevance of Masonry, balance in a world that can’t find it and men whose voices are powerful because they are not allows billowing.