As this is the final installation in the article series on the virtue of resolution; I thought it was fitting that I focus this message on the final meaning of the word “resolution.” I refer to being “resolved.” In this case, I endeavor to explain what we, as Freemasons, hope for when our earthly duty resolves, and we find ourselves standing before that great, and glorious judgment throne.
What We Stood For
We, as a race, have come up with many a mantra to live by: “This, too, shall pass,” “Do not dwell on things that don’t deserve to be dwelt upon,” “Effort to Emphasis,” “Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.” These are a few with which you might be familiar. There are many, many more. But when we pass on and our eulogy is given; what will the speaker say we stood for? How will people remember us?
Freemasonry helps good men be better by educating men through a series of morals veiled in allegory. It is hoped that the men will then correctly practice these morals within their lives, and thus improvement is made. But what is it that we stand for, and what does the practice of Freemasonry mean in our busy lives?
The beauty in Freemasonry is that each man interprets these morals to mean different things, and yet, there is enough of a foundation in the teachings that there is uniformity. Where morality might say that I be faithful to my wife, family, friends, church, and fraternity while not engaging in base, crass, chauvinistic, sexist, racist, or otherwise immoral actions; what is considered base, crass, chauvinistic, sexist, racist or otherwise immoral to me may not be the same to another brother with another social upbringing. Freedom to interpret is both a great thing about Freemasonry and one of its challenges. Even here, there are those who exemplify the tenets of our ancient and honorable fraternity, and there are those who struggle to understand even the simplest of them.
As we consider what will be said about us at our funerals, we must each ask ourselves what we stand for—what we exemplify—in Life.
What We Left Behind
Life can be a harsh master, and it can leave us wondering where the day went, or what happened to February altogether! However, we must make sure that we are leaving behind a World better for our actions—a concept which would take many volumes of books to touch upon, much less reason out in detail. However, I do hope to put specific thoughts in your mind so that you may begin affecting positive change now.
How are our children being raised? Will they grow to be contributing members of society? I’m not referring to whether they join Freemasonry. I am speaking of their ability to hold down a job, have a vocation, provide for their family, raise their children with a belief in God, have morals, and be steadfast in their moral beliefs. Will they aid their community, or leech off of it?
Are we leading by example in word and deed? To the public, are we presenting ourselves as being better for being a Mason? Do we speak with eloquence, as gentlemen? In our humor, are we above crass and overly familiar content? On social media, are we clean in word and deed, worthy of bearing the name of our Order and displaying the symbols of the Craft? When someone comes into contact with you, will they be impressed by your character and immediately know that the good effects of Freemasonry are within you?
How are our affairs? Are we going to leave massive debt as an inheritance? Are we going to force our prodigy to sift through hundreds of thousands of items that we treasured, but they think of as just junk? Or are we going to have everything in order for them when we pass on so they can focus on recovering from their grief and not the business of putting our affairs in order?
Have we left our prodigy with words of wisdom? Have we adequately recorded our research, our thoughts, and our philosophies? Are we passing on and out of History or are we leaving behind a legacy that will make our forefathers proud?
In conclusion, brothers, I would ask this one following question:
How will we be resolved?