I wanted to send out my May Master's letter and let you know that I have been honored with the year so far, and I am looking forward to a great summer and remainder of the year.
“By the exercise of Brotherly Love, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family—the high, the low, the rich, the poor—who, as created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support, and protect each other. On this principle, Masonry unites men of every country, sect, and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.”
This month, I wanted to write on the subject of brotherly love. Within Freemasonry, brotherly love is the cement that will bind us, all of our teachings, and the direction that we wish to take our fair institution. It allows for all brothers to treat each other as equals, to meet on the level and to act as one family. This allows for us to look at our teachings and ritual and think about how to apply them to our lives, but more importantly on how to help our brothers apply it to their life as well and let them guide us in our lives. As an organization, we are unique, we do not judge based on race, religion, creed, or background, rather we actively seek to bring in all men who are looking to improve themselves and society as a whole. In fact, it is this basic precept of Masonry that creates the contrast with general society. Within general society, man has tendency to separate, create subgroups, and exclude others that are different than us- Freemasonry is the bridge that will connect disparate individuals under the canopy of heaven. As we look at this concept, it is important that we bring it out of the theoretical and start to ask how can we apply this concept within the lodge as well as beyond?
Whenever we gather to open our lodge, there is one line that will always stand out to me, that ‘harmony is the strength and support of all institutions, but more especially that of ours.’ I would ask myself, “Why is it more especially for our institution than others?” I think the simple answer is that bereft of brotherly love, Masonry would cease to exist, and harmony is a necessary ingredient for brotherly love to exist. Harmony does not mean that we need to hold our tongues and not acknowledge the flaws of ourselves and others, rather it means that we look to one another with understanding and operate as such that we are a part of something greater and it is essential that we look to the strengths that each person will bring, and identify the weaknesses present and look to assist others in minimizing those weaknesses. Harmony and brotherly love mean forgoing our ego, forgoing our need to be correct, forgoing our desire to control, and look to improve the lodge, the craft, and the ourselves as opposed to diminishing the role of another.
It is too often that an individual will use an institution and position of power or respect to domineer or assert control over others, and Masonry is not immune to that. However, we must always be mindful of our obligations and realize that a quick word intended to put someone in their place, or state that someone is wrong, or that someone is acting against the interest of the craft merely because they are doing something that you might disagree with should be avoided at all costs. Too often, if a person has internal turmoil or angst, they are more act to look to find fault with others in their actions. In other words, some of the alpha males of Masonry may be excellent at Masonry but may not be excellent Masons. In turn, they can drive away brothers and cause them to leave the lodge.
It is possible that they may have missed the message that they came here to learn, to subdue their passions, and improve themselves in Masonry. Subduing their passions might mean to be less quick to anger, less quick to make a comment or statement, and less willing to take an action that could be divisive. When we improve ourselves in Masonry we look to act in harmony with the members of the lodge, we look to improve our community, and we look to improve ourselves to the best possible person that we can be. We must remind ourselves that this is the constant work that we have undertaken, and we can all look to improve.
I look forward to seeing you in lodge and look forward to hearing how you are working to spread the cement of brotherly love.
David Bunn, WM
UPCOMING EVENTS - See our Calendar for details
June 5 - Regular Communication | Pittsfield Union Grange Hall
June 10 - Camp Kaseem Check Presentation | University of Michigan Football Stadium
June 19 - Special Communication [EA] | Pittsfield Union Grange Hall (Ann Arbor) June 26 - Master's Table | Dominick’s 812 Monroe St. Ann Arbor July 4 - 4th of July Parade | Downtown Ann Arbor July 17 - Possible Special Communication | Location to be determined July 24 - Master's Table | Whitmore Lake Tavern, 9839 Main Street, Whitmore Lake July 31 - Table Lodge