[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

From: Paul Austin <huckfinn@VNET.IBM.COM>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 97 19:17:37 EDT
Submission:  Why I became a Mason

I knew one Mason when I was a boy - Pete James, my parent's neighbor. I don't recall much about him except that he was always kind to us, cut down an old tree for free, and was specially friendly toward my eldest brother, Tony. He talked endlessly about the Adirondacks and the peaceful Summers he spent there. These spotted impressions stayed with me, and even after he died, Mr James occupied his own place in my memory.

As I grew older, I began to realise what he represented - a void in my life and (I felt) in many others. There seems to be a general lack of decency among people today, but he had that decency that I was striving to have and inspire in others.

I met other Masons as I got older. A friend of mine's father is a Mason, and immediately after I met Mr. Villard, he reminded me of Mr. James. A more definable thing that I noticed about Bruce's dad was that he liked me in spite of my appearance, which my friend Bruce was surprised at; Bruce was certain he would take a cool attitude toward my long hair and earrings. But Mr. Villard could see past that and recognised that I was a decent human being.

Mr. Villard lent me a book on Masonry after I expressed a passing interest in it's symbols. I studied metaphor and symbols in college and I was intriqued by the lessons of the plumb, the level and the square. It was then that I decided to become a Mason.

I asked another aquaintance and Mason for help. His name was Paul Gregory. When he asked my why I wanted to do this, I said that I felt there was a lack of cultivated good nature in people, a lack of leadership, and a lack of brotherhood and under- standing in people. I wanted to have those qualities and show their worth to my friends for everyone's benefit. He explained that that was a perfect reason to want to become a Mason.

Since then I have passed to the degree of Fellowcraft. I have not learned all that I can from Masonry, and I am sure the journey will never end. But I know now that I am in the company of the people for whom I was searching. Tolerant, kind men, working together in brotherhood for peace and understanding, acknowledging and acting on the belief that we are all of us God's children, and that we should act in such a manner that when we finally meet our maker - whoever that may be, however we believe it to happen - that we will stand upright and face him with the knowledge that we have earned the dignity and right to do so.


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