Why did you become a Freemason?
From: Parsons David SSgt 100 LRS/LGRVM <David.Parsons1@MILDENHALL.AF.MIL>
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
Subject: Why I Joined Freemasonry
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 12:47:01 -0000
I've enjoyed reading some of the responses to your essay question.
I've read about those who wished to serve... I've read about second and
third generation Masons... I've read about a variety of reasons, all
equally worthwhile reasons to join our great fraternity. I would like
to share with you my experiences concerning a young candidate that
joined the brotherhood last year:
He had always been a bit of a misfit, coming from questionable
background in an area torn by racial, ethnic, and financial tension. He
felt the effects of these struggles daily, and as a youth, turned to the
proverbial "dark side" of life. Withdrawn and secluded, even amongst
his peers, this young man gauged his future as "moment-to moment."
Needless to say, the hopelessness of his situation got worse before it
got better, and foster homes made way for institutions, which made way
for group homes, and finally reform school. Having never drawn the
boundary lines of life, as most do, he drifted aimlessly through his
teen years. His intellect was a match for most college professors, but
without the guidance and direction of the few adults in his life, he did
little more than develop ingenious ways of getting into trouble.
Attempts to make things better for himself seemed to backfire
constantly, and he began to feel that he was destined to fail... he was
After joining the military, he realized that he could at least
co-exist with others who were united in a common goal. In this, he
found a small piece of what he had been longing for since his early
childhood. Things didn't turn around completely, and the candidate
still heard the whispered attacks, and still felt the condescending
looks. The military has no place for those who openly discriminate for
any reason, but the young man knew that discrimination happens more
under the breath of bigots than out of their mouths. After being
stationed in New Mexico, attempting and failing to keep his marriage
afloat, he was stationed in England. Through a mutual friend he met the
man who, a few short years later, would be his Worshipful Master.
Everything about Free &Accepted Masonry appealed to the young man,
and though never a pillar at the local church, he understood the concept
of the GAOTU, and aspired to know more. During the visitation to his
home, he answered nervously when asked the very same question I am
answering here now... Why do want to be a Mason? Did these men want to
hear some textbook answer about saving the world, curing cancer, feeding
the masses? Or could an honest answer make them understand that this
young man might just need Masonry as much as Masonry needed him? The
question burned inside him as he debated. Could the trust he never had
before finally have a place among these brothers, or would it be another
group of people who accept those who are like them, but cast aside those
It took the young man a year to be raised to the sublime level of
Master Mason, and it was a long road paved with more than a few
obstacles. On the day of his raising, no one else noticed the young
man's quiet demeanor, his unshakable focus. Not knowing what to expect
on the day, he said to the brothers who raised him in a quiet, humble
but self-assured voice,
"Do what you will... when I walk out today, I will walk out as a
Something had changed in him. No one else saw it at first. It was
almost invisible. A spark... only a spark. But the spark fell upon
kindling that had been waiting for years to be put to use, and when the
two collided, the flame grew exponentially.
Now the young man with no future, no aspirations, and no path is an
active member of his Lodge, and his fire is growing. He aspires for
more and more knowledge, and the Past Masters may well try to claim him
as a dependant around tax time, because he simply won't leave them
alone. He has tapped into a boundless fount of information, respect,
compassion, patience, direction, and most importantly, brotherly love,
that he never thought he would find. In return for this, he gives back
as much as he can, though if you ask him, it is never enough. His
enthusiasm and passion for Masonry cannot be extinguished. He seeks
more light every day, and does everything in his power to ensure that
his brethren know he is there for them, no matter what. His
contribution to Masonry is in direct response to the few brothers who
guided him through, showed him love, and trusted him to follow through
with what he started.
So, even though this young man may not have joined the fraternity for
what others would call " highly- enlightened" reasons, the principles of
Masonry have become a part of his life, and his enlightenment is
growing, little by little, every day. It's a long road, but he'll make
it. Not by his own merit, but because his fraternal brothers won't let
him fall. He'll do great things in the Lodge... not because he has
greatness in him, but because his brothers will carry him until he can
carry himself. But most importantly, he will help someone, someday, who
is just like he was... not because he was taught to as a child, from
his mother and father... not because he learned it as a teenager when he
went to church... but because he saw it his Lodge, as an adult... I
know that this young man will do his best in the Lodge, as well as
outside it... he feels that he owes it to himself, and to his brothers.
I know he feels this way, because that young man is me...
With gratitude to Lodge no. 76, Pride of Great Britain... ONE
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