I would like to take this opportunity to express what Freemasonry means to me.
I became a Mason in 1996, following a Masonic tradition that extends far back in my family.
Upon joining the Lodge, I was impressed with how many fine men were members. As I learned more about the philosophy and ethics of the Lodge:
I realized that the Masonic ideal impels a man to be a good citizen, a good father, a good husband, a good neighbor and a good friend.
That the process of going through the chairs really symbolizes the principle which says in order to be ready to lead, you must first know how to serve.
That some of our greatest Masonic traditions are about being faithful to your word regardless of the cost to you personally. In other words, courage, not a vainglorious courage, but a courage born of the true conviction of a civilized man that he must do right.
I learned that our ideals are about peace, good order, fair play, and charity for all. Regardless of the faith one elects to follow, any one would say these are laudable, indeed sacred ideals, that are pillars of any society.
If followed, these ideals can only lead to a good end or ends.
This set of ideals has given me strength, it has given me courage and faith. While I decline to boast, I would like humbly to point out some accomplishments of mine since 1996 that I see as having in part or whole been an outgrowth of the benefits of Freemasonry.
My wife and I have adopted two beautiful children. I have been twice elected to public office. I have been able to be a help and support to my family and friends in a way that I was never able to do in the past.
Freemasonry helps a good man to be better. It has helped this man do things he never believed he could do.
Ed Note: Reflections! will be a regular feature of the Pennsylvania Freemason. If you would like to reflect on how Freemasonry has affected your life and family, or if you would like to reflect on a Brother of the Craft, please write to: Editor, The Pennsylvania Freemason, 5415 Fifth Ave., Suite 102B, Pittsburgh, PA 15232-2256. Pictures are welcome and become the property of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
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