In my wanderings across the Internet I came across a reprint of a article from Albert Mackey entitled, “Reading Masons
And Masons Who Do Not Read,” which struck a cord with me. It speaks directly to the need of a Freemason to spend time educating himself about the fraternity and craft.
As I talked about in my post, “Don’t mandate masonic education, grow it,” there is a real need to change the way that we approach education in our Lodge rooms. We need to start with the individual, and what better way than to stick a book in his hand. You shouldn’t stop there, you need to then talk about the material so that all can gain a better understanding of it.
One item I would like to share with you from the piece is the following:
They have made a grievous mistake. They have supposed that initiation was all that was requisite to make them Masons, and that any further study was entirely unnecessary.
What I found interesting is that the emphasis here was placed on the Brother who had just completed his degrees to become a Mason. Like a fair amount of the rest of the article it focuses on the individual and the fact that they are the ones that are making the error. The assumption is that despite having the resources to read and educate themselves they are choosing not to.
In my opinion, the opposite is more likely the issue.
Think for a moment back to the last time your Lodge raised a Master Mason. I would be willing to bet in many cases there is no outreach to the Brother to help him learn and understand. That’s where being a mentor becomes so critical. How would a new made Master Mason know where to start without the aid of another? Why should all of the blame be put on the new Brother?
Was Mackey right? Is it the fault of the Brother who joins and doesn’t think about the need to educate himself? Did anyone express the expectation that this is a lifelong journey to learn?
Yes, each of us needs to take the time to pick up a book and read. We are masters of our own fates and must take that responsibility. It is also the responsibility of our fraternity, to help us become teachers, Master Masons, that can teach the next generation how to learn about and understand our fraternity.
So, what are you reading?