Freemason Wisdom: Harry S. Truman On Meeting On The Level

by Midnight Freemasons Contributor
Michael Shirley

Truman and Bess return to White House (Alonzo Fields to right)

 Alonzo Fields, who served four presidents as the White House Chief Butler, wrote that Harry Truman was the only one who took the trouble to understand him as a person. Truman said in response, “I’ve never understood how to do anything except try to understand the other fellow, and most of the time I’ve succeeded….” That interest in others made him a lifelong reader of history and biography, and helped account for his political success. We tend to like those who are interested in us, and Harry Truman was interested in everyone he met. He looked for common ground, and, as often as not, found it. He met everyone on the level. You might say he was a natural Freemason.


W.B. Michael H. Shirley is Past Master of Tuscola Lodge No. 332 and Leadership Development Chairman for the Grand Lodge of Illinois. He's also a member of the Illinois Lodge of Research, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star, and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon. He's also a member of the newly-chartered, Illini High Twelve No. 768 in Urbana-Champaign. The author of several articles on British history, he teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

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