A True and Trusty Brother

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott

I recently reviewed an Associated Press Poll that was conducted with GFK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications group in a survey of the general American population and their opinions on how much they trust other persons.

The first question “How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right?” - 81% of the person’s survey said “Only some of the time”.  This was not surprising to me, considering the recent government shut-down, problems with the Obamacare website and just a generally low opinion of those in the Congress.

The survey went onto to ask how much “you trust other people” in various situations.  Here are 3 examples:

·         “People who have access to your medical records…”
  • 50% said “A great deal/quite a bit”
  • 29% said “Just somewhat”
  • 17% said “not too much/not at all”
·         “People who swipe your credit card or debit card when you’re making a purchase
  • 30% said “A great deal/quite a bit”
  • 43% said “Just somewhat”
  • 24% said “not too much/not at all”
·         “People you meet when you are traveling away from home”
  • 19% said “A great deal/quite a bit”
  • 49% said “Just somewhat”
  • 29% said “not too much/not at all”
The last question in particular, gave me pause to think.  What are my interactions like with others I come to meet for the first time?  Do I need to have my guard up all the time?  Should I live in fear and paranoia?  Ronald Reagan was fond of saying “trust, but verify” that I apply often.  But really, only 19% of the US population feels that they can trust others they don’t know?

Our country has been built on trust, but it appears for many that this trust is slipping away.  Have we become too isolated sitting at home behind our computers?  Are your only friends on Facebook? Are they nothing more than an electronic record that you interact with?  Is the store clerk where you shop more likely to be thief than a trustworthy person?

How do the results of the survey compare to our experience as Masonic brothers?  After all when we enter the lodge the first time, it is in the hands of “true and trusty brother”.

My belief is that one of the greatest experiences of our fraternity as you come through the degrees, is learning to put more trust and faith into the one’s guiding you on your path to further light.  After completing the three degrees, you really start to gain an understanding of what this trust in one another means.

The strength of our fraternity is the common bond that we share with one another, the same shared experiences that have transcended the generations, that same trust from one brother to another brother.

At the 2010 National Scout Jamboree I attended a lodge meeting with Scouters and Brother Masons from across the country, under the guidance of Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

“So that I may work in foreign countries, to work and receive Masters Wages…”  We have all heard these words, but really what do they mean?  In my opinion, it is the ability to visit other lodges, having the privilege to sit in lodge with fellow brothers, men who may be total strangers, but with whom you have an instant trust with, simply because of the common experiences we all share as brother Master Masons.

I am sure we all have stories of making connections with others that began when you discovered each other were masons.  Perhaps you have attended a Masonic funeral for a brother, whom you never had personally met, yet you came because of that shared bond.  You had a conversation with a person whom you nothing in common with except Freemasonry and that led to a deep friendship.

One of my personal favorite stories – I was a staff member at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree held at Fort A.P. Hill for the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. I was housed in one of the base army barracks. The first day I arrived, I was sitting on my bunk putting things away, when a Scouter whose name was Tom and assigned to the bunk next to me introduced himself and said “I see you’re a sojourner.” Tom had seen that I was wearing a Masonic ring. We instantly had something in common and became great friends. Though we live in different parts of the country, I have kept in contact with him and was able to visit in him at his home in Seattle last year. Three years had passed, but it was like I had just seen him yesterday.

If you question what Freemasonry still has to offer the world and to those individuals who seek out membership within our fraternity, take a moment and consider Freemasonry as the ultimate social network across the world.  Brothers whom have been “pre-screened” before they entered the west gate and have been initiated, passed and raised under the same obligation you took, to be your brother.

In a society that says they are trusting fewer people, isn’t this exactly what we need more of? 
So the next time, you are speaking to a potential candidate on why they might consider joining Freemasonry, talk to them about the trust amongst the brothers.  Trust, the very thing many people say that is lacking in society.  The answer might be right in front of them, Freemasonry.


WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign-Urbana. He is also a member of ANSAR Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg serves on the Board of Directors of The Masonic Society and is a member of the Scottish Rite Research Society and The Philathes Society. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts—an Eagle Scout himself, he is a member of the National Association of Masonic Scouters

1 comment:

  1. I believe that by virtue of being Brother's, and knowing first hand the trust one has to have in a complete stranger while going thru any degree in Masonry, allows us to extend that bind trust to Brethren that we meet while "traveling". Essentially, we take and give our trust, with Brothers, on credit. It is ours to ruin, and if one remembers their obligations, faith can be had that the trust given will be well received and returned in due form.


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