What Could Be More Necessary?

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Jamie Guinn

"What could be more Necessary?"
One of my favorite movies is “The Last Samurai” starring Ken Watanabe and Tom Cruise. It's about a disgraced American soldier named Captain Nathan Algren (played by Cruise) who is asked to help Japan modernize its army during the Meiji Restoration Period (late 19th century). During the course of the movie Algren is captured by one of the last bands of samurai who are loyal to the emperor but who are rebelling against the modernization. As a captive of Katsumoto Moritsugo (played by Watanabe), he is allowed to wonder the samurai village and witness the simple and disciplined lifestyle of the samurai. Algren and Katsumoto begin to have conversations where Algren learns that the samurai life is guided by a philosophy called Bushido, or Way of the Warrior. In it, Algren begins to learn a way to redeem himself and his honor. In one of my favorite scenes from the movie, both Algren and Katsumoto are in a cherry tree orchard where Katsumoto tells Algren that a life spent looking for the perfect cherry blossom would not be a life wasted. Katsumoto then laments that the way of the samurai is dying out and no longer necessary. Algren replies, “What could be more necessary?”

In our Craft much has been said about why member numbers are declining. I won't rehash the discussions here, or even the solutions that have been offered. What I offer is a response to the idea that Freemasonry is no longer necessary. But I ask what could be more necessary? It's been said that today's modern young men no longer find ideals such as honor, respect, dignity, or integrity as necessary or even desired traits. Personally, I don't think that is correct. While it may be true that we are the instant gratification generation, and many young men aren't attracted to fraternities or clubs, I've met plenty of men who are attracted to those ideals and desire to find a place that foster them. I know I did.

In fact, one of the reasons I was attracted to Freemasonry was because those ideals are deeply rooted in the ritual and teachings. I could have joined any other social or service organization out there, but I was looking for something deeper than that. I wanted something that would challenge me to be a better man. I believe that I'm not the only one in my generation looking for the same thing.

To my older brothers who have been curious as to why we young guys don't seem to be joining in droves, even to the point that a few have given up on us and expect a slow death of the fraternity, I say don't give up! We are looking! We just haven't found it yet. Part of the way that you can help us find you obviously isn't petition drives or billboards. But modern technology can be a great resource to help us find you. I found my local lodge by their website and facebook page. By seeing that they were active and sharing some of the principles of masonry, I was able to discover that freemasonry was what I was looking for.

However, nothing takes the place of one-on-one contact. It was me meeting several men I worked with who lived the principles of masonry, though they never once discussed being masons, that made me realize that something was different about them, something that I wanted to be. It took a few years to realize exactly what it was that was different, but eventually I begin to put the pieces together and find my way to the Craft. My only regret is that I didn't do it years ago. And with all the available information on the internet including blogs and podcasts, I realized that freemasonry isn't an old man's social club but a rich tradition that offers much to the young modern man.

So in closing, is masonry relevant or even necessary in today's modern world? What could be more necessary?

~Bro. JG

Bro. Jamie Guinn is a young master mason and currently serves as Senior Steward and Most Excellent Toilet Scrubber of Broken Arrow Lodge # 243 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, A.F. & A. M.). He is married to his high school sweetheart and is father to a beautiful but rambunctious daughter with a mean right hook. He has also served ten years in law enforcement first as a city cop but now works the highways as a state trooper (so slow down!)

No comments:

Post a Comment