Everything I needed to know about being a man, I learned in Freemasonry
In 1986, a minister named Robert Fulghum published a book of short essays which was entitled, “Everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarden”. He broke down sixteen items that he learned which you can find listed here:
It’s a simple little list, packed with a lot of wisdom. I had forgotten all about the book, as it sat on a bookshelf until I happened upon it recently. It started to make me think about how some of those things he listed are taught and expounded upon by Freemasonry. It made me think that I wish I had that list in mind (along with some others) when I did wicked things in the past, which were selfish, and I ended up hurting people I love(d). I started thinking what force in my life helped turned it around, and the answer was evident--Freemasonry. Those things were lost to me while doing things that were selfish. I was not a man at that point, I was still acting like a boy, even though I was old enough to be a man. Freemasonry taught me to how to be and act like a man.
How did Freemasonry teach me to be a man? It taught me the below:
- Never undertake any great undertaking without the blessing of your deity. Always be reverent towards your deity.
- Never be coerced into doing anything. Everything you do must be of your own freewill and accord, and always be prepared in your undertakings.
- An obligation is a tie stronger than human hands can impose. If you violate an obligation, there will be a penalty. Karma exists.
- Make good use of the 24 hours in a day. Make sure you are resting, working, playing and praying daily. Make sure the work and play isn’t excessive. Pray for others before praying for yourself. Get plenty of rest.
- Personal change requires work and patience. Work requires tools. Make sure you’re always using the right tools. Remember that results take time.
- Love your family, neighbors, and brothers. Aid those that need it. Always speak the truth.
- Be fair in your dealings with others and treat them as you would want to be treated.
- Be a good citizen.
- Square your actions according to the virtues we are taught and you will walk upright.
- Listen always, speak only when you need to, and never betray another’s trust.
- Never stop learning new things. Study and practice those things you think you already know.
- Reach out to your brother if you see them falling. Especially if they indicate such. Vindicate your brother’s behavior behind his back, as well as in front of his face. Whisper good council to them when they err.
- Life is short, make good use of your time, and always remember we are born to die.
- Nothing is hidden from deity.
- Live a good life and have hope in the afterlife.
Am I over simplifying the lessons that Freemasonry teaches? Most definitely. Will you agree with my all of my points? Probably not. One of the beauties of Freemasonry is that every member will have a different definition of what Freemasonry teaches or has taught them. This is only what it has taught me. What has it taught you?
WB Darin A. Lahners is the Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, and is the current Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign – Urbana (IL). He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.