Is Freemasonry Essential?

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
RW Michael Jarzabek, Past Jr. Grand Warden

"Antifragility is a property of systems to thrive as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures."
In an article in the SCRL Fraternal Review magazine, Brother Angel Millar asked whether Freemasonry was antifragile. If it is, this crisis will be perhaps the best test of its resiliency.

We often talk about great Masons. We often ask where the great Masons are today? When this is all over, will we have done our part? Is this the stage where those great men emerge? In this time of challenge, will we succumb to our base passions, rest on our laurels, or will we exemplify the values that we hold so dear?

General George Patton gave a speech to the Third Army, which may be extremely relevant to our current situation.

In the speech, he talked about all men doing their part, whether as truck drivers or telegraph maintenance specialists. Towards the end of the speech he said,
"Then there's one thing you men will be able to say when this war is over, and you get back home. Thirty years from now, when you're sitting by your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks, 'What did you do in the great World War Two?' You won't have to cough and say, 'Well, your granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.' No sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say 'Son, your granddaddy rode with the great Third Army and a son-of-a-goddamned-bitch named George Patton!'"
We are all proud to see RW Oscar Alleyne, Junior Grand Warden of NY, doing his part. We are aware of many others are doing their part as well. Many of us are deemed essential in one way or another.

The current global situation makes me wonder if Freemasonry is essential. By Freemasonry, I do not mean just the structure; I mean the way of life. I say it is essential, or at least that it should be.

Whether Freemasonry is essential or not isn't up to our elected leaders. It's up to us both individually and organizationally. What are we doing, or what can we do to make sure that we as Masons are doing our part?

Our state and federal leaders have provided us with lists of essential activities. "Freemasonry" isn't on them. Let that sink in for a minute. It may be the most important lesson we learn in our Masonic generation.

If we want to survive, we must stop being trivial. If we're going to thrive, we must do something essential. "Freemasonry" may not be on those lists, but there's plenty that is. Those lists aren't an imposition on our freedoms; they are an invitation to act. Make masks, host on-line fundraisers for foodbanks, help support those that are working overtime to provide essential services.

Whether we thrive is wholly dependent on whether we act. Thirty years from now, what will we be telling our grandsons as they sit on our knee? For me and I am sure many of you, it won't be that we shoveled shit in Louisiana. No sir, I want to look him straight in the eye and say I was a Freemason, and we did our part.

It is time to pick up our tools and get to work.


R.W. Michael Jarzabek is a member of several Massachusetts lodges. He is a Past Master of Brigham Lodge in Ludlow. He is also a member of Ezekiel Bates Lodge in Attleboro, The Meadows Lodge in East Longmeadow, and The Massachusetts Lodge of Research. He is a Past Junior Grand Warden of The Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Lodges of Instruction for the same Grand Lodge. He is a Past Thrice Potent Master of Evening Star Lodge of Perfection in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  He lives with his lovely wife, Beth, and beautiful daughter, Amelia, in Ludlow, Massachusetts. He works as an electrician.


  1. I think that in our pass through life we have to leave our goods fingerprints, so they remind us of the good thing we have done as people in our life. "That's why philanthropy is part of our philosopical principle however I think a Mason first development in the altruism as base"


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