"Good times gone, and you missed them What's gone wrong in your system? Things they bounce like a Spaulding What'd you think, did you miss your calling? It's so free, this kind of feeling It's like life, it's so appealing When you've got so much to say it's called gratitude And that's right Good times gone but you feed it Hate's grown strong, you feel you need it Just one thing, do you know you? What you think, that the world owes you? What's gonna set you free? Look inside and you'll see When you've got so much to say it's called gratitude And that's right"
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.As of tomorrow, we are a week away from our Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States, and I'm sure many of you feel like there's not much to be thankful for. 2020 has impacted all of us, many of us for the worst. When I communicate with Emeritus Midnight Freemason contributor Erik Marks, often over text, but sometimes over the phone, he often uses a word to describe how he is feeling that probably hasn't crossed many of our lips this year, Gratitude.There is a saying attributed to Bro. George Washington that states: "Freemasonry is kindness in the home, honesty in business, courtesy in society, fairness in work, pity and concern for the unfortunate, resistance toward the wicked, help for the weak, trust in the strong, forgiveness for the penitent, love for one another, and above all, reverence and love for God." Whether or not George said this is up for debate, but I think that Freemasonry is more than just kindness in the home. I think Freemasonry is the practice of Gratitude. Gratitude is not only the quality of being thankful, but it's also a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.The Three principle tenets of Freemasonry are: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.To practice Brotherly Love, we need to show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others, and behave with kindness and empathy towards our fellow creatures. To practice Relief, we need to practice charity and care not only for our own family, but for our community as a whole not only through charitable giving, but also through our own individual voluntary efforts. To practice Truth, we need to be true in our actions as well as our word. We need to promote each other's welfare, and rejoice in each others prosperity.In order to exercise Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, Freemasons need to practice Gratitude. Anyone can be kind. It's easy to hold a door open for a stranger. But is holding a door open for a stranger really practicing Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth? What makes our actions impactful as Freemasons is our Gratitude. In order to practice Gratitude, we need to be Thankful. Can you really love someone without being thankful for them? I don't think so, as a huge part of love is appreciation of that person. Can you really show compassion in your relief without being thankful for your own blessings? Compassion is love in action. Can you be truthful without being thankful for the one truth we all know as Freemasons, which is the Great Architect of the Universe? Truth is a divine attribute.So as we approach Thanksgiving, I ask each of you to not only practice Gratitude on that day, but to practice it everyday. To use it as another working tool, to help us as we work in our quarries to transform ourselves from the rough ashlar to the perfect one. Let us reflect upon the indented tessel, which represents the manifold blessings and comforts we have in our life, and practice gratitude. Let us apply gratitude to practicing our tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. But most importantly, let us practice Gratitude for every day that the sun rises in the East to open and govern the day, and for the Great Architect by whose providence this occurs.~DALWB Darin A. Lahners is our co-managing Editor. He is a Past Master of and Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph. He is also a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL), where he is also a Past Master. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of 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). You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org