We all can daydream, at least once, about what it would be like to be Grand Master, though we ought to be careful what we wish for. In a moment of weakness, I pictured myself ascending to the East, knowing what my first act would be. I would make my father a Mason on sight (if that's even allowed in our jurisdiction) so that he could sit within the tyled communication near me in the East. I could see him putting on his apron for the first time, and for me, it would be an unforgettable sight.
But the truth is my father doesn't need an apron. He already has made his whole life a journey that of a good man ever becoming better.
Masonic myth reaches farther back than recorded history and rational sense would limit. We have a tendency to elevate the legends and likes such as Solomon, or even Noah and Adam, as having been Masons. We want to retroactively install our spiritual antecedents as Grand Masters. We want them to be our rightful forefathers in order to stake a lawful claim in their heritage.
But I don't have to reach that far back. The values I would learn from Freemasonry were already prepared in my heart in the days of my youth by my father, as they were in him by his own father. The secrets of being an upright man were passed down unimpeded without ceremony or ritual, at least in the sense we mean it.
The scriptures tell us that during the age of the First Temple, revered men and masters were addressed as "Father", a tradition not unknown to a certain carpenter centuries later who taught us to pray. I do not think mankind has changed so much that we may not learn from this lesson today. I know I have.
But I must be clear. I do not speak of this to say the existence and practice of our moral science is unnecessary to the world or superfluous to ourselves. There are many who need such tools to aspire to higher thoughts and nobler deeds. And we share a common language useful for people who share in human charity and affection, such traits qualifying and guiding them to the Craft long before their first knocks upon our doors.
What I do mean to say is that men are not required to be Masons to be square and good and true. We share in the title Brother, but should never forget this claim extends to all under the Fatherhood of G-d. The grandest riches to be discovered in the soul of a man is the entitled inheritance of every man, regardless of how one finds it. Additionally, this means all good men are our spiritual ancestors and equals.
So we do not need to wish our father, or ancestor, or this or that person in our lives to be or have been a Mason. Masonry was founded and enriched by such men just as others were made better by it.
If I may learn one thing about Masonry from my own father's life, let it be this: our Fraternity is only one possible fruit of the goodness found in the hearts of men. It is not a written law, or cold tradition, or special entitlement to some few, but a practice of faith that binds us to, rather than separates us from, our fellow man. Apron or not, we all play our part in Divine Providence. And we should recognize, both within and without, faithful fellow workmen, our Brothers, and Fathers, as worthy of all our Love and admiration.
Bro. Ken JP Stuczynski is a member of West Seneca Lodge No.1111 and recently served as Master of Ken-Ton Lodge No.1186. As webmaster for NYMasons.Org he is on the Communications and Technology Committees for the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. He is also a Royal Arch Mason and 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, serving his second term as Sovereign Prince of Palmoni Council in the Valley of Buffalo, NMJ. He also coordinates a Downtown Square Club monthly lunch in Buffalo, NY. He and his wife served as Patron and Matron of Pond Chapter No.853 Order of the Eastern Star and considered himself a “Masonic Feminist”.