Samuel Clemens began writing under the name of Mark Twain. One of his
most famous anecdotes is about the richest man in a rough and tumble western
boomtown. This man wanted to add some class to himself and growing town,
he decided to decorate the rooms of his newly built home with copies of some
classic statues from Italy.
In time, the pieces arrived after each endured a rough stagecoach ride across
the American Plains. Upon uncrating the largest pieces-by-piece, one
labeled “Venus de Milo” by the Italian shipper, the rich man discovered a statue
without arms. Mistakenly convinced it had been damaged in shipment, he
took the local postmaster to task and collected damages!
Have our brethren become so involved in one aspect of Masonry that they have
forgotten how important each part is to the whole of Freemasonry? Just as
the “Venus de Milo”, however, excellent it is in part, would be perfect and
complete if it were whole. If we accent one segment of the craft to the
exclusion of the rest, we splinter and weaken the totality of Freemasonry. (Ill.
J. W. Whitehead 33, M.P.S.G.C., 2006)
We must not be divided, our harmony and Masonic Unity is imperative. If
one group breaks-off from the rest, every group is affected and so, ultimately
are our symbolic lodges. “The passion that incline men to peace, are fear
of death; desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living; and a
hope by their industry to obtain them. Reason suggests convenient articles
of peace, upon men may be drawn to agreement. These articles, are they,
which otherwise are called the Laws of Nature” – The Idea of a Social Contract,
(T. Hobbes, 1651).
Our principles bring us integrity, strong character, dignity and respect.
In return, we strive to be of service to others through our charitable endeavors
and our steadfast concern for individual liberty and freedom; Our foundational
work is the most important work we must do; we must be unflinching in face of
trouble, defeat or loss; search for truth consistent with particular moral
principles of conduct; and
Our morality can be summed up in one ultimate principle (Categorical
Imperative), from which all our duties and obligations are derived. In the
Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, 1785 Kant states, “Act only according
to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a
The ethics of “virtue” and the ethics of “right action” central question are
about character. Aristotle asked, “What is the good of man?” and answered,
“the activity of the soul in conformity with virtue”. It is a matter
course; our actions must be a result of a firm and unchangeable character – “Act
so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of another,
always as an end and never as a means only”. Our work is great - and
Together We Can! (Ill. Charlie Davis, Jr. 33, M.P.S.G.C., 2013)