From the Personal Representative (December, 2010)

posted May 20, 2015, 4:48 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 20, 2015, 4:49 PM ]

Brethren, Ladies and Friends;

Last month I attempted to deliver what I felt was a small answer to some of the criticisms we often hear directed toward Masonry and our culture. This month, I’d like to convey some thoughts on what our Masonic culture means to me. 
Reflect, for a moment, if you would, on that word ‘culture”. What does it mean to you? The dictionary has several parallel definitions for the word, probably best summarized in the Miriam Webster dictionary as: “Enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual development and training”, or “An acquaintance with and taste in fine humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills”.  Does this sound like some-thing we, in Masonry endeavor to practice and include in our message to the world?
Tuesday evening, November 23, at our Night of Instruction we had a fascinating talk delivered by Brother Adam Kendall, 32°, director and curator of the Masonic Museum at Grand Lodge in San Francisco. The message covered mainly the symbolism of Freemasonry, but in his presentation, Brother Kendall impressed upon us several critical points.  He told us that Freemasonry as a source of strength comes from within, but we must be constantly aware and receptive to information from outside ourselves to give a focus and framework for those internal beauties and concepts. That one point really struck a note with me. He was stressing the benefits of study and research in subjects dealing with the craft, but the greater message was a kind of summary of what I feel is one of the great concepts of our ‘culture’; that of the necessity to try to inculcate in our lives, a two-way communications system whereby we use our day-to-day experiences to improve our own outlook.
Further, Brother Kendall told us we should demonstrate evidence of our commitment to our culture by presenting ourselves as moral and upright people (I don’t want to limit this message just to men, as I know our ladies share these values) to all we encounter as they tend to judge us by the standards we espouse, whether they admire those standards or not.
Brother Kendall’s message deserves not only our attention, but also our serious reflection and consideration
In our Masonic lectures we talk about the plumb as teaching us to walk and act uprightly; the square to assume an attitude of virtue; and the level to ‘prove horizontals’, or in other words, to prove to others that, while we hold  our selves in esteem, we recognize the equality of all, when it comes to personal worth.
Lastly, and this is more of my own interpretation of that message, we should be proud of our culture, our commitment to Freemasonry, and our values, and present ourselves to the world with assurance and dignity. Our culture and values are what made this country what it is today and the world at large owes Masonry a debt of thanks.
Fly your colors with pride and let your friends know that by becoming a Mason you have become a better person.

Bob Winter - Personal representative of the Deputy of the Supreme Council in California