The Rough Ashlar

Thoughts from a Traveling Man

The Rough Ashlar - Thoughts from a Traveling Man

Ritual is not a Competition

I am in a tough spot. As the district instructor of work, I am supposed to teach the ritual, help lodges become self-sufficient, encourage brothers to learn the catechisms and the regular work, and more. I like doing all this. It gives me a sense of generativity, that I am passing something on to others who perhaps would not have had it otherwise, and hopefully making a positive difference in the fraternity.

The downside to all this is the ritual schools I have to attend, which I do not particularly enjoy. The way some people treat ritual school is more along the lines of how people treat a dead-heat competition of some sort. Here’s the thing: studying Masonic ritual is not about being right and thus being able to correct someone else, as fun as it can be to see someone seasoned get it wrong when you, as a young member, have the right answer. It is about self-discovery, self-development and becoming a better Mason. It is about learning humility, an important quality in both leaders and those they lead.

I wish that the brothers would understand this. Three general truths stand out to me:

  1. Being right is only half the battle.
  2. Needing to be right is a problem.
  3. Needing to find someone else who is wrong so you can be right is a huge problem.
Category: Mentorship, Ritual

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