We had ribs the other night at Columbia Lodge and I got a nice take-home container. Thank goodness for overly enthusiastic stewards! This is a nice benefit to being a Mason – leftovers for life, since I am a life member. But what are the real wages of a Master Mason? We discussed this in lodge on rib night and I heard some interesting aspects that I had not heard before.
I spoke about the many friendships I have found over the years as a Mason. I have gotten to meet and get to know people from all walks of life, including generals and admirals all the way down to plumbers and even fellow writers, who are really just social pariahs and benefit greatly from the generous bonds this institution offers. Others spoke about the philosophical aspects and opportunities for continuing study and education as an adult, outside of the classroom.
One thing that especially struck me was a comment that Masonry is probably the only organization that teaches men to have relationships. I had never thought about that. I do not want to get into the differences between how men and women think because, frankly, I do not know how women think. I have proven that time and again through my relationships with them. However, many men’s organizations have an emphasis on doing rather than being. In the lodge, we sit and talk, or hear a presentation. We discuss ideas and have a great focus on building and sustaining harmony. We learn to get on well with each other, despite differences that might otherwise keep us at perpetual odds. I had never really thought of this in terms of learning to have relationships though. Definitely an interesting perspective and one I have valued as well, despite not thinking of it in those terms.
What do you think? What wages do you draw from your labors?