It is my view that a Mason’s chief concern within the Royal Art should be character development. I know, I know — Freemasonry is a lot of different things to a lot of different Brethren. I fully recognize that. My belief, however, is that if we focus on developing ourselves into the best possible versions of ourselves that we can, everything else will naturally fall in to place.
This is why Masonic Education is so absolutely vital.
Whenever this subject is brought up, it tends to lean in the direction of, “it’s important that we teach our Lodge members something at our meetings.” I agree with that sentiment, but I don’t believe that that’s the most important thing when discussing education.
My view is that the most important aspect of Masonic Education is the struggle — the pursuit of knowledge by the Brother who is going to deliver the educational piece. That is what we should be encouraging. If there is no struggle — if there is no path traversed that leads to some manner of self-discovery — it’s entirely possible that we’re going to (flatly) deliver a lecture on a subject that everyone knows well enough, and that none of us will break new ground. I’m not saying that that’s always the case, but it’s an outcome that is very possible.
If, however, the Mason struggles, and if he grasps at concepts or viewpoints that are new or foreign to him, we can be absolutely certain that he will grow as a result. Even if the rest of the Brethren in the room are 100% familiar with the subject matter, we know that at least one of our own benefited by seeking out the knowledge. We should be encouraging this.
Be bold, and step out of your comfort zone. Recognize that you’re just as capable as many of the Masonic authors that our Craft holds in high regard. Research something unknown to you, and you will improve yourself in the process.
It’s not always about what you can teach me. I’m also very interested in what you can learn for yourself.