Harmony — Beyond Civility

Harmony.

It’s a subject that every newly-Raised Master Mason has a sensitivity toward.  Within our Lodges, the concept is both broad and specific.  In addition to being interwoven into our Obligations, maintaining harmony within the Lodge is duty of the Lodge’s officers — especially the Senior Warden and the Worshipful Master.

If I’m not careful, this post will grow beyond the bounds of what I’d like to discuss.  That’s because we find a variant of harmony within the 24-Inch Gauge.  We can find another in the Mosaic Pavement, the balloting process, and all throughout the degree work within the Scottish Rite.  The type of harmony I want to briefly discuss in this post is the type that should exist between all Freemasons.

It’s natural that over time, through discussion in Lodge, we’ll find ourselves on the opposing side of one or more of our Brethren.  Or maybe we’ll encounter some facet within our Lodge that we don’t quite agree with.  Perhaps we will feel as though some of the other members of the Lodge aren’t pulling their weight with this or with that.  Whatever the reason, it’s our duty to remember to temper those frustrations we may have.

Don’t allow your passion to rule and guide you in discussions; it can be a toxic thing.  Strive to be objective.  Be willing to take a step back and evaluate the other person’s perspective.  If you’re able to strip the emotion out of both sides of an argument, you’ll often find that both sides mean well — they’ve just had a different set of experiences that led them to where they are.

This goes beyond the simple notion of civility, which can often appear as smiling-through-teeth.  It’s better encapsulated in the concept of Brotherly Love — which is much more than a mere courtesy that we should extend toward one another.  Courtesies can lack genuine intent.  We should endeavor to be more pragmatic and more understanding in our approaches with one another.

If we each work toward mastery over ourselves, it’ll go a long way toward developing real harmony within our Lodges — and beyond that, our lives.  This is the type of harmony that successful Lodges — and people — are built upon.

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