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From the East

Updated: Jun 4

By Andrew Hawes —Master

Whilst we don’t have soothsayers warning us to beware it these days, I think the “Ides of March” are worth a mention in this month’s article. 

The 15th of March - known to the ancient Romans as “the Ides” - are most famous for being the date on which Julius Ceasar was assassinated.  Back in Roman days, it was the date by which debts had to be settled. (Today, we more commonly think of that as being the Ides of April, when we need to file our taxes. )

Settling our debts should be an important consideration for Masons.  Just as hypocrisy and deceit should be unknown amongst us, it’s important to us to keep the ledger balanced – to pay the craft their wages if any be due, since otherwise they may go away dissatisfied, disrupting the harmony of our lodge. 

When we borrow money or favors, we incur a burden upon ourselves that can weigh on both us and others – it is always better to have a positive balance sheet, both in terms of your budget and your social and moral obligations!  Don’t wait until someone does you a favor before you offer to do one for them.  Reach out to help someone carry a heavy bag down the stairs, let someone go before you through the door while you hold it open for them, offer to cut your neighbor’s lawn when you are out cutting your own – there are a million tiny things that we can do every day, that swing the scales a tiny bit towards the side of making a better life for everyone. 

If we do enough of them, those scales will tip for everyone.  When you’re frustrated at those really obnoxious drivers on the road – don’t let yourself become one.  When you’ve having an exhausting day and just want to get your drive-through order and take it back to work with you, think about the possibility that the person behind you in line might be having even a worse day – and if you offer to pay for their order, it might turn their whole day around. 

There’s a movement out there, commonly referred to as “paying it forward” which supports and encourages this sort of behavior – I would argue that as Masons, we should be more likely than anyone to take part in actions like these.  Just because we take on an obligation to help out someone in a destitute condition, doesn’t mean we cannot help out someone who is NOT in such a condition.  Sometimes, a helping hand can make the difference and keep someone from ever getting into that situation in the first place.

Never question the rightness of an impulse to do good. 

So this month, as we enjoy the start of spring, I charge you to try and do good, everywhere you go, every day – and make the world a better place for it.


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