By Osman “Ozzie” Ghani, E.A.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
That has always been one of my favorite quotes by the great scholar and poet of the thirteenth century known as Rumi. It reminds me of the fact that although life doesn’t come perfect (and indeed doesn’t have to be), that we all manifest within ourselves a desperate desire towards betterment.
Masonic teachings provide definitive guidelines that can be leveraged to establish thought processes, tasks and actions that are conducive to achieving these goals of knowing better, doing better and, ultimately, being better. This essential cycle of continuous improvement we urge ourselves to engage in is not limited to within ourselves but also incorporates our collective surroundings.
Proclaiming this, the Masonic emblem’s 24 inch gauge depicts pursuit of better time management among our daily routines. This encourages one to bring the various activities that are engaged in throughout the day into balance. The 24 inch gauge can also be applied to a wider interval of time, such as a year and how to successfully deliver our yearly goals, or a lifespan of a project or our entire life.
Balance means that working at jobs, praying to God, and learning new subjects or skills are as important as sharing time with loved ones and providing support to those members of the community in need.
The common gavel shown in the emblem represents one's intent to let go of negativity and suppress the ego, thereby making continuous improvement not just in our own lives but also in the lives of our friends and families, as well as strangers in need.
In addition to our life, mind and heart being “stones” that demand constant reshaping, other aspects of life such as personal and professional relationships, education, or our environment are prime examples of “stones” that can be improved to better fit our life.
I believe both of these tools encourage us to first communicate with ourselves. Without an increased and honest level of self reflection and subsequent engagement with those areas having been reflected upon, we may not see signs of improvement and growth. The 24 inch gauge — a better time management can help us identify the areas of improvement. The Common gavel — can help us acknowledge, strategize and apply remedies to address the needs in our life.
May God give us strength to collectively and collaboratively work on reshaping our lives towards betterment.