What It Means To Be A Brother
by Brother Kevin Tuck
My Dear Brethren,
What does it mean to call another man Brother? Is this simply a term we use to refer to one another to set us apart from everyone else? Do we do it because everyone else does it? Is it because we are obligated to do so?
How is it that two men who have never met one another can meet on the level and treat each other like Brothers? Before becoming a Mason, I, like most people, was cautious upon meeting strangers. The process of getting to know someone can take weeks, months, or years. Can this person be trusted? Do we have anything in common?
And yet, as a Freemason I can meet a man with whom I have never spoken, about whom I know nothing, except that he is also a Freemason. And that is enough. Without hesitation, I am prepared to render any and all assitance to him. I trust his word implicitly. I will go to the length of my cabletow for this man I have never met. He is truly my Brother.
There is a certain bond that exists which I find difficult to express. Perhaps, like the Tao, when looked for it cannot be seen; reached for, it cannot be grasped; listened for, it cannot be heard. And yet, it is there. Undeniably present and unshakable.
I am profoundly moved by the acceptance I have found within the Craft. I am not refering to simple comraderie, although that in itself is a wonderful thing. I have the feeling of coming home after being away for a very long time. The men whom I call Brethren are the most honest, most sincere, most caring, and most wonderful men that I have ever had the pleasure to meet. When I think of all I have learned thus far, and all I still have to learn, I realize that I can never really repay the debt I owe. None of us can. But this debt is not like money owed. It is a debt which makes each of us richer and better. I now realize that Freemasonry holds the key to the greatest secret of them all. And yet, it is not really a secret. Is it?
As we look around the world today and back through the veils of history, we see that mankind has always been at war. Hatred has twisted the minds of men, turned brother against brother. Religion and politics have lead to the senseless slaughter of millions upon millions of people. Fear and paranoia have shaped the development of civilizations since the beginning of time.
But we, as Freemasons, have discovered the most profound of all secrets. And that secret is that WE ARE ALL BROTHERS UNDER THE FATHERHOOD OF THE GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE. This simple truth allows each and every one of us to treat one another with dignity, respect, and caring. If we find a Brother in need, we give him aid and comfort without hesitation and without thinking of what we can gain in return. Within the body of a Lodge, we are all equal. Certainly, some may have more money, others may be more intelligent, but these things are irrelevant. What matters is only that the man next to you is a Brother. Our shared experience of being Entered, Passed, and finally Raised, regardless of our personal religious belief, regardless or our nationality or political opinions, makes us Brothers.
This simple yet profound Truth has the potential to change the world. My Brothers, we hold the key. What we choose to do with this key is up to each and every one of us. What does the future hold for mankind? No one knows. Imagine a world where every man, woman, and child lived this Truth. Impossible? I think not. We are proof of that. Every time we reach out a helping hand to a Brother in need, every time we live the teachings of Masonry, we bring this reality a little closer. The future is what we make it.
What induced YOU to become a Master Mason?!!