Watching the Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman story, the NSA wiretapping, drone strikes, war in the middle east, health care issues, the ongoing economic issues, Wall Street shenanigans, etc., it must feel like the world is tearing itself apart. And for many of you, your perspective doesn’t always match your community of people or what the media tells you. It must feel very lonely out there.
So I’ve decided to address that from a Masonic perspective. This blog post will be about how to believe in something and maybe even stand for it when the rest of the world doesn’t. A concept that we Freemasons have learned throughout the years.
Being a Mason isn’t easy. Not to get into specifics but Masons learn during their education that you can be killed for what you know and what is in your mind. It’s a universal element that everyone knows but to learn about it in such a vivid way changes your approach to the world around you.
Yet knowledge is not something that we Masons shy away from. Far from it. While many Masons have their own perspective of the world, they are in constant motion to seek out knowledge. However Masons aren’t just information vacuums eating away at an information buffet. You also have to be careful of what goes into your mind. Be wary and conscious of how information is being presented and implemented in you.
One of the first things Masons learn in their Masonic science is to be temperate in how they approach all things. You have to keep your emotions in check. And this is not something new and surprising but it’s the very core of good debate. When you get emotional, control yourself. Getting emotional causes the blood to rush through your body, you to become distracted, it causes your argument to become fragmented and you end up looking threatening to the person you’re talking to. If you are calm, cool and collected people will think you have your life together. People associate wild ideas with wildly emotional people. By being calm they will internally process what you say as if you are saying something that is not far out there. This also applies to the internet but that is for a later blog post.
You must also show some fortitude when you approach an argument. Think of a pioneer, or a mountain climber, or an astronaut. People respect those who deep down know they are climbing a mountain and also respect that they have the gut to pull it off. That respect translates into your untraditional arguments. Make sure they know that you are facing an uphill battle with your perspective. It’s not an easy task you’re undertaking. This psychologically also makes them sympathize with you because you’re at a weaker point. Also it allows them to respect that fact that you aren’t siding with the popular opinion. That internal fortitude is what will make people see you as someone who is willing to stand out in the storm and try new things. People who have that ability are the type that people follow. We all face storms. To be with someone who can stand in that tempest only makes us feel safe with them.
Masons also learn to be prudent in their approach to their fellow man. You can’t fight every fight guys. You can’t climb every mountain or try to take on Mike Tyson in a boxing match (you could probably beat today’s Tyson, but that’s beside the point). Is this a challenge worth having. Look deep into you’re core. You will find that many potential areas of conflict can largely be avoided and self-corrected by others. Before you jump in think about if this way of thinking is worth taking on. Or the conversation isn’t worth having as you need some personal time to brush up on the statistics, numbers and facts of the situation.
And another key point of the Masonic compass is walking with justice. Of all the previous concepts they all cannot be tied together without justice. For justice informs them all. You may have the ability to climb mountains, the attitude to be cool and calm while doing it and the intelligence to not climb a mountain that you can’t but ask yourself…where is the justice in it. For when you chose to engage in debate with others, you must ask yourself if what I’m saying is just. Is it fair? Is it something that is worthy of a higher power who watches our actions. For those that seek to stand against the storm only those who do it for the greater good, for fairness, and for equality shall come out alive. When someone talks to you, they can sense your values no matter how good you are at concealing them. You must show that you are doing this because you believe it is right even if it means it will not benefit you. Only then will people come to realize that it isn’t you vs. them but you standing tall for something that is right.
So take this with you and think about it. This is only a part of the Masonic equation but part of our core principles. Too much information is no different that having none at all. Take this for now and set it in your heart. Use it and let me know how it works for your own self-improvement.