Livingstone here. In our first part of this blog entry, I covered the types of reactions one would get when wearing a Freemason ring. When to Wear the Ring: Part 1. In Part 2, I talk about the list of potential places to wear the ring and why or why not it could be useful.
Again, this is my perspective and mine alone. However it has been a topic of discussion in a few areas. So I decided to cover it and add to that discussion and elaborate on the why and how.
So let’s look at the various stations of where a man can be in his daily life.
Service to God
And so on and so forth. There is a diverse set of areas a man will be as a Mason and as such, he will have a diverse set of actions and responses based off of where he is. Typical.
But here is a quick tangent. However looking at this in the context of Masonry, we are taught to work on the level. We are also admonished to walk uprightly in our several stations before God and man. And keep our passions within due bounds to all of mankind. Spread harmony among the brothers. To name a few key ones. So while there is a difference of behavior to a multitude of people, there are also singular consistencies that are applied in a universal way. Pragmatically we are different to different people because we have to be, yet we are admonished to follow universal actions.
While we are just focusing on when to wear the ring, it serves as a mcguffin to the larger conversation of when to show you are a Mason and when not to. A different conversation that we will touch on throughout but is a blog entry all of it’s own.
WORK – Many Masons refer to work as “Their Vocation”. Vocation meaning “an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which he or she is suited, trained, or qualified.” Either you are working a 9-5 to pay the bills, working around the clock on multiple jobs, or engaging in an art, science, or career that just draws your passion, this is what we would consider work. Now for the vast majority of people, work is a hairy place. Between office politics, gossip, backstabbing, competition to move up, competition to not be fired, and that fact that work is now the central source of friendships, your job is a volatile environment. Many of you may not know this, but you probably are working or have worked with a Mason before. Masons typically dominate the middle and upper-class professions. But many are also just working men who joined for the brotherhood. For the working guys, it’s just a fraternity they’re part of and they’ll wear their Masonic regalia with pride. A place to drink, shoot the shit, and get away from people. But some environments have people who are radically religious, or conspiratorial, or whatever. Wearing a ring then is asking for trouble. While this may seem obvious, but due examination of the environment should be done first before you go wear your ring around. Some some reading this, it seems like you’re conforming to the environment. I argue you’re showing prudence. You may be proud or excited to be a Mason or you just may feel it is who you are and want to wear that identity. But secrecy is part of our identity too and getting a sense of the people is key before you show the square and compass. Your boss may view you with suspicion as any organized presence under their command is a threat to them or they may know that you are a man of character, morality, temperance and justice. Feel it out. But more often then not your lack of power may make you a target.
In a more middle position, such as a white-collar job, the same prudence and due examination should be performed. However if you have a skill based position, then you won’t receive nearly the trouble. People who hold a knowledge based value that the company relies on will be insulated from much of the confrontation or chance of being undermined. This is in many ways a great time to show off the ring. If someone happens to notice they will associate your valued skills with The Fraternity. You should be fine then. Now for the white-collar jobs that are just general jobs that can be filled pretty easily, this is a toss-up. I would say that showing that you are a Mason will make a lot of people want to either ally with you or see you as a threat. You’ll notice a common theme about this. If you’re any decent Mason, if anything happens to you your brothers will support you in your distress. So wear the ring and accept that you’ll probably become very interesting very quickly.
If you are in a management or executive position, this is when advertising your ties to Masonry are the most blatant. It’s not a I’m in power because I’m a Mason thing they’re doing. It’s just a standard fact of life for people who get in positions of power. You always hear these wild stories of successful people and their abnormal lifestyle choices. The reality is we ALL have some abnormal lifestyle choices. But those in power are less afraid to do it because they are the ones that can fire and hire and there are few to none others that can. As long as the company succeeds, that is all that matters. If you fit in here, showing you are a Mason will probably get a number of people thinking you only got there because of your Masonic connection. And you’ll get a lot of people who will say how much they love Masonry because they’re trying to kiss up to you. And then you’ll get the third group of people who are reasonable and they’ll make adjustments to how they approach you if need be.
Also I’ll remark on school as this may be the full time vocation of many of you. Think college or higher education. This is a more open environment, yet you’ll get the conspiracy element here too. It is a lot less trouble for you because you’re a paying customer of the school so there will be more protection of you and your Masonic identity. Of course you’ll get the occasional professor who gets wild ideas abut the craft. You’ll also get a number of professors who are brothers themselves. But most likely you’ll be fine, and always a lot more interesting to people who find out about it. Of course the country of origin for the student that finds out does matter, but just be yourself and keep your Masonic values and you’ll be fine. Wear the ring with honor.
HOME – Your wife will already know. Or you live alone and wearing your ring is something you just like to do. It’s up to you. However your girlfriend is a blog entry of it’s own. But when you are alone, your Masonic experience is pure and one that is entirely up to you. Yet also remember that you are never truly alone, as God’s eyes are always upon you. The ring is your clothing and a representation of who you are. But it’s not a source of guidance. Only God is.
SERVICE TO GOD – This is a more complex endeavor and one that requires it’s own blog entry. This means your house of worship, charitable endeavor, search for truth. Etc. We’ll cover this in the next blog.
To be continued.