November marks, for many of us, the beginning of the holiday season. We start planning our visits with family and friends that, in some cases, we’ve not seen for some time. We plan feasts and parties. The bins of winter clothes are brought down from the attic. For many people, this is a favorite time of year (myself included). It also marks an opportunity for us to consider how we can help others.
One the first masonic teachings we are exposed to when entering our gentle craft is the important lesson about charity. In order for us to grow as men and Masons we must learn and live the practice of giving. No matter one’s faith or tradition, there is always a component or obligatory feeling that requires charity from each of us. Whether it is tzedakah, sadaqat, almsgiving or some sort of spontaneous relief given to address a sudden need, we are all obligated so far as we are able.
Part of human frailty is that we often look for and focus on that which differentiates us from one another, typically as a point of reference from which to judge. The reality is that all of us have far more in common than we, willingly or unwillingly, acknowledge. The inherent need for us to contribute to those who are in need is one of the most visible yet overlooked commonalities of all people. We all seek to shelter that which is precious: life. This happens regardless of faith, race, creed, political perspective or class. It is an inherent human quality that binds us all together.
During this season of giving, I ask you to make a conscious effort to reach out to those in need, especially those whom we would not normally encounter in our daily lives. Reach across the artificial boundaries society has established and do good unto all men.
I look forward to seeing you at lodge.
Sincerely & Fraternally Yours,