The Greek philosopher, Plato defined education as “that training in excellence from youth upward, which makes a man passionately desire to be a perfect citizen, and teaches him to rule, and to obey, with justice.” He further remarked that “this is the only education which deserves the name.”
Brethren, you’ll notice that our Masonic custom is closely modelled in this classical tradition. Through repeated allegory, the lessons are clear. The observance of our principles, objectives and ancient landmarks are well defined. Our learning is an ongoing process. It requires time and commitment because it is only with time, commitment and perseverance that we can strive for perfection in our Craft. And by perfecting the rough Ashlar, our daily advancement refines our inner selves, our soul and, ultimately, our character.
Masonry is structured with the same ancient principles of the trade guilds which are still practiced and upheld today in many societies around the world. The progressive structure of our advancement is by design, to instill a sense of pride in our skill and achievement. And similar to tradition of our trade guilds, we are required to prove our proficiency before we are qualified by the acceptance of all to move forward.
By intention, this process builds inner strength; an inner resolution to be the best that you can be. Not for the praise of others, but for the only gratification to which we should aspire; namely, to be the best at what we do and who we are; to build on our character. That, Brethren, is the speculative design of our Craft.
Brethren, let us continue to work on our daily advancement and continue to build on our character. AND let us remember that the standards of Freemasonry that we impress on our new candidates, our brethren and on the world at large are the standards of Freemasonry that we ourselves portray.
R.W. Bro. Art Di Cecco
District Deputy Grand Master
Toronto Don Valley