Greetings from The West.
In our constant pursuit to be better men and better Masons we sometimes stumble. After all, we are only human. I have created a story which should help illustrate what I mean.
One evening after a Stated Meeting at their Lodge the Brethren gathered outside to share some fellowship. One of the newer Master Masons, whom we shall call David, was getting himself something to drink when he thought he overheard something which troubled him deeply. Not being sure what to do as he was not paying attention and couldn’t be sure of what he heard, he decided to sleep on it before taking action. The next day, after careful consideration, David decided to seek the counsel of the Master of the Lodge. He told the Master that while getting himself a drink he noticed one of the other Master Masons, we shall call him Joe, saying good night to the group next to him. When Joe had walked away to his car he thought he overheard another Master Mason saying something rather derogatory about Joe to the group. The group, David continued, was comprised not only of Master Masons, but also a Prospect, an Applicant and an Entered Apprentice Mason. The reason this really upset David was, being a newer Master Mason, he remembered his Obligation, which is the cornerstone of being a Mason, in which we are taught to treat each other with the utmost respect and dignity and we are to never malign one another. Ever.
After hearing this the Master thanked David and told him he absolutely did the right thing coming to him. He also told him that several years ago the very fabric of the Lodge was torn apart because of situations like this where a few of the Brothers started speaking ill of some of the other Brothers and the Lodge had broken into sects and cliques. This caused a tremendous rift in the Fraternity and many members stopped coming to Lodge or demitted and joined another Lodge. But, after many years the Brethren were able to put the Lodge back together. The Master added, we always need to remember we are Brothers of one Lodge, one family and one Fraternity.
Although this story is fictional it represents a very real concern among Lodges in our Fraternity. So please, Brethren, remember your Obligations, remember to seek good counsel when feeling troubled or concerned and always remember we became Masons to be better men and better people.