It is said that no one becomes a Mason because they want to be charitable, for there are many charitable organizations which they could join. No one becomes a Mason because they have a love of history, for there are many historical societies they can join. No one becomes a Brother because they love their community, for there are many community-driven organizations. A man specifically joins Freemasonry because they see something in the character of a Mason that they admire and aspire to attain in themselves.
This month I had the pleasure of attending the California Grand Lodge Annual Communication, where the many Lodges that make up California’s rich Masonic tapestry convene to share information, vote on legislation, and advance our Craft and the spirit of Brotherly Love. During the introduction of the Past Grand Masters, those most worshipful men who have lead the whole of our state-wide organization in years gone by, I realized something new.
As they were introduced, and several of the more recent Past Grand Masters with whom I am familiar were received, I was struck by the thought that it is not only the character of a Mason which encourages a man to seek admission to our Craft, but also the drive to excel, strive, and grow even after he has become a Brother, even after he had been elected to the Oriental chair in the East.
It is in the character and person of those men who have come before which act as continual encouragement for me to better myself and the community in which I reside. The example they have and continue to set reminds me that there is always the possibility of growth, and that strength of character is not a goal to be achieved but rather a measure of continued conduct.
In the face of complacency, deeds performed long ago, and the temptation to rest on one’s laurels, it is that strength of character which drives him to continue growing, continue achieving, and continue inspiring others with his actions and by his conduct.
To those Brothers who have come before and those who yet continue, thank you for your achievements, for your examples, your guidance, and for your inspiration. You make me a better Mason.
— Christopher C. Wright
Past Master, 2012 & 2013