Pride & Love
Freemasonry, as an organization, is more than 300 years old with millions of members spread across the globe. In almost every country, you will find Freemasons and our cherished meeting places. In the United States, the same is true; whether in big cities or small towns, our ancient and honorable fraternity is present. For those of us who travel for work or on vacations, we know that it is quite common to meet new Brothers on those trips.
Being connected to and associated with a vast brotherhood of good men offers many unique membership and life experiences. Though we enjoy the Mystic Tie that binds all Freemasons together into one sacred band or society, each Brother knows that Freemasonry is very personal. Some of us start our Masonic Journeys in our 20s while others find Freemasonry later in life and join in their 60s. We each have a different level of interest and attraction to the unique fraternal experiences available through our Masonic tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Said differently, the ways that we live as Freemasons are as unique as we are human. Fundamentally, the goal of Freemasonry is to help each Brother “become the best version of himself” which highlights the individual nature of our Masonic Journey of Self-improvement.
Through the personal Enlightenment that we experience as active Brothers within Illinois Freemasonry, we definitely improve ourselves which benefits our families, friends, workplaces, communities and the fraternity. That learning and grow comes from being involved, volunteering and learning from one another. Also, our Brothers build confidence from looking back at the men they were months ago to reflect upon the many positive differences with “the man in the mirror.” For example, they cherish the insights gained from participating in our meetings, ceremonies and discussions; they also smile about their many “job well done” recognitions and improved skills acquired (e.g. public speaking, inspiring people, project management, etc.). Overall, they know that the word “love” is a verb and marvel at seeing Brotherly Love in action.
A passionate refrain that you will hear spoken by our Brothers is “I’m Proud to be an Illinois Freemason.” They value and enjoy the quality time spent with other good men. In particular, the power of our fellowship activities provides opportunities for Brothers to build friendships with men whom they would never have otherwise crossed paths with in life. Next, they see Brothers “paying it forward” by sharing their talents and investing time to teach newer Brothers, coach and develop our Lodge Officers, and share valuable insights to address work challenges and help advance careers; these Brothers embrace the fact that a journey of self-improvement is not traveled alone. Continuing, they stand taller as good men and Freemasons when taking stock of the many acts that Brothers perform to “relieve the suffering of others” or just “help.” Whether its fixing a leaking faucet and doing some grocery shopping for one of our aging widows, cooking hot meals and serving them to the homeless, helping a Brother and his family recover after their home was devastated by a tornado, or championing the academic excellence of our young people across the state during the annual Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl scholastic tournament, we show our love for and service to humanity.
Being an active Illinois Freemason is literally life-changing. The pride that we have for our fraternity and the love that we share with our Brothers are real. Words cannot really do justice to communicate the amazing feelings that we experience from partnering with our Brothers to positively change the world around us. That said, when you see an Illinois Freemason, know that he takes pride in propelling our Illinois Freemasonry Family and communities forward by simply performing one loving act after another.