News From The Ninth Arch

You Are Responsible

You Are Responsible
By Most Illustrious Companion John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master and Grand Treasurer, Grand Council of New Jersey

MIC John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master of New Jersey


\”All golfers are responsible for the eventuality of their golf shots. Please act accordingly.\” – Local rule of the Banff Springs Golf Course, Alberta, Canada

My Companion:

The Banff Springs course also has very interesting rules concerning hitting an elk or landing in damage caused by an elk, and the usual rules about attire and conduct while on the golf course. As Masons, we also have rules about our conduct, not only while in Council, but also while abroad in the world.

We talk about how we should interact with God as we each see Him, with our country, and our neighbors. We talk about how we should treat a Companion or Brother, giving them the benefit of the doubt, speaking well of them, and helping them mend their ways if they go astray.

But this simple golf rule says it best. You are responsible for what you think, say, and do. You are also responsible for the effect those thoughts, words and deeds have on those around you. The case involving two young Rutgers students is a good example of this. Regardless of your feelings about their individual conduct, or the ongoing court discussions concerning sentencing, the acts of one affected the acts of the other.

Nothing that you do occurs in a vacuum! If you short change the cashier at your grocery store, her boss might think that she was stealing. If you cut someone off on the parkway, they will definitely think you’re an idiot (or worse), and act accordingly. That would endanger not just him and you, but every other driver and passenger on the road.

You were admonished in your Entered Apprentice Degree to act, walk and conduct yourself like a Mason should. You have been enjoined since your first Lodge meeting to practice out of the Lodge what was inculcated in it. In all your Degrees you were taught to revere the Grand Architect of the Universe.


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