by ARMAND H. BISHOP, M.P.S. (Kans.)
We have all heard of some Brother being asked to give his reasons for becoming a Master Mason, and among the reasons given in reply, was a desire to receive Master’s Wages. But what are Master’s Wages? The wages of a Master Mason may mean something entirely different to each and every one of us. Wages received by one Brother may give full satisfaction. Under the same circumstances, another
may feel that he has been short changed. Those who seek to become Master Masons in a search for material wealth will certainly be disappointed. Just as surely, those who come into our Fraternity with a sincere desire for light-more light -and further light, and are willing to expose themselves to the teachings of Masonry, will be richly rewarded.
The light we receive as we pursue our Masonic careers will help us in becoming better men in our homes, in our Lodges, and in the community. It will constantly remind us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and in so doing, it will give us peace of mind as we become better acquainted with our Maker. It will create in each of us a desire to want to do the right thing at all times, and more than that, a study of Freemasonry will better fit us to live in harmony with our fellowmen. But it is up to each of us to decide for himself just what his wages shall be.
It is not likely that all Brethren will be paid the same wages, either in kind of wages or the amount. We have Brethren who, for reasons that may seem to be sufficient to them, rarely attend our Lodge meetings. This does not necessarily mean that they are not receiving Master’s Wages. Some of our Brethren-without being reminded, find time to visit with the sick in their homes and in hospitals, and in so doing, bring light and joy into the lives of many.
A Mason doing these things certainly receives a Masters Wages. Some Brother may also receive wages in the assistance he is able to give to the grief- stricken family of a departed Brother-or in giving the funeral service at the grave. There is besides, one Brother I know who has devoted practically all of his spare time during the past forty years to helping crippled children. He has spent his own time and money in helping these crippled children into Shriners’ Hospitals where repairs can be made, and their broken bodies mended. Is there anyone so naive that he believes this Brother is not completely satisfied with the Master’s Wages that he receives in so doing?
His rewards for such humanitarian endeavors make him one of the happiest men that I know anywhere.
Some of us receive wages as we take advantage of the opportunity to instruct the younger Brethren in the ritualistic work, lectures, or Masonic history. And most assuredly, some of the best paid Masons are those who under no circumstance could be persuaded to accept an office in the Lodge, or take part in the degree work, but who are grateful for the opportunity to prepare and serve refreshments, help repair furniture and paraphernalia, or who serve on committees with burdensome or unpleasant duties no one else wants to assume. Then, too, we have the good
Brother who receives satisfactory wages in honors conferred upon him for long and faithful service. Another may receive wages in the deep -down satisfaction that comes to one who is able to be of assistance in any capacity-whether in teaching lectures or taking part in the degree work.
The Worshipful Master who starts out his year with his program already prepared well in advance of his installation knowing what he has to do to keep each meeting of interest to the Brethren, appoints his committees, and keeps a watchful eye on every item in order that his plans may develop as scheduled. At the end of the year he justly feels a little weary and ready for a prolonged rest. Without a doubt the thought has occurred to him, at sometime during the year, that all of his time, effort and his personal expense is being wasted. But at the end if his term of office when all is done, he realizes that everything has turned out better than he could have possibly desired. He feels richly rewarded. He, too, had received Master’s Wages. There are many other ways in which we receive Master’s Wages, but I believe that the fine fellowship we enjoy and the friends we make as we travel along life’s restless way, reward us more generously than any of the other benefits derived from our Masonic Associations.
Friendship is something that we cannot buy. Neither can we sell it to anyone. But we can give it away, and we do. Those of us who have long been actively interested in our Masonic organizations have had wonderful opportunities to make friends-and what is more important-to BE friends. There is nothing in the world more important than that each of us take advantage of every opportunity to be a friend. If we will do this, we will make friends and have friends . Those of us who have followed such a policy have been well paid. Many of us have received Master’s Wages over, and over, and over again. It is a wonderful experience. In this day and age, many are making collections of various kinds. These collections cover a wide range of articles. Rare and old paintings, coins, china, precious gems, postage stamps, mechanical pencils, book-match covers, and many other items.
You and I couldn’t have a more rewarding hobby, than that of collecting friends. We all have plenty of room for such a hobby for we find friends for such a collection wherever we may go. It may be somebody who employs you, or it can be some person who is employed by you or it can be someone you scarcely know just as easily as it may be someone who is a regular and daily associate. The plumber, janitor. delivery man, a banker, or some person with prestige and wealth in the community or state in which you live.
Everywhere you look, you will find another friend for your collection, and each of them will be a valued addition to your collection and be highly treasured so long as you can keep them. All collections are of some value to those possessing them but nothing can compare in value to a collection of friends .
You can’t sell this sort of collection to another, but who would wan t to? Reflect on it and I am sure that you will agree with me that no material wealth of any kind can make one so happy as a fine collection of friends. And the cost of putting together such a collection is small. A little kindness, a courtesy, thoughtfulness, and consideration for others are the necessary ingredients for making friends, and it is certainly an easy and pleasant manner in which to earn your Master’s Wages.