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Mike Martin

Could this Contain a Clue about Where We're Going Off Course

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I came across this poem, written about 100 years ago by an english-born American Mason Edgar Albert Guest and it kind of struck a couple of nerves in various places for me. What do you think?

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day:
I'd rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way.

The eye's a better pupil, and more willing than the ear,
Fine council is confusing, but example's always clear.

The best of all the preachers are men who live their creed,
For to see good put into action, is what everyone needs.

I can soon learn how to do it, if you let me see it done,
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast my run.

And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lesson by observing what you do.

For I may misunderstand you in the high advice you give,
But there is no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

When I see an act of kindness, I am eager to be kind;
When a weaker brother stumbles, and a stronger stays behind.

Just to see if I can help him, then the wish grows strong in me,
To be as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.

And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today,
Is not the one that tells them, but the one that shows the way.

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Mike

this is only highlighting what trainers already know - that there are different ways people learn. Some prefer to read instructions and they get on with it, others prefer to watch someone do something, then copy.

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Eric I see it completely differently.

To me this poem says that we should lead by example not just tell our new boys how it should be.

Sadly the latter is quite prevalent today.

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This poem makes me think about he should act, and how different people are....assembly instructions from Ikea, are as much use to me as a chocolate teapot, but when someone shows you its everlasting....Nice poem, thanks for sharing Mike

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Did our brother have no time for blind people then?

It seems to me that he is convinced his way is the only way! leading by example is obviously good, but it is not and never will be the only way.

To truly learn something well you need to experience it, however how you learn can be by sight, hearing, example and practical experience. I would suggest the most learned are those that grab the chance to do all of these things.

Super poem though! Thanks.

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Sadly the point has been missed by some of what the content is saying.

This is not the simple act of learning a new task.

Take the first line, I would rather SEE a sermon than hear one any day.

For me this is simple, dont tell me how to act show me how to act. Your good deeds and approach to life will show me how to live mine by example. If we apply this to Masonry many say the words and dont act on those words.

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I think most Freemasons fall far short of the hopelessly-high standards set out in the ritual. However, that is not a criticism of them, or the ritual. I have always considered Freemasonry to be a Paragon - something to be strived for but never quite attained. If any Brother, having been Initiated, Passed and Raised, is even a slightly better person / member of society, then Freemasonry has done its job and its future is secure. I agree with the sentiments of the poem though - the Lodge isn't the best place to see Masonic values in action. Ideally those should take place in the real world. I suppose it's like the difference between the parade ground and the battlefield.

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Don't forget that this was written over a century ago.... I'm not certain, but would guess that the blind would not be admitted, as the rules of membership at the time forbade it. I'm happy to be corrected though.



Tony.

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Sparker (08/06/2015)
Don't forget that this was written over a century ago.... I'm not certain, but would guess that the blind would not be admitted, as the rules of membership at the time forbade it. I'm happy to be corrected though.

Tony.




Tony, I'm sure it would hold true for those with any handicap.

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