Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Wearing The Square and Compass
The square and compass together is a universal sign of our Fraternity and is recognized all over the world. Masons as well as Non-masons associate the square and compass as our logo or trademark. They were original tools of the building trade.
Remember back to when you were going through the degrees and you were taught about the square and the level. The square was used by operative masons to square their work, but we were taught to use to govern al of our actions with mankind. The square represents honesty, fairness, and virtue; it is also used as a badge the badge of office of the Worshipful Master. The principal tenets of masonry are said to be contained within the two points of the compass when spread out, which are friendship, morality, and brotherly love. When you use a compass to draw a circle, one point remains in the center of the circle. That point represents the individual Mason. The circle represents the boundaries of his world and the people he comes into contact with. He is always to live by those principals of friendship, morality, and brotherly love, in all of his dealings with mankind, and especially with a Brother Mason. (1)
When a Mason wears the square and compass, whether it be a ring or other piece of jewelry, emblem on an article of clothing or hat, tattoo, bumper sticker, etc. he is telling the world that he is a Mason. The mason is then held to a higher standard or scrutinized more in greater detail for every action he might take. This is no different than an individual who wears or displays a religious emblem. The individual is letting the world know about their faith and beliefs. Other people watch the actions those individuals so they can criticize them for what they do wrong rather those thing they do right. Most of us have probably heard someone say (if not us ourselves) that person is a hypocrite. Look how they display their religious emblem and they act like that. How can they wear that or display that bumper sticker and act that way or drive that way?
I know we all can remember the good things that have happened or tell a story how someone noticed we were displaying the square and compass and what that meant to them or to us. But do we know about all the stories that might have been or are being told about our actions to others while we wear the square and compass?
As Masons, we should always be striving to improve ourselves in masonry and to become a better person, husband, father, friend, and especially a Brother Mason. This is not a completion amongst other brothers, but an individual’s goal to set his standards a little higher than they were before.
When Masons get involved in their communities and display the square and compass at events it shows the non-masons we really do care and want to help others. This might be done through KidsID events, books for schools, donating blood to the Red Cross, jumping in frigid lakes to help Special Olympics, hosting fund raisers for scholarships, supporting the women and children shelters, helping out communities during flooding and clean-up operations, and the list goes on.
Just remember when you wear the square and compass, you could be the first impression of masonry to a non-mason. Let’s make that first impression a great and lasting one and teach the non-mason about Truth, Relief, and Brotherly Love.
(1) Freemasons For Dummies, by Christopher Hodapp, Wiley Publishing Inc., 2005