There is No Right
V.W.Bro. Harold W. Hughes G.R.Ont.1957
In the final charge of our Installation ceremony, there is a line or two which I would like to discuss.
"There is no right without a parallel duty."
We hear a great deal these days about the responsibility of Capital to Labor and we all agree that the employer of labor, in every branch of business, has a responsibility to his employees.
Having agreed upon this point — we must go a step further and agree that the employee or workman also has a responsibility to his job — his employer and to the customers who buy the products produced by him and his associates.
A very large percentage of employers and employees recognize these facts and they live and work together, successfully and happily in a spirit of give and take. Each trying to understand the problems of the other and each contributing his best towards the advancement of the undertaking in which they are both engaged.
A small minority of noisy would-be leaders, quite often succeed in upsetting the harmony existing in a business or a lodge or other organization.
You and I can think of many illustrations of this truth. The pitiful aspect of the whole matter is that the man whose activity results in destroying what was once a happy group or community, so often has no constructive plan to offer in its place.
Neglect of duty invariably results in hardship and some- times disaster to ourselves and to others.
The Great Architect laid down rules when He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and some people claim that our sufferings in these days are the direct result of Adam's disobedience.
It is a natural desire for every mason to wish to become the Wor. Master of his lodge. Not all can have that wish fulfilled, but to the mason who is so honored by his brethren, comes an opportunity for service and leadership which he can gain in no other way.
As Master, he has rights and privileges under the Con- stitution which if properly used, enables him to conduct the affairs of his lodge, with honor and reputation. But, even a Master's right and privilege must not transgress the Ancient Landmarks of our Fraternity. Those unwritten laws which are the very foundation stones of Masonry and upon which the whole science has been built.
A good Master will fear God, honor our country and laws and love the Brotherhood.
Personal desires and animosities will not be allowed to influence his actions and decisions. His whole aim will be to serve his brethren to the best of his ability.
If each of you will take the time to read the Book of Constitution, you will find the rulings of the Grand Master, that the Entered Apprentice as well as the Wor. Master assumes duties as soon as he takes his first obligation.
The right to be a member of our Masonic Order carries with it the responsibilities of good citizenship, decent morals and the willingness to serve one's neighbor.
Two thousand years ago, that great Master Mason gave us two parables. They are just as applicable today as they were in that long ago age.
The first was the story of the Talents: To each of three men was given a duty to perform, according to his ability. To the two who accepted the responsibility and performed the tasks with fidelity, came reward and advancement. But to the one who refused to co-operate and just sat back, criticizing his master and brethren, came just punishment and disgrace.
The other story is that of the servant who was found to have squandered huge sums of money belonging to his master, and on being questioned, pleaded so hard for mercy it was granted, with the admonition to go straight in the future. The servant then demanded payment of a small sum owed to him by a poor man, and when this man was unable to pay the servant, beat him and had him cast into prison. As a result, he in turn received the punishment which he so well deserved.
"To deserve mercy, one must be merciful."
"To have friends, one must be friendly."
To be given the privilege of leadership, one must be ready to accept responsibility and be willing to serve.
The saying "He who would be greatest among you, must be the servant of all." is a truth which we cannot deny.
There is no right without a parallel duty,
No liberty without the supremacy of Law,
No high destiny without earnest perseverance,
and no real greatness without self denial.
May God grant that we as masons may see our duty and do it honestly and faithfully.