A salesman once stopped by a small town and came upon a beautiful children’s park designed like a fairy tale village with buildings made of stone and bricks built to a child’s scale. When he asked a gardener about it, he was told; “ We have some really good masons here and they built all these in their spare time through the years.”
Being a member of the Masonic fraternity the salesman was delighted to hear this and inquired where he might find the lodge where he can meet these really good masons. He was however directed to a brick factory and realized that the builders of the park were masons who actually work in bricks and stones. He was a bit disappointed but felt somewhat embarrassed for himself for being presumptuous . But he then recalled that the “working tools of life” explained to him in Freemasonry were derived from the tools of trade of these actual masons and realized that whether actual or philosophical, the proper use of these working tools indeed produces things of harmony and beauty.
Freemasons are taught to make use of the so-called working tools of life in order to be better men. It must be realized however that it does not mean better than other men but better in the sense of improving one’s character to make him worthy of a place in that “spiritual house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Freemasons share a common belief in the immortality of the soul.
A person’s character is but an effect of his own thoughts and set of beliefs; not realizing this makes him a slave of circumstances. To start a journey that will set him free is to realize this great truth. A mason is reminded that he travels in that level of time to that undiscovered country where no traveler ever returns. He must therefore learn how to conquer himself. There is an old Buddhist saying: “Though one should conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, he who conquers his own self, is the greatest of all conquerors.”