Exploring leaders is a year long program at Aultman Health Foundation geared towards developing and polishing the leadership skills of its participants. Its mission is to empower students with skills they would need to make affective decision as an employee, a leader, a family member and a community member.
I was blessed to be part of exploring leaders’ class 2010 and it was a truly a unique experience. After our graduation, we were asked what we valued most during our training and the whole class rated “being able to meet people from diverse areas” as having the highest impact on the students.
Importance of the Diverse Experience
It was at that time it dawned on me that it is the experience of the diverse cultures, careers, areas, views and people that makes one a better man. My leadership experience would have been exponentially different if all of the participants belonged from nursing, IT or any other single field. The difference in opinions and prospective made the class more educational and enjoyable.
You may be wondering what my exploring leaders’ class has to do with Freemasonry. Well, as it turns out, the mission statement of Freemasonry is that it makes good men better! and it does this by providing the opportunity to meet people who you would never have met otherwise.
I would like to clarify that Freemasonry does not claim to have some kind of special powers that magically transforms any man into his superior version. Rather it is a fraternity which provides a platform for good men to assemble and through cooperative effort learn how to better themselves.
The brotherhood in Freemasonry is similar to corn, wine and oil and these three items hold significance in masonry. One of my Masonic brothers, Brother Daniel Unsworth wrote this beautifully and I would like to share it with you. Dan, I am sure you don’t mind me sharing your thoughts with the world.
What does being a Better Man mean?
I was asked the other day what it means, to me, to be a “Better Man.”
Believe it or not…Being a “Better Man” reminds me of Corn, Wine and Oil (Important parts of Freemasonry).
While I was studying my initial degree work I was given ancient words to memorize. During this time they were nothing more than words strung together to form sentences. They had no deeper meaning.
I often wondered how these archaic Masonic lessons could possibly help me…become a better man?
However, after being brought closer to the light by being raised to the degree of sublime Master Mason I was given deeper knowledge, in the form of a book, as all of my brothers before me have received. The knowledge within taught me a different meaning of those ancient words…
Take for example Corn, Wine and Oil – In the beginning, I merely perceived them as a “Fair Days Pay”…but again, after being brought closer to the light I was in awe to discover that:
Corn – Is an emblem of food – Reminding a Mason he should nourish himself in the manna of righteousness
Wine – Is an emblem of refreshment – Reminding him that he should refresh himself with the word of the Grand Architect
Oil – Is the Emblem of the Divine Anointing – Reminding himself that he should rejoice in the joy unspeakable in the riches of the Divine Grace.
Additionally, I discovered that when we carry Corn, Wine and Oil in a precession it’s to remind a Mason during his pilgrimage of life that he should give bread to the hungry, cheer to the sorrowful and consolation to the sick and afflicted….
I’m my personal opinion, if I properly apply these ancient and sacred teachings to my life… I really have no choice than to be a “Better Man” and walk and act as such.
It is for these reasons I am honored to be among you…my brothers… who have taken the same obligations as I have myself.
So mote it be!