Thursday, April 19, 2007

Masonic Peace Institute

I received a great comment on my last post from one of the organizers of the Masonic Peace Institute. This is an organization well worth checking out. The following "Declaration" is from their website:

We, the members and supporters of the Masonic Peace Institute, are committed to the peaceful coexistence of all peoples, no matter where dispersed. To this end we will toil, spreading the cement of Brotherly Love and affection throughout humanity. We will work with any like-minded individuals and/or groups, no matter their nationality, culture, color, sex, language, rank, race, residence, or religion."

We furthermore, affirm and promote:
The equal dignity and rights of all people.
The pursuit of peace, liberty, justice, and compassion for all.
The right to the values of enlightenment, through education and unbiased information. Peaceful conflict resolution.
Truth as expressed in all cultures and recognized by all human beings.
Taking responsibility for the consequence of all action, processes and understanding.
The truth as expressed in all religions, philosophy and cultures, but proselytize none.
The men & women, of all times and from all nations, who have promoted or do now, promote peaceful civilization.
The principles of equality found in the theories of democracy, without proselytizing any political agenda, action or system.

To these ends we will act to:
Establish relations with other national and international peace organizations
Participate in worldwide events representing the humanitarian vision of democracy and peace
Conducting surveys or research and disseminate information
Become involved in peace processes where possible, proposing, participating in, and supporting peace talks and conflict resolution
Support like minded individuals and organizations
May Brotherly Love Prevail.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's a Mad World

The tragedy of the shootings at Virginia Tech yesterday took over the news that was previously obsessed with Imus and Anna Nicole Smith.

My mind is just spinning. What is going on in this world? What would possess someone to take a gun and begin shooting people? How can someone think that a racist comment would be funny? Why is the paternity of some innocent child suddenly our business?

It really seems like the world has completely come unbalanced (the weather would seem to support that idea as well - I am really sick of snow right now). Everything is done to the extreme while moving at break neck speeds. I think that it would do us all a great service to slow down and consider our choices in life and their impact upon those around us. It seems to be the new American Way to take drastic means to an end while laying the resposibility of the consequences on other folks.

That needs to change. Let's start within our Masonic Lodges - it's what were are supposedly there to do right? Find balance - maybe while standing between two columns (a little Fellowcraft Degree symbolism for those of you not following along). Leadership and responsibility skills can be grown & developed within our Lodges. But we need to take it outside its walls.

It's a mad world out there. I challenge all Masons around the world to step up and begin bringing some balance to their communities. It has to start somewhere...