"And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” John Donne (1624)
During this past year, we witnessed devastating magnitude 7+ earthquakes in both Ecuador and Japan, and even though it might seem to us a world away, three very active members of our Lodge have relatives living in those countries. Thankfully, their families were not directly affected.
We have an obligation not only as Freemasons, but as members of the human race to assist each other as much as possible, and in any way possible. It is often said, “We Americans are the most giving people on the planet.” Every time there is a need anywhere in the world, the United States gives and gives abundantly.
Let us, as a Lodge and as a community, commit to assisting the victims of the recent natural catastrophes who have lost most if not all by donating to the American Red Cross, to faith-based organizations, or directly to our Junior Steward, who has organized a campaign to collect clothing, non-perishables and water to be sent to Ecuador. It is not too late; please donate generously.
Donne wrote the celebrated aforementioned quote as part of a much longer meditation (partially reprinted on the last panel as a poem) when he was suffering from a very serious illness which almost cost him his life. He came to the realization we are all part of the greater whole. When one suffers, we all suffer. When one rejoices, we all rejoice. In the Jewish tradition it is written, “And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world” (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5). We are privileged to live in a country and be part of a society that lacks very little. Regardless of how weak the economy is or how difficult the financial situation has become, we enjoy a relatively stable and high standard of living. Not everyone around the world can boast the same.
Therefore, we owe to those who are in need, but especially to ourselves, to give back and to provide for the less fortunate and in some small way make their lives a little easier.
As always, my friend, until next month and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you,
Rajaram Rao, Worshipful Master