Ready As We Are to Receive

Communication and Perspective are the Keys to Understanding.

By: Stephen Balke

Stephen Balke Editor

I have the privilege of being one of the instructors in a Masonic leadership program. Last night I heard that someone commented that they were disappointed that the references used in our curriculum were dated (circa late 20th, early 21st Centuries). My response in the conversation was that I usually start off each class with something very like “our references are meant to relate your training to authors and publications that are found in corporate training, but you can find everything we teach within our ritual and the scriptures.” An unfortunate circumstance is that our society is focused on instant gratification, the latest trends, and being fed what to “understand” rather than finding out for themselves what they can about a topic and coming to their own conclusions.

Relating to others is an art, but there is some science. We should always keep in mind that what is communicated is what can be taken by the person to whom we are speaking. They may have a filter in the form of a belief, argument, or lack of interest. They may hear, but they might not be listening; further, they could be listening for something that can be argued. This is ok. You don’t have to convince everyone of everything, and you may not have the benefit of their experience – which could change your understanding.

Where you can take the helm is how you receive. This doesn’t mean that we should change our mind every time someone else is speaking, but rather that we can always learn something either about the topic, the person, or the circumstance. More to the point, it means that we example respect for the person regardless of whether we agree with an opinion, already know what they are conveying, or have no real interest in the topic.

Think of it this way, when you were a kid and told someone that 2+2=4, did you like the response “of course it is” or the one that said “hey, I think you’re right, good job!” This doesn’t change, we always like encouragement.


Please consider sharing what you do with all of us – it may inspire greater and more activity in Masonry in NM!

We look forward to helping you share all the things you’re doing to help Masonry and your Lodge or group grow!

Many thanks to MWB Jeff Johnson and Michele Balke. Both for review of the issue, and contribution of photography by Michele. Other photos provided by the contributors, with the exception of the photos of Brian Ragain and his books, which were provided by him.

Artwork and images are also often downloaded from Creative Commons, royalty free.

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