Page 4 - MFM MAY 2014
P. 4

Grand Master’s Message
      to the Craft

              Thom Chisholm                                   the parallels of western society, and the leadership
                      MWGM                                    of the United States. It made me remember my
                                                              university advisor assigning a term paper on Jacque
   I have long pondered my final opportunity to               DeMolay and the Knights Templar moments after
address the Craft as Grand Master in the Montana              commenting on my dad’s Masonic ring that I have
Freemason Magazine. Like everyone, I wish my                  worn continually since the night I was raised. Later, I
thoughts and words to have some beneficial meaning            taught industrial arts and handled daily the working
and an attempt to stimulate one’s thoughts to greater         tools of the operative mason; always contemplating
deeds. In my muddled contemplations, I have reverted          the meaning they held for the speculative mason. The
to my basic characteristics and occupational designs.         current stage of life finds me in the role of leadership,
Education has been my life in one form or another for         both in occupation and Freemasonry. Again, one
almost four decades; the roles of student and teacher         could never deny the appearance of coincidence.
have intertwined to become one. Continuously                  	
along this journey, Masonry has cast a shadow on
my learning and achievement. One could easily                    However it is not my reflections that matter, but
argue that this relationship between Freemasonry              the understanding of the relationship of Freemasonry
and lifelong learning is not by coincidence. It is this       to one’s education. Freemasonry is a method for
relationship that has the most meaning for me as I            one to continue to learn; an enlightenment of one’s
reflect on Montana Masonry.                                   self and one’s interactions with mankind. It is not a
	                                                             memorization club with members reciting elemental
                                                              aspects of life and death. This is merely a means to
   My Masonic education was mostly likely first               an end. The whole lessons of Masonry include both
documented by a circa 1974 photograph that captured           the means and the end. One can reflect on Bloom’s
an image of my three and a half year old self at the foot of  Taxonomy of learning levels to better understand
the Worthy Matron’s station in the Hot Springs Lodge          this holistic methodology. (Benjamin Bloom studied
Hall. This was a picture of my mom’s installation, the        pedagogy and andragogy, or methods of how students
first of several stints as Worthy Matron of the chapter.      and adults learn)
I was a part of an organization that would guide
my life. A couple years later, I became cognizant                The foundation is rote memory skills, such as the
of how a Masonic family handles death, when my                memorization of multiplication tables. On the peak
grandmother passed. This was important because                of the levels is synthesis/evaluation. That is creating
it was the reinforcing agent for my dad to become             knowledge, the highest and arguably the purest form
a Mason; he first pondered it when my grandfather             of education. In between these levels are critical
passed years before. Dad became a Mason, and very             thinking, problem solving, understanding, and other
importantly a Shriner. It was witnessing my dad’s role        forms of learning.
in Shrine that first sparked the idea for me. I joined        	
Masonry to become a Shriner. And, to this day, I am
very proud of my time in both entities and the lessons           Masonry is capable of all these levels of learning.
they have taught me.                                          The mouth-to-ear oral traditions transfer the basic
                                                              pillars of the craft to the degreed initiate. Higher
   During my professional life, Masonry was also on           levels of learning, including synthesis, occur with the
the periphery to teach me. At first, I was immersed           lessons of Masonry through vigilant contemplation.
in the history of humanity when I was a social studies        What is remarkable is Freemasonry can yield both
teacher. Teaching World History, American History,            individual and universal truths. That is to say, many
and Government brought the lessons of American                have similar understanding through Masonry, and yet
Freemasonry to light in every word of the Constitution,       it can be unique to a single brother. Masonry provides
                                                              education that is physical, intellectual, emotional, and
Page 4                                                        spiritual. Although it can, and has been so applied
                                                              as such, stand alone as a discipline in these formats,
                                                              Masonry is to supplement and not supplant one’s
                                                              lessons in exercise, intelligence, relationships, and
                                                              religion. It is also intended to be life-long. I would
                                                              postulate education extends beyond one’s life.
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