When asked the question “what does Freemasonry do?”, most Freemasons happily answer, “we make good men better”.
In fact, we give this answer so often that it rolls off the tongue and somehow makes us feel like we are all the better for having said it. It is a symbol of our good intentions, of the purpose of making a good man better
Being that that is the case, how do we then measure a good man and what tools do we give him to enable him to make himself a better man? Freemasonry uses the symbols originating from the times of the stonemasons to deliver moral, spiritual and intellectual “lessons” through a system of self-knowledge so that good men can improve themselves.
Anyone who has completed any kind of self-evaluation will acknowledge that there are two challenges related to acquiring self-knowledge.
The first challenge is the question of relevance and measure. What do we need to know about ourselves and how do we measure if this is good or bad? What attributes should we be considering and what scale should we be measuring them against? The second challenge is that of bias. We all have a natural bias when we measure ourselves, some see themselves in a positive light and will generally find it easier to recognize their strengths than it is to find their weaknesses. Yet others are overly critical of themselves and tend to focus on their weaknesses rather than their strengths. This bias will tend to distract one’s focus from the real issues that require attention and may cause one to neglect that which requires attention.