Much is made of the many holidays we enjoy as citizens and residents of this country. We tease each other about “Hallmark Holidays,” we have our own religious observances, and we have our National Holidays. This Labor Day we celebrate those individuals who have contributed to the common stock of knowledge.
We live in partisan times. Without grounding ourselves, it is tempting to define holidays like Labor Day in terms of “us and them.” However, one of the gifts that Freemasonry offers us is the opportunity to pause, reflect, and reframe our ideas in pursuit of the common good. There have been many individuals in American History who have made contributions which we pause to recognize today. Industrialists like Henry Ford (Palestine Lodge, No. 357), and Andrew Mellon, inventors like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison, labor leaders such as Walter P. Reuther (Highland Park Lodge, No. 468), and even Terence Powderly (of Homestead Strike fame) were all Brothers among us.
The Masonic lectures teach us that we are all to be industrious so as not to be seen as a drones in the hive of nature. We are also taught that dependency is one of the strongest bonds of society which enables us to better fulfill our duties of reciprocal love and friendship. In truth, no Master Mason would order a Fellowcraft in the quarry to make his own tools. The Master Mason would order an apprentice to make the tools which would better enable a Fellowcraft to fit a stone for the builders use. In short, we are all linked together. We celebrate this in our Lodges. While Labor Day remains many things to many people, it is a reminder that we can share our respect for each other outside of the Lodge.
Today and everyday I encourage every brother and friend to celebrate the ties that bind us together.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Omar H. Flores