Monday, July 10, 2006
A Father and Son Encounter
The plot in the following story , is inspired by actual events.
There was once an ambitious father. He had a son who was not as ambitious as he was. He failed in many ways, so he wanted his son to be what he would have wanted himself to be and to achieve what he had failed to achieve. He gave his son a good education by enrolling him in the best schools.
After his son's graduation from college, he urged him to join the Knights of Columbus as he believed that religion is a the good start of everything. As a knight, his son became too priestly which he really did not appreciate. he wanted his son to be a go getter, to be articulate and a good debater so he advised his son to join Rotary. As a Rotarian the son was able to enlarge his circle of friends and become more eloquent during discussions. Still not contented, the father wanted his son to develop executive ability. He urged him to join the Jaycees who are mostly executives. For professional refinement, the father advised his son to be a lion. Through Lionism the son became more matured and deliberative. Finally, the son joined the Kiwanis where he became deeply engrossed in charitable and community projects.
After becoming a Knight, a Rotarian, a Jaycee, a Lion and a member of the Kiwanis, one after the other, he is now ready for the final scene set for him by his father. He was asked by his father to join a political party because the father. He was asked by his father to join a political party because the father was in reality preparing his son to be the Mayor of the town if not Congressman of their province. These was the father's unfulfilled ambition which became the hidden agenda for his son.
While mulling over what political party to join, the son made some researches and came across several articles in the weekly magazines narrating that Dr. Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Apolinario Mabini, Andres Bonifacio, the Luna brothers, Emilio Aguinaldo, Manuel Quezon, Jose P.Lauerel, Jose Abad Santos, Chief Justice Manuel Moran, Justice Calixto Zadivar and many other Filipino heroes and national leaders all belong to the Masonic Fraternity. Making further researches, the son developed intense interest and ended up knocking at the door of Freemasonry.
After several years of membership with different organizations, the son realized that his membership fees alone caused a drain in his pocket. Besides, he missed the company of his wife and children. With the help of his wife, he had to make a decision which organization he had to give up and with which he has to remain.
One day the father and son met. The father asked, "What happened? I don't see your pictures in the papers any more. I have not heard about your church activities. Have you abandoned your plan to be Mayor or Congressman?"
The son replied, "Father, I am now a Freemason. I have for the moment cast aside my ambition in the field of politics. With the kind of politics and the manner we handle our political exercises today, I feel that moral uprightness and our present political temper can not mix. To win in politics today one has to compromise with the devil which I cannot. I have decided to remain upright. Besides, I firmly believe that I can also serve God, our country, my fellowmen, my family and friends not through politics alone but other equally challenging avenues."
"What about your training oratory and debate?"
"I make use of them in our meetings, seminars, conferences, conventions and communications."
"How about your executive and managerial training?"
"Father, as Worshipful Master of my Lodge, I exercise managerial and executive authority."
"How about your charitable activities?"
"Do you know, Father, that the Freemasons support the Hospital for Crippled Children? We do a lot of charitable work. We finance the education of children of poor families but you never hear us crow about it. In all disasters in the country, we do our part and give our share without propaganda. we contribute to laudable community projects and participate in civic activities without fanfares."
"How about your church activities?"
"Father, now I believe more in godliness and less religiousity which is more ceremonial and ritualistic. Godliness glimmers with the true and real characteristics of God's children. As a Mason I learned to love my fellowmen and deal with them squarely and on the level. I learned to walk in the dark with faith in my heart and trust in the Lord. I learned that the exercise of my rights end where the rights of my fellowmen begin. I learned to listen to and hear the cries of widows and orphans. My heart has become more sensitive to the tears of the needy."
"Does Freemasonry not demand much of your time?"
"On the contrary, I have more time for my wife and children now. In Freemasonry, we meet only once a month for our stated meeting. We also have special meetings on the call of the Worshipful Master. We have seminars, district meetings and conventions. We meet once a year in the month of April for our Annual Communication. Our activities are so programmed and properly spaced as we are taught to divide our time to service to God and distressed worthy brothers, for our usual vacations and for refreshment and repose. As a Fraternity and individually we perform our share in nation building and in repair of our 'damage culture' by adopting and putting into practice the teachings and tenets of Freemasonry which has weathered and survived the test of time. Freemasonry being a progress moral science, the members are taught and cautioned to be on guard, observe and keep close watch on our moral values."
While the father was intently listening, the son added, "In Freemasonry, there is no room for hypocrisy, Cheating or short-changing a brother is not in our vocabulary. We respect the chastity of a brother Mason's wife, mother, sister. and daughter as they are under our protection and care. In the Masonic Fraternity, a brother's popularity, activity, service, promotion or election is measured not by the thickness of his billfold but by his merits. I do not feel only togetherness but also belongingness. With my brethren I feel safe. With them around, my family and I can sleep soundly without any fear at all."
The son concluded, "Being in the afternoon of my sickness, seeing the colorful and glimmering rays of the setting sun about to fade at twilight time and as I feel that I am about to enter the 'last mile', I would rather, more than anything else, be remembered as your son and the eldest child of mother, as a husband to my wife and a father to my children. And when the Great Architect of the Universe shall call my number and I shall stand naked and alone before the Great White Throne, and He shall ask about my nation and organization, with my head held high, looking straight into HIS eyes, I would with humility be proud to respond, "FILIPINO po Sir, and a FREEMASON"
Listening seriously and with misty eyes, the father said to himself, My dear God, with him as my son, I have not lived in vain. Praise the Lord".
After the short verbal encounter, the father and the son shook hands, bid each other adieu, and parted. Both smiling. The father with satisfaction and contentment and the son into the waiting embraces of his wife and children.