I hold in my hand a little scrap of paper
2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches in size.
It is of no intrinsic worth,
not a bond, not a check or receipt for valuables,
yet it is my most priceless possession.
It is my membership card in a Masonic Lodge.
It tells me that I have entered
into a spiritual kinship with my fellow Masons
to practice charity in word and deed;
to forgive and forget the faults of my brethren;
to hush the tongues of scandal and innuendo;
to care for the crippled, the hungry and the sick,
and to be fair and just to all mankind.
It tells me that no matter where
I may travel in the world,
I am welcome to visit a place where good fellowship prevails
among brothers and friends.
It tells me that my loved ones, my home,
and my household are under the protection
of every member of this great Fraternity,
who have sworn to defend and protect mine
as I have sworn to defend and protect theirs.
It tells me that should I ever be overtaken
by adversity or misfortune
through no fault of my own,
the hands of every Mason on the face of the earth
will be stretched forth to assist me in my necessities.
And finally, it tells me
that when my final exit from the stage of life has been made,
there will be gathered around my lifeless body,
friends and brothers who will recall to mind my virtues,
though they be but few,
and will forget my faults,
though they may be many.
It tells me that, and a great deal more,
this little card,
and makes me proud yet humble,
that I can possess this passport
into a society of friends and brothers
that are numbered in the millions.
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