The debate has raged since the 1960s, if not before: What is masculinity? What should a man do and be? What is a “real man” versus a man who embodies “toxic masculinity?” One look at national bestseller lists reveals that, if anything, interest in the topic is growing stronger by the day. Titles that tackle the subject include The Masculinity Manifesto, The Mask of Masculinity, Reinventing Masculinity … it goes on and on. So here at the Valley of Portland, we wanted to take a few minutes to look at this deeply important topic and share our perspective on it.
A Foundation of Values
Abraham Lincoln famously said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” But is also cannot stand if it lacks a strong foundation. Here at the Valley of Portland and among our Masonic brothers worldwide, we believe that foundation is comprised of the enduring values we’ve cherished and upheld for centuries—as they apply to today’s men and today’s world. Think about it: We are living—sadly—in a world where lying … bullying … cheating … demonstrating a lack of respect for women and/or for people from other cultures, and more … are too often met with male silence or with outright male affirmation. One critical way to battle this tide is by men stepping up and rejecting it. And we believe one clear pathway for doing that is by actively embracing the Masonic values we lay out in our Mission Statement, which reads:
It is the mission of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, to improve its members and enhance the communities in which they live by teaching and emulating the principles of Brotherly Love, Tolerance, Charity, and Truth, while actively embracing high social, moral, and spiritual values, including fellowship, compassion, and dedication to God, family, and country.
“The World Needs Men of Honor”
As discussed in the video “Not Just a Man. A Mason,” we Masons have, for 300 years, helped men become the best version of themselves. We don’t do that by giving them a gym pass or changing their diet, or helping them navigate the business world. We do that through our fraternity and by inviting each man to take an oath of Service, Integrity, and Brotherly Love—placing THOSE values at the center of what they embrace as true masculinity.
A Final Word
In his book Understanding Manhood in America: Freemasonry’s Enduring Path to the Mature Masculine, Robert G. Davis asserts that the road to the “mature masculine” is not an easy road; it involves work, perseverance, and a commitment to personal responsibility. Stated another way, it involves a deep commitment to living a values-centered life. Here at the Valley of Portland and throughout the Masonic world, that is exactly the kind of masculinity we strive to manifest each and every day of the year.
Want to Learn More About the Valley of Portland?
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