On March 22nd we had our Official Visit to Westmount Chapter. I have to admit, I was a lot more nervous this time around. I think it was because there were so many members present. There were two General Grand Chapter Committee Members and 16 Past Grands!
Again, I was honoured with a special ceremony by being paraded around to all the Star Points where I was given a gift of a beautiful candle holder in the Star Point colour, with a candle to go with it. I was, once again, presented with a donation to my Special Project. This evening I spoke to the Chapter on the subject of the Golden Rule. After the meeting, the Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron signed my Bible and lots of pictures were taken. You know, it’s really hard to get everyone assembled for pictures!
Chapter Talk - The Golden Rule
Worthy Matron, Worthy Patron, WGP, GGCCM’s, all Distinguished Guests, Sisters & Brothers. Thank you Worthy Matron for the warm welcome this evening. As always, it is a pleasure to be here tonight. Tonight I want to talk to you about the Golden Rule.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them”
In our impressive installation ceremony, to me the most beautiful lines are these – “Let us be kind, forbearing and forgiving, one towards another. Let us return kindness for hostility. Let us sacredly preserve our lips from slander and evil speaking; and what so ever our failings, let us throw around each other the broad mantle of Charity. And finally, let us be governed in word and deed by the Golden Rule – Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.”
Following the admonitions given to us in that one paragraph would solve all the problems in the world today. It would bring happiness to the individual and lasting peace to the earth. The world is a large place and we in this room cannot hope to influence it greatly. But we can, by living the Golden Rule, bring peace to our own souls and joy to those with whom we associate.
Here is a story of a young girl who eventually learned this.
A long time ago in China, a girl name Li-li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-li found that she couldn’t get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-li was angered by many of her mother-in-law’s habits. In addition, she criticized Li-li constantly.
Days passed days, and weeks passed weeks. Li-li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish.
All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing the poor husband great distress. Finally, Li-li could not stand her mother-in-law’s bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it. Li-li went to see her father’s good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all.
Mr. Huang thought for a while, and finally said, “Li-li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you.” Li-li said, “Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do.”
Mr. Huang went into the back room and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Li-li “You can’t use a quick acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up in her body. Every other day prepare some pork or chicken and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. Don’t argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like queen.”
Li-li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law.
Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed.
Li-li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn’t had an argument in six months with her mother-in-law, who now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with. The mother-in-law’s attitude towards Li-li changed, and she began to love Li-li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter, and Li-li’s husband was very happy to see what was happening.
One day, Li-li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said, “Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She is changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her.”
Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head, “Li-li, there is nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude towards her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her.”
In promulgating the principles of our Order, we are truly living by the Golden Rule. In living by it we bring about our own reward. A feeling of warmth and well being fills our hearts; our characters are strengthened; truth becomes paramount; we beget love and inspire charity in others. We win friends. And in the final measures we shall have the joy of hearing the wonderful words of our Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
In closing may I again repeat the impressive paragraph with which I opened:
“Let us be kind, forbearing and forgiving, one towards another. Let us return kindness for hostility. Let us sacredly preserve our lips from slander and evil speaking; and what so ever our failings, let us throw around each other the broad mantle of Charity. And finally, let us be governed in word and deed by the Golden Rule – Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.”
I want to thank you Worthy Matron, for allowing my Bible to rest on your Altar tonight. As you know, this is the Bible that was presented to me by Sister Marion Loffelmann, P.G.M., who in turn received it from Sister Alta Fowler, P.G.M. At the end of the meeting, I would like you and the Worthy Patron to sign it. For those who haven’t seen it, the beautiful Bible marker, which was a gift from my chapter, was hand painted by Sister Louise Wilkinson, P.G.M. I hope everyone takes a chance to have a look. I also want to thank you Worthy Matron for using my gavel tonight. This gavel is the one presented to me by the WGP, Brother Bill and Sister Fabienne at my Installation. It is the second of the two gavels that I will be using this year.
I would also ask that after the meeting the Chapter Officers and the Grand Officers remain for pictures.
Thank you again, Worthy Matron, for all your courtesies tonight and for your wonderful donation to my Special Project. It is very much appreciated