From Damien of Lodge Devotion
Standing about at any Lodge, Brethren frequently discuss sad absences of Brothers – often with “he had to work tonight”. This habitually brings forth an affirmation that the descending priorities of a Mason should be;
2nd Employment (work, “the job”)
I have heard this often, but rarely consider it closely.
Freemasonry teaches many lessons still as relevant now as when first composed. That Family and Work come before the Lodge is important, but all too often we find ourselves putting Work before Family. Telephone calls to partners to say we have to work late and won't be home for dinner are common place in a competitive society that places much emphasis on professional commitment and success. Modern workers feel justified and responsible (compelled?) to work longer hours and this seems approved by many many employers and employees. Work has become the Mistress to many men and the Partner of many women in the late 20th and early 21st Century and society seems to whole heartedly approve.
Why do we work? We work to provide for ourselves and those who rely upon us. Many of us work to gain as sense of success, validation, and fulfilment. But take pause and be cautious. Our purpose for living is not to work – work is to allow us to live - pity the many people who retire with no family and friends around them because they abandoned them for work. A job should be a means to an end - not an end in itself.