Don’s Diary (Life’s Journey)
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end”. Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961); American novelist, Nobel Prize winner, and a Freemason.
In recent years this Hemingway sentiment is often expressed. Many of us were standing on a veranda recently when I heard it. Drinks and nibbles were brought by some thoughtful members and we witnessed the red sunset disappearing behind the forests on Victoria’s High Country, soon to be followed by a glorious twilight finishing with Last Light, an Old Soldier’s term.
The primary objective was the lodge meeting at Alexandra but the journey began with ascending the Black Spur through its incomparable stands of mountain ash and past the towering Cathedral Range, drinks in a country pub and dining together at another. However, the conviviality on the veranda added that special dimension on the journey. To me it prompted fond recollections of fun on the High County ski slopes, mateship around a campfire after long treks on horseback through stands of eucalypt forest and across the big rivers. The mood was captured by our Worshipful Master when he philosophically remarked “What is important is the journey”.
Many of us have chosen careers where achieving objectives on time and on budget are the measure of success and the basis on which we are rewarded. It is easy to find one subordinating everything else to achieve those ends. Our lives become dictated by critical paths, often now computed by information technology. Personal relationships can easily become the causalities of work and career survival. It is not uncommon for marriages to fail. You work like hell and if you are successful others who choose a less diligent path may say that you have been “lucky”, think that it is “not fair” that you receive the rewards that you do, and governments will apply taxes just to even things up, fund their follies and get the money to buy votes. At least you can hold your head high.
By recognising the merit of Hemingway’s philosophy one can become more balanced about the paths that you take to achieve your objectives. It is about living life to the fullest and as most of us in Devotion realise, it is the fraternal relationships in the Lodge that matter more than anything else, the company of men of quality.
Our journey through life is addressed in our teaching and we are told in elegant rhetoric that “To steer the barque of this life through the seas of passion, without quitting the helm of rectitude, is the highest perfection to which human nature can attain…..” So plan your journey on the way to achieving objectives, maintain high integrity and good fraternal relationships and there is a good chance that you will enjoy life more. Emulate the planning and forethought of our Worshipful Master. You might even become a higher achiever as a result.