“Equality and Tolerance. The Masonic Values that may Fundamentally Define the 21st Century, a Century of Dramatic Changes."
M. W. Bro. _Alain Théodore _Soumoudronga
Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Madagascar
The purpose of Freemasonry has always been to perfect human beings, by developing their spirituality and to work on the progress of humanity, in an ideal of freedom, equality, tolerance and brotherhood, and this, in respecting the opinions of all, leaving man, with his faculty of action and thought which allows him to set its own rhythm and to change his limits constantly, on the way of spiritual and moral elevation.
One can consider that freemasonry is the result of a long gestation of humanist ideas, in order to create a space of acceptance of the other with freedom of conscience, in tolerance, out of prejudices to condemn those are different from the self.
The Freemason, without disavowing the basic principles of the Order, must regard himself as a missionary among men, he should strive to becoming, and he must become, at the same time, an enlightened initiate, a noble-hearted man and a man of action.
In a context of all upheavals which cross the contemporary world where man appears powerless to control the invisible challenges of globalization, where dogmatic churches have great difficulty to adapt to the ways and the scientific advances of our time, where religious sects become refuges with all those who, having lost their reference marks, wonder about their spiritual purpose, freemasonry must play the part of catalyst and unify the creative energies of reasonable men, who are concerned of being useful to their fellow men.
The Freemason must act rather than speculate to contribute in improving the social order, to influence the choices of society towards greater human dignity and the safeguard of the environment without drowning in the maze of a globalized world.
Freemasonry is a school of life, it allows you to discover otherness, that is the quality of being different by bringing us closer to each other. It must be the springboard to raise our ideas, without ego or the contempt of the ignorance of others.
In a world of change, of international access and multiculturalism, freemasonry must work towards a new humanism which requires a new type of solidarity. It should be up to us, like our individual progress within our social life, for a brighter world, more human where love would have a greater place.
The Freemason is an active in freedom of conscience and a seeker of truth. Admittedly, sometimes, he clashes with the despotism of authoritarian powers. He disturbs society by the only fact that he fights the dogmatism of ideas. He disturbs by his rigor in his behavior in his search for moral improvement, of his high standards.
But enlightened by his formidable humanist faith and his conviction in the perfectibility of man, the Freemason has the capacity to federate the goodwill that he meets around him, and this in fact makes him tolerant and a man of action.
In the world-wide crisis that we are crossing, the problem is, not the diversity of cultures, it is the constant attempt to divide humanity against itself. The more one can feed opposition between men, more one denatures their value, the more their greatness alters, and the more one encourages their regression.
Also, in workplace of the XXI century, the Freemason has in his heart the will to work on the values of Humanism, Spirituality, Citizenship and Modernity for the moral and material progress of man, to develop a world where more freedom, equality, tolerance and fraternity can exist.
Today the Freemason must adapt to the evolution and the problems of the living world and society which is in perpetual transformation.
Today, the Freemason cannot stop to interrogate man’s place on earth and in the cosmos. He must act and attempt to control the challenges of sharing; sharing resources, sharing wealth and sharing work. Beyond the individual, the freemason must rise to the challenges that have been called upon to meet if he wants to be useful to mankind.
The globalization in this XXI century obliges the Freemason to invest in thought and action with regard to the multiple developments of this modernity.
In this era of dramatic changes, the Freemason must himself, more than ever, being a man of tolerance anxious to reduce societal inequalities and it is only by his light, outside of the temple, that he will help and contribute to them.