M. W. Bro. Alberto Ruiz Mitre
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Nayarit
We often lose ourselves between the concept of charity and altruism because a true Mason knows that when being initiated into our beloved order he feels in debt to put them in practice. If he is really convinced that he is a true Mason then he should not find it complicated. I could say that Charity is a principle known as love for humanity and this is practiced within the civil and governmental organisms without expecting a profit.
Altruism, even if it is similar, is clearly distinct (THE SACRIFICE OF ONE PERSON FOR THE OTHERS).
The basic difference between the two terms is that CHARITY promotes a sane practice for the others and ALTRUISM can be damaging for oneself even if it is for the good of others. I could mention few great contemporary men who dedicated their lives to altruism MAHATMA, GANDI, MOTHER THERESA OF CALCUTA AND OTHER, GREAT AVATARS such as JESUS who sacrificed His life for the good of others, giving His life and dying in order to free the people of earth from the oppressors.
Within Masonry there are tools and mantles of true Charity principles and even Brothers who dedicated their lives to altruism, even without noticing, as Mother Therese of Calcutta would say. But in these acts of love there are also other concepts, more profound, transcendental, that in this world there are hidden beings that though they are living physically they do not show their high morals, their brotherhood to others and are even capable of giving their lives as it happened in the past. If all men knew the high precepts of Masonry and put them into practice, the world would be happy because it would nourish itself from love of justice and beauty, which after all is the significance of altruism. The true Masons apply the teachings within the temple and also outside it, polishing them through knowledge and practicing what they learnt in their Lodge complying with the laws of nature, helping in harmony, in brotherhood, fighting to distinguish themselves in the profane life, with inequalities, injustices, envy and ambition. The true Mason is a good person, with compassion and human for all, without preference of race or faith, embraces both the white and black (because not the colour but the talent and the virtue make a man rise above others. Rich and poor, young and old, wise and ignorant, noble, common, because he sees in them the same race, the love which moves us by seeing all men as our brethren.