Three Five Seven – December 20, 2010

Three, five, and seven
3    5    7
By Ed Halpaus, Grand Lodge Education Officer.
Number 185 – December 20, 2010

This publication, while it is printed with the permission of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of A.F. & A. M. of Minnesota, contains the writings and opinions of Ed Halpaus and is not in any way the opinion of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota.

Visit the ill

Twere better to carry a single flower
To give a living friend at any hour
Than pile hosts of Roses, white and red
Upon his coffin when he is dead.

Dear Masonic Student – Below we have a very fine essay from Brother Ken Baril, a member of our Education Committee. I’m sure you will get something worthwhile out of it. – Ed


This morning, I read the local newspaper from the town in Connecticut where I had resided before moving to the Cincinnati area.  It contained numerous eulogies for the Chief of Police who succumbed to a heart attack a few days ago.  He was fifty four years old. These words were beautifully written and consumed over two pages of the newspaper.  While reading these eulogies which were filled with praise for this individual, his love for his family and his friends, his sense of humor, his dedication, his devotion to duty and to the town in which he served, his compassion for others, and his assistance to those who called upon him, I realized he truly was an honorable man, and a dedicated leader. He will be missed by many.  Upon reflecting on these eulogies, a thought came to me.  How many individuals do each of us know personally, especially family members, or friends of ours, who fit the same description as that popular Chief of Police?  I’ll bet we all know some one.  During the period of time we have known these individuals, how many times have we mentioned the way we feel towards them?  How many times do we express our inner most feelings to them, shake their hand or even give them a loveable hug?  Have we hugged someone today?  Most likely not!  Why?  Maybe it is because we are ashamed to.  Perhaps we are too “macho” to express our feelings.  It could be that we feel today is not the appropriate time to do this and we will definitely do it at some other time; some other time?  When?  When will we have the nerve or the “guts” to tell someone we love, or admire, what they mean to us?  Give me a time table when you plan to accomplish this.  You can’t!!

Why is it at visitations and funerals we hear from family members and friends of the deceased all the great attributes this person had.  Was he or she informed of these feelings while they were still with us?  Funeral homes usually are filled with a variety of floral arrangements, conveying the sympathies of many people.  Have flowers ever been sent to these same people while they were living?  Have flowers been sent just for the sake of sending someone a bouquet?   Think now; how many times have you sent flowers to someone just to say Hi, or “I love you?” Have we sent flowers to someone just to brighten their day?  How many acts of random kindness do we perform in the course of a day?  Be honest now.  How many?  Don’t be ashamed, be truthful.

As human beings, we take everything for granted.  When we get into our cars and turn the ignition key on, we take for granted the engine will start; when we enter a dark room we automatically flip the light switch on and take for granted the light will come on.  When we turn the thermostat up on a cold winter day, we take for granted the furnace will fire up and keep us warm.  The examples are endless.  The most important items we take for granted are our family members, and our own lives.  Who can guarantee us that we or one of our loved ones will be with us in the next second?  What a shame it is that we take these loved ones so much for granted, most always, unconsciously.

The last two verses of a poem I read many years ago seem to sum it up perfectly.

So hold your loved ones close today
And whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
And that you’ll always hold them dear.

Take time to say, “I’m sorry, please forgive me,
Thank you, or it’s Okay,”
For if tomorrow never comes,
You’ll have no regrets about today.
S. K. Baril © 2009

Please remember: if you would like to participate in the latest Masonic Monday Question, please go to and click on the Lodge Education forum. When you have an answer send it to   the Masonic Monday Question for the week of 12/22/10 is: What are the actual wages of a Fellow-Craft?

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“We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey, especially the goodness of the people we meet on the way. Appreciation is a wonderful feeling, don’t overlook it.” Unknown

A new Education Video has been uploaded to You Tube, it can be viewed at:

T.F.S. & Masonic Matters can also be read on Ed’s Face Book page; – – –

With “Brotherly Love”,
Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer

Seek to mentor a Brother Mason: It’s good for him, it’s good for you, and it’s good for Freemasonry!