Submitted by Companion Robert Whyte; Peninsula York Rite; Burlingame, California
Companion Robert Whyte
One night a burglar broke into a Masonic Lodge hoping to steal money from the safe. As he crept into the lodge offices in the dark with just his flashlight, he heard a voice say, “Tyler is watching you.” The burglar thought to himself that he must be hearing things, so he ignored the voice. Five minutes later he heard the same voice say, “Tyler is watching you.” The dumbfounded burglar spun around and pointed his flashlight in the direction where he heard the voice. He was surprised when the light revealed a parrot sitting on a tree limb in an atrium with a skylight above.
The burglar composed himself and said, “You’re a parrot”; to which the parrot replied, one more time, “Tyler is watching you.” Having calmed down, the burglar questioned the parrot. “What’s your name?” The parrot gleefully said, “King Solomon.”
Clearly annoyed the burglar responded, “what kind masons in their right mind would name a parrot something silly like King Solomon?” There was silence for a few seconds before the parrot said, “the same masons who named their pit-bull Tyler.”
Some people do not always do the right thing and must learn some of life’s lessons the hard way, like the hapless and soon-to-be hospitalized burglar. Knowing what the right thing to do in our lives sometimes requires seeking advice from a trusted friend or mentor.
Mentor is derived from Greek mythology. It means “wise adviser” “friend who also is a sage counselor.” We were first introduced to the word Mentor from the literature of ancient Greece. In Homer’s epic “The Odyssey”, Odysseus (or Ulysses as he is known in the 1954 Kirk Douglas movie of the same name) was away from home fighting the Trojan war and thereafter journeying for 20 years.*
During that time, his son Telemachus, grew up under the supervision of Mentor, an old and trusted friend. When the goddess Athena decided it was time to complete the education of young Telemachus, she visited him disguised as Mentor, and together they set out to learn about his father Ulysses.
Today, we use the word mentor for anyone who is a positive, guiding influence in another person’s life. Over the years, I have learned to seek advice from people I have considered (and still consider) my mentors. They have always provided me with wise counsel.
For any young or new Mason, our Craft is full of wise Masons who can provide sound advice and wisdom. So, as we begin the second half of this Masonic year, let us find the time to thank our mentors, and forge new and positive paths on which to continue our respective journeys like Telemachus.
About Robert Whyte
Companion Robert Whyte is a member and the Editor-In-Chief of the San Francisco and Peninsula York Rite Bulletin. He is currently serving as Junior Warden of Burlingame Masonic Lodge No. 400 in Burlingame, California. He is a member of Britannia Council No. 303, Allied Masonic Degrees and El Camino Real College No. 131, York Rite Sovereign College. Companion Whyte is also the Silicon Valley Local Secretary for Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle. He is a 32nd Degree member of Burlingame Bodies, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.