In every lodge, we find a rough stone (a rough ashlar) and a polished stone (a perfect ashlar). The rough ashlar symbolizes the layman before his initiation. The perfect ashlar represents the Mason’s work of self-improvement and the improvement of humanity through the quest for perfection.
Everyone has his own reasons for becoming a Mason, but the primary motivation is the same for all: to become a better person. The Mason finds in lodge a place of interiority and a time for reflection, a sacred space where calling another man “my brother” has real meaning. Ritual encourages the Mason to practise virtues that might at first glance appear obsolete, but that are in reality so fundamental virtues such as tolerance, fraternity, righteousness, rectitude, equality, temperance, courage, and justice!
Freemasonry provides an environment for ritual, discussion, symbolism, history, and charitable work that helps members become better individuals for themselves and for others. It is this which the Mason brings to the world for the betterment of others. Each Mason invests the amount of time he wishes and participates at lodge communications to the best of his abilities. He may also visit other lodges.
According to a Masonic saying, we only get out of Masonry what we put into it. So it is to our advantage to put a lot into it, and for a long time!