The lecture of the 31st degree instructs the candidate to judge himself in the same light as he judges others, considering both actions and motives.
In the previous lessons, the candidate was counseled to lead and teach by example. Here he is taught to learn by observation and reflection. Temperance is also advised in setting goals; aiming for the best, but being content with the best possible. This lesson is featured as “Rule #44” in Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior, “When a man does all he can, though it succeed not well, blame not him that did it.”