There are many and varies theories on the “Length of The Cable Tow”, especially with the current situation with Zoom meetings across the globe. However the quote below, from “Introduction To Freemasonry, The Fellowcraft Degree” by Carl H. Claudy, is a good reminder of the basic tenants of the gentle craft.
“ How long is a cable tow? Thousands have asked and but a few have attempted to reply. In much older days it was generally considered to be three miles; that was when a brother was expected to attend lodge whether he wanted to or not if within the length of his cable tow. Now we have learned that there is no merit in attendance which comes from fear of fines or other compulsion. The very rare but occasionally necessary summons may come to any Fellowcraft. When it comes, he must attend. But Freemasonry is not unreasonable. She does not demand the impossible, and she knows that what is easy for one is hard for another. To one brother ten miles away a summons may mean a call which he can answer only with great difficulty. To another several hundred miles away who has an airplane at his command it may mean no inconvenience. Long before airplanes were thought of or railroad trains were anything but curiosities, it was determined (Baltimore Masonic Convention, 1843) that the length of a cable tow is “the scope of a brother’s reasonable ability.” Such a length the Fellowcraft may take to heart. Our gentle Fraternity compels no man against his will, leaving to each to determine for himself what is just and right and reasonable – and brotherly!”