It is that time of month when I must put fingers to keyboard and submit a message to the lodge. I normally spend a fair amount of time contemplating what message it is that I want or need to send in any specific month. However, this month such is not the case.
I am a subscriber to Carl Jonesâ€™ email lists and recently received a message that I think every brother in Masonry should get. I have chosen to make a paraphrased version of that message the subject of my article this month.
Making Good Men Better
Let me first start at the end of the message with a list of attributes we should strive for younger Masons to see:
- Honor to the fraternity to never let it be defaced by bad intentions.
- Virtuous in our lodges, and in our daily lives.
- Truthful to ourselves about our need to change.
- Fidelity to our practices, so that younger men will want to be like us.
- Courage to speak out when others are not following Masonic principles.
- Loyalty to our brothers in letting them know we care, and are willing to help.
- Patience enough to wait and watch them change.
- Humble enough to accept criticism when we falter, or commendation when we succeed.
- Proud enough to commend the changes we see in our brothers.
This list was preceded by some suggestions of what is â€œgoodâ€ for the Lodge and what is â€œnot goodâ€ for the Lodge. Many of the â€œgoodâ€ suggestions are practiced at Plano lodge, and many of the â€œnot goodâ€ suggestions are also not practiced at Plano lodge. However, I feel the need to point out some items of both categories that I feel we can improve upon.
As an Entered Apprentice Mason we are taught that â€œa lodge is â€¦a place where Masons meet for workâ€ and as a Master Mason â€œâ€¦ of who can best work and best agreeâ€, of course we are all imperfect and striving learn to be the as perfect as possible. To that end I feel that we can improve in â€œCounselingâ€, â€œEdification of anotherâ€, â€œControlled discussion of differencesâ€, â€œAttitudesâ€ and â€œOther profanityâ€. These items have been lifted from the afore mentioned email along with a short description.
Counseling â€“ When a brother who is normally at lodge is absent for an extended time (for no apparent reason) we should be worried about him. We help our own first, and we worry about them when they are not with us.
Edification of another â€“ There have been times that negatives were spoken about a Masonic issue, and younger masons started chiming in with their own negative views about Masonic issues. This cannot happen. The only way to prevent this is to ensure all do not get this kind of conversation started.
Controlled discussion of differences â€“ Craft your discussion without emotion, or just say you donâ€™t agree but cannot verbalize it. Keep the level of discussion to the point.
Attitudes â€“ Please leave them at the door. All masons should have similar thoughts in mind when attending lodge. And remember, you represent your lodge when you do ANYTHING.
Other profanity â€“ NO PROFANITY IN THE LODGE WHATSOEVER!!!
To make good men better, it takes â€œbetter menâ€ to be role models for the â€œgood menâ€ to see and learn from. This is not a place where you â€œlet your hair downâ€; it should be a haven clear of all negatives toward each other. We must all â€œmind our mannerâ€™ when in lodge or fraternizing with other Masons.
From the East,