A general statement that all Masons seem to make to their newly raised Brothers is: “You get out of Freemasonry what you put into it.” This statement is so cliche and over used because it is easy to throw out there as words of wisdom. I am personally not a huge fan of this over used slogan, but it does seem to ring true when you get the Ah-Ha moments.
So what does the slogan mean? Well I guess simply stated the more you do for the good of Freemasonry the more Freemasonry rewards you right? I don’t see it that way. From my personal experience when I first became a Mason, I had worked my butt off and honestly all it did was create more work for me to do. I had set the bar of what was expected of me within the lodge. Frankly I didn’t feel I was getting anything out of it other than fatigue.
I’m sure there are several people out there that have felt the same way at some point. Maybe that is the reason why some people disappear. They never find out what they get out of the fraternity so instead of continuing to look, they just quit. I’ve been there, but then something happened.
In 2016, I finally experienced the single moment that made me realize what I was getting out of the fraternity. I saw a young man that I had mentored from the time he was ready to petition until he took the station of Senior Warden. Then I got to install him as Worshipful Master for this year. And most recently I heard him give a delightful interview with a notable Masonic Podcast. These all contributed to my Masonic Ah-Ha moment. For those of you who have been following us since the beginning, you’ll notice a small change to the Contributors page. My name used to be at the top as Founder and Managing Editor. And now I am happy to announce that Bro. R. J. Hughes has taken that Managing Editor roll. I realized that over the course of the last three plus years I had been helping develop a young man from a new Mason into a strong Leader of Men.
Sometimes you really don’t know that you’re doing something until you sit back and think about it. Retrospection is a beautiful thing. I encourage everyone to do it. Sit back and think about what you have done. Look at all you have been a part of, what you have helped a Brother or your lodge accomplish. That is what you have gotten out of the fraternity. It may not be a title, or an award, it may just be a simple as making a difference no matter how small in one Members life.
Anyone who can’t sit back and see that they had done something to make a difference hasn’t had their Ah-Ha moment yet. It is up to you then to look ahead and see where you can make a difference. If that doesn’t appeal to your liking you probably won’t ever feel that you have got anything out of the fraternity. I would like to challenge anyone who uses the term “You get out of Freemasonry what you put into Freemasonry” to change it to, “You get out of Freemasonry, what you want out of Freemasonry”. You can get anything out of the fraternity you want, but in order for it to work, you have to actually want something from Freemasonry.