One of the motivations of this blog, and many like it, is to talk about Freemasonry. We discuss the dreaded, declining membership roles, meeting attendance, things we do well, things we don’t do well, and the way things were in my year. Sometimes it seems like we spend an awful lot of breath, brain power, and energy talking about the way things were, are, and hope to be. We fill our lodge rooms, chat rooms, blog posts and Facebook feeds with the vices and superfluities of Freemasonry. It often seems like a noble conquest, to discuss these surface topics, because they seem to be masonic in nature. But if you change “Freemasonry” to “Elks”, “YMCA”, or “Rotary Club”, how much of the conversation actually changes? If the subject over the conversation can usually be inserted mad-lib style, are we as unique and lofty as we claim to be?
We declare we are a group of enlightened men, but how often do our thoughts, conversations, and actions reflect that? Instead of talking about the bills, let’s talk about something that challenged us this past week. Instead of debating the best fundraiser to give money to, let’s discuss what Charity actually means. Instead of arguing about who’s doing something wrong, let’s offer brotherly advice and guidance in the most tender manner. Instead of speaking negatively about leadership, let’s all build ourselves as beacons of leadership in our homes, our communities, and our lodges.
I’ll concede that a fair amount of these conversations are required. We must be stewards of our lodges and ensure their longevity. But we must not allow the mundane to paralyze the extraordinary aspects of our fraternity that have drawn men to the West Gate for generations. We offer something very special in today’s society: an excellent opportunity to grow as a person. When we let stagnant thoughts and stale air invade our solemn spaces dedicated to building monuments of men, we allow what makes us truly exceptional fade to mediocrity.
If we let the commonplace rule and the remarkable wane, we will may one day find ourselves talking about Freemasonry as a once beautiful thing of the past.
Bro. R. J. Hughes, P.M., is the Worshipful Master of Armstrong Lodge #239 in Freeport, PA. He is Most Excellent High Priest of Orient Holy Royal Arch Chapter #247 and Deputy Illustrious Master of Kittanning Council #52. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Lodge of Research and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’s Academy of Masonic Knowledge where he is a Level 2 Masonic Scholar. Bro. R. J. can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org