Many years ago now but I recall
three expressions that were very relevant when I joined the anathema of a
regulated workforce in the private sector, two fairly new: “a circuit breaker”
and “a piece of ice”. I was very
familiar, “mea culpa”, the third expression from my life-long interest in
Latin. “Mea culpa”, of course, is an
expression used three times in the Latin Mass, and “mon tort” from a similar
interest in François. “My fault” is
clearly an important, costless and conciliatory position to take in resolving
issues and “moving on”. That is what we
should do in Freemasonry when we install a new Worshipful Master in a lodge as
we will do at our next meeting.
We often hear trite comments
about the installation of a Worshipful Master being a time of “rebirth” or
renewal. Certainly a new Worshipful
Master will almost invariably change how the management of business from the
Chair of King Solomon is conducted. It
would be likely to be boring if this were not to be the case. Every master will bring his own peculiar
talents to the “mastership”: implant his own personality on the role. I like to see the natural talent and
personality grow and flourish whilst in the Chair. The last thing any lodge wants is to see the
Master constrained by a lot of old Past Masters who have had their day providing
there is good management and we see the three great principles of Freemasonry
flourish: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
Everything else fades into insignificance.
There will be new faces in
different roles in the team of officers and all we can ask is that they try and
do their best. We should not forget that
it is for all a learning experience and an opportunity for development. We should wish them enjoyment and success in
their new roles.
So where does “the circuit
breaker”, “the piece of ice” and “mea culpa” fit in? Invariably in any organisation and family
there will be precious egos, perceived “hurts” and less than real men will sulk
and not be encouraged to “move on” for their own good or the good of the
organisation. The “circuit breaker” of a
new Worshipful Master will not be sufficiently potent for change, they will not
be soothed by any piece of ice we may offer and they are not big enough men to
say “mea culpa” or “mon tort” if you like!
They do not accept that things are never one-sided. They are preoccupied with blame and judging
others. We should feel sorry for them as
they are the losers and will be likely to continue on that unhappy,
destructive, negative path throughout the remainder of their life. One has to wonder whether or not they would
be happier somewhere else other than in Freemasonry. We are lucky not to have
such men at Devotion – but we must be every vigilant against these behaviours
in others and ourselves.
We should always bear in mind
that we are charged to be happy and communicate happiness to others. May our new Worshipful Master and his
officers have a great year.
Yours fraternally ,