You must be the change
"As these men I have profiled in the book show, Masonry has always attracted capable and industrious people. Builders, doers, pioneers, and freethinkers tend to migrate towards Masonry."
Famous American Freemasons: Volume I
I was just beginning my journey as a Freemason when I wrote those words in my first book back in about 2006. I'd been a Mason for maybe a year, but I clearly understood this concept very well--Masons do things. I'd seen it in my Lodge. I'd seen it in the Scottish Rite. I'd definitely seen it in the men I had researched and written about in my books. As Benjamin Franklin said, "Well done is better than well said."
That certainly doesn't mean that all Freemasons are builders, doers, pioneers, and freethinkers. They aren't. Lodges need great leaders--and far too many don't have them. Some lodges have fallen into decades of the status quo--dying a slow but inevitable death. They've forgotten what their purpose is. And all they really need is a leader with a vision-- a leader with a plan.
The fraternity desperately needs leaders who have ideas, who have a vision, and can make a clear argument for change. Leaders that will bring life back into the meetings, meaning back into the ritual, and make education and self-improvement a priority for its members. It's not enough to complain about the problems in your Lodge, you have to be the change. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. If you want to bring the light back into your Lodge, you need to be willing to carry the torch.
And I'll tell you something--it isn't easy. I've been there. You will be criticized. You will be second-guessed. You'll have no shortage of armchair quarterbacks ignoring every success, and pointing out every failure. But you won't just find critics--you'll also find allies. Men that will share your vision for the future and join with you. That's key. You'll never get there alone, but if you can make a compelling argument and get your Brothers behind you, you will be successful. Before you know it, there will be more following your lead than listening to your critics. And that's when you know your Lodge is turning the corner. That's when your Lodge comes out of it's long slumber and begins to grow again. That's when even your harshest critics will begin to see your vision--and when you win over your critics, you've achieved a success.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, but I've seen Lodges come roaring back that were only a few meetings away from fading away forever. Masonry is important. It's not just about your Lodge, it's about your community. The world has never been in greater need of men of the type that Freemasonry has been known to help produce for centuries. Men who possess a strong moral code. Men with values. Gentlemen of strong character. Once these qualities weren't at all uncommon, but today, they have become much more difficult to find. There are few places left where men can strive to improve themselves in these areas--a Lodge of Freemasons is one such place. But these places must continue to exists and thrive, and it's up to us to make sure that they do.
But it will take leadership, and strong leaders to bring that purpose back to the forefront. Maybe that's what you're supposed to be to your Lodge.
Taken from The Small Town Texas Mason, June 2016 on page 17. This publication was produced by Brother John "Corky" Wheeler Daut, PM, who lived a full life 31 March 1928 – 11 July 2016
More of Bro Todd Creason’s writings can be found here;