Let’s be honest. If you have been in the Fraternity any length of time, you like I have probably attended a lot of lodge inspections. So when inspection season rolls around, you may say to yourself, “I don’t think I’ll go to any inspections this year, I’ve been there done that so let the younger guys in lodge go.”
If your lodge is like mine, this activity is a big deal and has an officer assigned to make sure there is someone from the lodge at every inspection. After all, when attendance is taken, and no one stands up when your lodge’s name is called, everyone in the room is thinking, “I wonder what’s up with those guys?”
So here are some rules for attending so it will be a meaningful experience
Understand why you are going
You are a Mason in search of knowledge and meaningful insight so you may improve your life. Attend in search of these things.
Don’t go alone
We are a fraternity, a brotherhood, and part of what makes us unique is the opportunity to learn about and interact with men each of whom is different but has the same fundamental beliefs as we do. Invite several Brothers to go with you.
Don’t skip the meal
The fellowship while sharing a meal is a vital part of the experience. Sit with Brothers you have not met and get to know them. If you are going just because of the meal you are missing the point.
Listen for meaning
The Zen Buddhists have a word, Shoshin, which means beginner’s mind. They believe you should approach any subject as if you know nothing about it, even if you have obtained a high level of mastery. This mindset allows you to hear new things, glean new insights, and improve to even a higher level of proficiency. Even if you have experienced the degree many times, listen as if you are hearing it for the first time. Focus on the meaning of the words and lessons that are presented.
Share the insights you gained by attending
As you develop new perspectives, think about what they mean to you, reflect on the meanings, and then share with your lodge brothers. Use it as the subject for a lodge education program or maybe it is just an informal conversation with one or several brothers over drinks or dinner. Use what you have learned and share it.
Just going to an inspection with no purpose of using it to improve your knowledge and understanding of Masonry is wasting valuable opportunities for personal growth.