There seems to be no shortage of Masons who are dedicated to doing what they believe a lodge does and work very hard at it. But I have often said that in many cases these proud, hard-working Masons’ energies are misdirected. Misdirected how?
We seem to have, in many cases, a system that focuses on the process of creating new Masons and have built an organization that supports, inspects and rewards the process and not the quality of the output. There are lodges creating Master Masons like Apple is creating IPads but no one has asked: “now what are you going to do with them?”
Our focus is on the evaluation of the creation process but the greater focus should be on the education process that occurs after a man is made a Mason. There, in my opinion, is the “white knight” we have been looking for.
If we supported our purpose of “taking good men and making them better” with an education system that was designed to do just what that statement says, and then inspected and rewarded that effort I am sure we would see wonderful results.
I recently asked a Masonic leadership class to evaluate this statement:
“Masons will constantly endeavor to provide an excellent masonic experience through impressive, meaningful ritual, competent and well executed lodge management while creating leaders who will serve Masonry, their communities and their families.”
This statement was intended to expand the “taking good men and making them better” statement and further define its meaning and purpose. It also purposely used the term “masonic experience” with the intent that the “experience” would be defined by meaningful lodge programs and education. And once those programs are in place a system would be designed to evaluate and reward them.
So what does all this mean?
It means that if we changed our focus to educating men instead of making Masons and then encouraged, supported and rewarded this effort, Masonry would thrive.
The “white knight” we are waiting for has been there all along. We even say it; “We take good men and make them better.” We just need to put some things in place to back up our statement.
If you want to be a leader think about how you can put programs in place to make men better. Don’t think you can’t do it because you can. John Wooden said, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
Rededicate yourself to living every day the principles of Masonry. Each of one of us is the change we seek for our craft. If you first learn to lead yourself, then you can lead others. You then start to reveal the “white knight” we all are looking for.