December is almost over, already!?! It seems like just the other day it was August and we were trying to figure out when we were going to have time to mow the yard. Today we’re trying to figure out how to get all the year-end things done at our jobs and still be ready for the holidays, all while hoping that the last-minute Amazon order is delivered in time.
The challenge is that we’re wrestling with the immutable fact that there are still only 24 hours in the day. No matter the season of the year this doesn’t change and yet we all try to figure out how to get 2 or 3 more hours of “productivity” at any cost. I have been guilty of looking at the three equal parts of a 24-inch gauge and more often than not robbing 2 of those 3 equal parts to make up for inefficiencies in the application of the third. You could say that this is Un-Masonic Conduct. Sound harsh?
Hopefully you and I joined Masonry to improve ourselves and not just to belong to a group that sends us newsletters and gives us a dues card to carry. So how can Masonry help us improve ourselves if we ignore its teachings and refuse to apply them in our daily lives?
I have been conducting a scientific and economic study for several years. In this study I have purchased several pieces of exercise equipment, motivational exercise DVDs, and even had a gym membership, but the results of the study are undeniable- just having those resources in my house is not causing the weight to melt away! It appears that there is a direct relationship to the number of times a day my right elbow bends allowing my right hand to place food in my mouth that is more effective in adding weight than the number of times I walk past said pieces of exercise equipment ignoring their presence as I head to the refrigerator is to losing the weight.
The same is true of Masonic dues cards. Just having a dues card, or several from every appendant body, doesn’t make you a better man. I’m not sure if there is an expectation that through some mystical power found when handling that card that we expect to be transformed into a better man with no effort on our part.
Per the United States Department of Labor the average Registered Apprenticeship today is 4 years. (DOL References) One doesn’t acquire all the job-related skills by just showing up on day one. There is an expectation of effort applied by the apprentice to learn the skills through time and practical application.
Don’t you suppose the same is true of Masonry? Sure, some came to the Craft through a one day class and some through the traditional method, but the expectation of self-development and effort on the Mason’s part is the same. If you want to grow into a better man, then you need to make the effort to learn more about yourself and about how Masonry can help you. There are countless resources to help you along the way including the Grand Lodge of Ohio’s website (Click Here to check out resources) and the resources linked there. We’re even going to add our Lodge Education Officer’s programs to our website in a Members Only section for those who missed seeing the lesson in one of our meetings. (If you’d like access to this section please email me)
To increase in knowledge and improve ourselves we must begin somewhere, and just as the experts suggest that for success in an exercise program you need to start with an obtainable goal we need to set an obtainable goal for our personal and Masonic growth. So here is my goal for all of us starting this month:
Use the 24” gauge to measure your time. Are you meeting the standards of dividing your time into 3 equal parts? If it has been a while since you considered this lesson of Masonry and want to talk about it, send me an email at email@example.com or call me at 513-617-0906. I’ll have time for you, Brother.
Happy Holidays to you and your family!