It Is Time To Clean Up Our Act

by Midnight Freemasons Founder
Todd E. Creason, 33°

"Anger is an acid that  can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured."

~Mark Twain
Polar Star Lodge No. 79, St. Louis, MO.

We’ve all heard the old axiom “you are what you eat.”  It’s very true.  Our health is very reliant on how we nourish it.  Bad food leads to bad health eventually.  We ignore that fact at our own peril. The same is true with what we consume in other ways.

We live in a very angry world right now.  We’re buffeted on all sides with it—it’s on social media, it’s all over the news, we’re exposed to it from our friends, we’re exposed to it from our co-workers.  Sadly, I’ve seen a few instances where this anger that is consuming our culture is being dragged into our Lodges as well.  I gave an example I witnessed of that in this article.

I’ve had enough.  I get tired of hearing people complain.  I get tired of being attacked as I work to improve the world in my own way because somebody doesn’t agree with my beliefs.  I get tired of losing friends over elections.  I get tired of the incivility of the whole thing--it’s not enough for some people to believe a certain way, but they feel they have to go that one step further and demean and ridicule what other people believe.  

This seething anger that seems to be everywhere is poisoning us all.  

I took action.  I decided a change was in order.  I went through all my social media accounts.  I unfollowed, I unfriended, and I blocked hundreds of individuals that not only post that anger, but can’t seem to be civil when they’re posting comments on other people’s posts.  I don’t see that garbage anymore, and when I do I toss them out.  

I’ve done the same with the media.  There’s no positive story and no negative story that’s going to change the way I believe, the way I live, or the way I’m going to vote.  I can’t think of one thing that could come out in the news between now and the next election that would make me change my mind on a number of issues I think are important.  Most people are that way.  So why am I following it every single day?  I didn’t have a good answer, so I turned off the daily dose of fighting, and name calling, and the nasty back and forth in Washington D.C. that has fascinated me for decades.  Until our political parties are less hostile towards each other, I’m done wasting my time listing to the most recent round of partisan bickering. 

As Masons, we’re supposed to be examples.  Too many of us aren’t being good examples at all.  We contribute to this hostile environment by the things we post, the things we say, and the way in which we treat each others.  And we don’t help by giving negative people on social media (I hesitate to use the word trolls) an audience.  They post outrageous opinions or memes so you’ll be angry about it, and then you fall right into the trap hook, line and sinker.  Next thing you know, you’re part of the problem.  You're helping them draw attention to themselves while they’re leaning back enjoying the show.  Just say no.  Or better yet, stop following those individuals.  

And why in the world aren’t we pulling our Brothers aside after a Lodge meeting and saying to them, “Hey, I saw what you posted on Facebook the other night.  That was really offensive.  Why are you posting that?  As a Mason you represent us all.”  That’s exactly what we should be doing.

And we're just as guilty when we let those fights happen on our own forums without intervening.  We have the ability to delete comments, we have the ability to say that conduct is not going to be permitted on our forums, and we have the ability to block people from our forums that can't be respectful and considerate to others.  I couldn't name the number of times I've been attacked on a friend's Facebook page while they've sat back and said or done nothing to stop it.  That's wrong.

Now I can already hear the Brethren saying they have a right to have an opinion.  They have a right to express their beliefs.  Of course you do.  It’s how you do it that matters.  It’s about being civil, demanding civility in return from others, and being willing to separate yourselves from individuals that demonstrate an inability to do that.  Remember what George Washington said, “It’s better to be alone than in bad company.” 

George Washington was right.  

I’ve noticed a few things since I made these positive changes a couple weeks ago.  I feel better being rid of all that negativity.  My Facebook feed now is full of pictures of dogs, humor, inspirational quotes, and photos of my friends and their families--like it used to be.  I listen to music in my car--and I turn it up really loud, too.  I’ve filled that time I usually spend at home watching the news with reading, or catching up on missed episodes of RWB Johnson’s excellent Whence Came You? podcast.  The time I was wasting on social media I’ve been using to write a new book with fellow Midnight Freemasons contributor Greg Knott—it’s going to be a good one, too.  There are more productive ways to spend our time. 

We’re not going to change the world spouting our opinions on social media—it’s our actions in the real world that make a difference.


Todd E. Creason, 33° is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor.  He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. He is the author of the From Labor to Refreshment blog.  He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754.  He is a Past Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.  He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.  He recently joined the Tuscola Odd Fellows Lodge No. 316.  You can contact him at:

1 comment:

  1. I agree with so many points here. The internet is the new bathroom wall where you can say anything about anyone whether true or not. I, too, have eliminated portions of social media and have almost fully unplugged myself from the matrix. We have never been exposed to this much information at one time. It's interesting to see how people are behaving because of it. And let me share my personal testament that I feel I behave differently (in a good way) when I don't get in the trenches and can eliminate the extreme noise.

    "Everything in moderation." That is what my great grandmother used to tell me. I am happy I've applied this advice to my online interactions too.


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