I want to head a couple of things off at the pass. First, I know the character from the longtime running television show “Seinfeld” wasn’t a Freemason. As far as I know, none of the characters in the show were ever portrayed as members. (Although the actor who portrayed Kramer, Michael Richards is a Freemason). Stating this in the beginning will be illustrated as we go through this piece.
The title of this piece comes from the Seinfeld episode entitled, “The Couch”, which was released in 1994 during the series' sixth season. Among the many moving parts of the episode, George joins a book club for the purpose of impressing a girl he likes. The club is reading the book “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, written by Truman Capote. George attempts to read the book many times but puts the book down in frustration. He exclaims "If it's not about sports, I find it very hard to concentrate!" So instead of doing the right thing, George tries to take a shortcut and watch a video of the movie version of the book, which proves to be his undoing in front of the target of his affections when he talks about “the book” which has a totally different ending from the movie the book was adapted from.
Chances are after reading the last few paragraphs you are scratching your head wondering what in the world George, Jerry and Kramer have to do with Freemasonry. Take a deep breath Brother, you haven’t missed any symbolism…yet.
Maybe it’s just a pet peeve of mine, but I get frustrated when something I have written or something I have read about is posted on social media, and I begin to read the comments from the audience. Of course there are ones from readers who give praise and encouragements, (I like those, keep those coming--just saying.) The ones I am talking about are comments from people you can tell have not read the piece but don’t have a problem giving their opinion about the work the author has researched and written, again, without reading a single one word of it. They just look at the title and the photo that accompanies the post, and form an opinion on the authors work and drop an opinion. I’m guessing once they hit the post button they continue to scroll down and look for cat videos or whatever else they find interest in.
This may be just a pet peeve I alone hold. But if I'm honest, and when I think about it, this small thing is just a symptom of a larger problem I witness with some of the members of the Fraternity. Let me elaborate. I believe when lodges dropped Masonic Education from their meetings and didn’t replace it with anything, we left a large void in the Masonic experience.
Without education, our meetings are just a drone of minutes being read in a monotone voice by a bored and overworked lodge secretary, and sadly, sometimes arguments about other mundane subjects occur. We have forgotten how to discuss and debate important matters before the lodge, in other words, we have forgotten what we were taught as Masons. “...that noble contention, or rather an emulation, of who best can work and best agree.” Our uninformed comments on Masonic social posts illustrate this.
Many of our members look at a post on social media, and instead of educating themselves by clicking the link, reading the article, and forming an opinion to provide meaningful dialogue, they give a knee-jerk reaction to the photo the post displays or by the title of the article and post an illiterate opinion based on reaction. Again, not with what the author has written (many times in these cases the comment sounds to the other readers to be quite caustic) and an argument begins. Just like the lodge meeting I discussed above. I believe these remarks could possibly come from the same Brother in the lodge who will fight against every dues increase or adding any form of Masonic Education to lodge nights or at the Grand Lodge level. They will cry at the top of their lungs, without any proof or evidence, that such innovations as one day classes or (wait for the gasp) alcoholic beverages inside a lodge building are detrimental to Masonic experience. Those same Brothers will be the first to beg for “harmony” in a lodge meeting when other members have a different opinion than he possesses. I will say this, in my opinion, the term "harmony" in a lodge has been hijacked and is used to stop dissenting opinion and keep the status quo of a dying lodge.
Not only is this behavior detrimental to the “harmony” of the Fraternity but it also puts our dysfunction front and center for all the public to see. Personally I am not as worried about recruitment as many of our Brethren are, but if I were, I would point out that if a potential member reads an article and then reads comments which have to do very little with what he just read, and might sound a little negative or caustic, he might question our ability to fulfill our promise to make him a better man and decide on a different path in his direction.
Much like a Brother who doesn’t display good judgment or conduct himself in an honorable matter while wearing a piece of Masonic jewelry or clothing in public, that one man may tarnish that public image, we have spent centuries trying to build.
Brethren, I’m not asking for everyone to agree with what I or other authors write. Although if you COULD agree with everything I write that would be great. Once again, just saying 😉 Seriously though, READ the article before you make a comment on the piece, or if you don’t choose to read what has been written, please just scroll by.
Now that you have read the entire article you are in on the secret of the title I gave this piece. With that knowledge, you can sit back and read the comments of the posters on this piece with a smile on your face and a chuckle on your lips. ( I just wish you could see the evil grin I have at this moment.)😎
WB Bill Hosler was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana's Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco,Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne's Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.