Just a day ago, Darin Lahners ended a piece he wrote on this blog with the words, "We have to try." It was in relation to attempting to change Freemasonry for the better. A few sentences earlier, he said change happens from the ground up in Freemasonry, and he's absolutely, 100% correct.
Before proceeding, I want to make myself absolutely transparent here. I am not advocating or even suggesting an "Us and Them" relationship when it comes to Freemasonry and her "camps"--The member at Lodge and the Grand Lodge. Quite the contrary--there is only us.
Grand Lodges exist today to assist in the administration of the Fraternity. The Education and experience you provide is up to the lodges. Grass-roots solutions and practices filter their way up and become either the scourge of a Grand Lodge Jurisdiction or common practice based on the determination of those who evaluate the preservation of the work. Chamber of Reflection? Pits in the West? Actual accosting? Requiring more than memorization to advance through degrees or none at all? Background checks on candidates? Credit checks? Whatever the case may be, the lodges are in control of this.
Whether you agree or disagree on elements I've stated above or any others you may find yourself pondering, we can all agree on one thing. We are the unified front that controls the Fraternity. The Grand Lodge is YOU! Want something changed? Submit the resolution. Get the signatures. Want to adopt something? Do the work to make it happen. Follow the protocols set forth to make it happen. I make an emphasis here because nothing good ever comes from coups, slamming GLs online, or anything else abrasive. It's about doing it, and doing it the right way. It CAN be done.
I guess my main point in this short blurb today, is that Freemasonry is NOT passive. You're not just a Freemason 30 minutes before the meeting. You don't cram everything you were supposed to accomplish over the last 30 days in the 30 minutes before the next meeting. Your meeting minutes shouldn't come out the day before the next meeting. (Pet peeve).
We must work--firing on all cylinders all the time. And there are those of us who do this. We try and make up for the 90% who don't. Even if you want to fight against a change, do it. Get active. The Grand Master of your jurisdiction was a regular dues paying member, just like you. He worked hard, had a vision and got involved. Look at the image below.
That's right. All that "I didn't vote." is very representative to the passiveness that the majority of Masons see around them. The inactive, dues paying, complaining with no action kind of paradigm. "I didn't vote." represents all the apathy we have. It's proportionally the same within any organization. The majority are along for the ride. Don't be along for the ride. Drive. Stay thirsty. Fight for it. Believe. If you build it they will come. Be the change. Just do it. Need any more adverts to get you motivated?
Look at North Carolina and their EDU platform. Look at Ohio and theirs. Grand Lodges are beginning to adopt rigorous and intense candidate education programs. Why? Because someone decided it was time. They did the work. They spoke to the right people. They became Atlas, holding it all and being that guy for a while. But they can't be there forever. Someone needs to step up. Be that person. This is you...a Master of the Universe--a He-Man.
RWB, Robert Johnson is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183 UD. He is a Past Master of Waukegan Lodge 78 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatrewhich focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry" and is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.