Thursday, March 26, 2009

Curiosity

I knocked at the door of my lodge because I wanted to become a Freemason. I didn't want to check it out, or try it for a while, or better yet, see what was going on behind those mysterious doors, I wanted to BECOME a Mason.
Maybe its just me, but when I decide to join something I put all of my being behind it. I have never been a follower, I have always weighed the pros and cons and followed my heart when it came to something that would soon be attached to my existence.
Lets take baseball for instance. I spent 21 years of my life quasi understanding the game and completely dismissing anyone who devoted themselves to what I called "just a game among sports". As all good people are, I was raised to hate the Yankees, but I never followed the sport and often made fun of those who did. Then, back in 1995, while suffering through another Red Sox, Yankee debate at my work at the time, I decided that I would follow a baseball team for a whole year and see what it was all about, learn the stats, "get" the terminology, and live and die with a team for an entire season. I chose those lovable losers, the New York Mets, because they were the only team my old Brooklyn Dodger fan of a father actually brought us to see as a kid and they did win a World Series in my lifetime and I did subconsciously and permanently hate the Yankees.
I started following them in preseason. I learned all I could about the game. I deciphered all of the acronyms like RBI and ERA that I had never actually learned as a hockey playing youth. I watched or listened to every, and I mean every, game that year and I soon realized much to my chagrin, that I actually LOVED the game I had spent so long making fun of. As bad as they were,  and they were pretty bad back then, I soon found myself in the classification of a "Met fan" and assumed all of the baggage and what else, that came with it. It was a conscious  decision on my part based upon my research into the game, a little quality upbringing, and a new found love and devotion. Now it is much a part of me as my DNA. Everyone who knows me, absolutely knows I love the Mets and knows that in good times (not too many) and in bad (oh too much), that I bleed Blue and Orange and that is what I am. The same goes for Freemasonry. 
I put allot of research and thought into becoming a part of this organization. I read and Read and read, talked and watched anything I could on the subject before deciding to join and I knew EXACTLY (well almost, except the secrets) what I was getting into, and that is why I have a hard time hearing from a new "brother" that he has a hard time coming to our "boring" meetings, well sooory! If ya were looking for dancing girls or getting hammered you came to the wrong place. We say outright that if you are joining to expand your social network or out of just curiosity you came to the wrong place. If you are here to learn all you can about the oldest and largest fraternity in the world, all the while making yourself a better man, you came to the right place.
A good Mason I know put it best when he said you get out of Freemasonry what you put in. Unfortunately a lot of guys get through who just want to see whats on the other side, sorry for the disappointment, I like it!

4 comments:

Jim said...

Hello,

I joined Masonry in 1975. At that time I had just turned 21. At that time in Massachusetts that was the age to apply to be made a mason. I had grown up in a masonic family and my family had several relatives that had been masons and were currently members of the masons. In growing up in the church that I grew up in there were several of these members that were members of the masons. I looked up to these men and also my father who was at that time a member of the masons and when I became 21 I asked my father to sponser me into his lodge. I had a cousin and several members of my family, uncles and such that were mambers and also several of the church members that I had grown up knowing.

When I had the interview to receive my appliacation the members that did come to my house to do the interview I had know all of my life. At this interview there were about 8-9 men and they all asked me questions and I answered them as truthful as possible.

When I did start getting the names to put on my application. I started with all of the members of my church that I had know all of my life. I had to get 30 names total. As it turned out all of the 30 names were members of the lodge that I was making the application for.

In January 1976 I was raised to the sublime degree of a master mason. When received each degree I had to memorise the canadates cycher that they give to all of the canadates at this time. I had to memorise this front to back and also the obligation to it's entirity.

I did attend my lodge and in November 1978 I entered basic training for the military. I had signed up and had joined the army.

I met several members of different lodges in the different parts of the world while in basic training. I had 3 different drill seargants that were masons. I talked to them at great lengths about the different coustoms of the different lodges.

After basic training I was stationed out in the mid west at an army post. I was introduced to several other members of the different lodges in the area and also around the world.

I also joined a masonic lodge out in the area and was several years a dual member, being a member of 2 lodges in two different states.

I did enjoy very much meeting all the different members and socialising with them. During this time frame I did meet a lot of brother master masons from several different places in the world. I think that I did socialise with a mason from every country in the world.

After I got out of the military I did stay out in the mid west for several years and during this time frame I was employed as a semi-truck driver. I drove all 48 states and also through Canada.

I did meet some very interesting brother masons that were also long haul truck drivers. They have a (CB) radio to chat to each other on and several of the drivers had code names that were of masonic in nature. I would chat with them and when I stopped I would also chat over coffee and a meal or also get invited to there home lodge to socialize. I did end up visiting several lodges in all the 48 states and also in Canada.

In April 2006 I moved back to the home that I had grown up in and at that time I started to attend the lodge that I was raised in in 1976. I had paid my dues for all of thoes years that I had been gone and I had attended while I was in the area and when I was on vacation every year.

When I did start attending the lodges in my local area it was not the same as it was several years ago. They had changed several of the rules and the older members I did know and discused things over with them about the way things were going they told me that this was the new masonry. That thjis is what masonry had turned into in this area. It was mostly a social club and the new members had taken over and they were making all of the decesions.

This had transpired several years ago I was told, and with further discussuion I was told about the last 15 or so years this had been transitioning and there was nothing that could be done about it.

In this area there are several lodges and with in these lodges there are several small groups. These groups do not socialize with the other groups. They go in there seperate directions and they do not communicate with each other.

Each of these groops have there own little section in the lodge and if you sit in there little section you are told to move in no uncertain terms.

With everything going on in the lodges in this area, I was considered as an outsider. I was told that since I did not attend the area lodges for so many years I did not need to start attending them now.

There were several events and after all that I had encountered I went and found a lodge in another area that I have joined and have been attending on a regular basis.

I was asked to be the Junior Steward at last months meeting and I accepted this position.

I have made several new friends and I have enjoyed attending this new lodge. I have been asked to travel to other lodges and give speaches and also lectures on all of my travels to other lodges and there customs and rituals.

I'm looking forward to travel and to meet new master masons.

Thank-You Brother Jim Thomas

M.M.M. From the North Eastern Corner said...

Thank you for sharing your story Brother. If you ever come down to CT send me an email.

Michael A. Williams, Sr said...

Giving back my Fellowcraft memory work on the 17th. Being Raised in May. I enjoyed your story. I took twenty years learning and investegating from 13 to 33 to finally make the right move. I enjoy the "boring" meetings.

47th Problem of Euclid said...

"How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!" Every EA learns this. Lodge meetings are good and pleasant. And cliques have no place for brothers dwelling together in unity. If I see a group of brothers in my lodge whom I've never meet before, I walk up and introduce myself. I will sit at their table at a Festive Board unbidden and join their conversation. While not every mason understands that we are all brothers under the mystic tie, I find with a little gentle reminder, most remember.