Thursday, November 12, 2009

To Be or Not To Be......Impartial

Three meetings away from the East (maybe) and the trickle of good guidance has already begun. While attentively listened to and carefully pondered there is one piece of advice I have received from a few sources that I appreciate yet have a question to its legitimacy. The recommendation I have received is, if and when I assume the oriental chair, it would be in my best interest to remain neutral in all matters having to do with the lodge. Like a wise and impartial judge......
Alright
So while I can understand the logic behind the admonition, it just doesn't sit right with me or my idea of what a Worshipful Master should be.
The reason my astute Brethren believe that a WM should remain detached is that if the Master of the lodge takes a side or utters an opinion it would create dissension among the craft and who ever was on the other side of the Masters opinion would feel alienated and possibly effect the harmony of the lodge in a negative way.

Okay
Sure
So, in the name of unity the leader of the craft must walk on eggshells for a year, not offend anyone and flutter aimlessly like a great white flag high up on the pole above the fray?
I don't think so.
How does one lead without setting a course?
Not everyone will agree on the course but without direction you go nowhere.
While impartiality may serve a purpose in some matters it is not the top leadership imperative on my dossier next year.
I intend to lead my lodge not be lead by it.
A Mason is given a year by his Brothers to run the craft and if running a lodge means scheduling meetings and degrees for a year and scribbling a John Hancock every now and then, you can leave me off the list. I think a Master is meant to lead and how can you lead without taking a side every now and then. My idea of a Worshipful Master is one who with careful thought and planning lays out his trestleboard and with strong direction sets the craft to work.
You cant get a good stew without stirring the pot and I am getting my spoon ready.
There is much work to be done.
And although everyone may not agree with my decisions or direction they will know exactly why I will do things because I will tell them why with conviction and a clear head.
How did you run your lodge?
How do you think a WM should behave?

5 comments:

Jay Simser said...

You might like to read this which was about the way I planned my year

http://iowagrandmaster.org/Education%20pdfs/7stepstosuccess.pdf

Tom Accuosti said...

Not surprisingly, the Tao Teh Ching has some advice on this:

III

Give rewards, and someone will fight for them
Prize rarities, and someone will try to steal them
Offer all that anyone could desire, and someone will be confused and angry

When one must lead, one must lead people back to themselves
Fill their needs but drain their compulsions
Harden their bones but soften their opinions
Where they feel the need to chase after fashion or stand for some cause
Be quiet and listen, so they will speak cautiously and hesitant to act *
So long as they are cautious, all things will fall into place

XVII

The greatest leaders are never seen, their presence is never felt
Lesser rulers are loved and praised
Lesser still are hated, and obeyed through fear
And the least are despised and ignored

If you would lead people, trust them to do the right thing
When a leader accomplishes something using the tao
He steps back, moves on to something else
And lets the people praise themselves

XXIV

Raise yourself too high, and you lose your balance
Prominence does not come from putting on airs
Inner light is not made by clothes or jewels
Nor does respect come from boasts
Honor is not a thing you can claim for yourself

To the taoists all this is a waste
Like spending hours cooking food no one wants to eat
Why offer people air instead of substance?
Air is free, and only fools and flatterers will buy it
Do you want to be surrounded by fools?

Where you are is where you are
Live there

LXVIII

Therefore a good leader, like a good soldier
Sees no need to flaunt her might
Never lets his passions sway him out of balance
Allows her opponents to overextend themselves
And in all things places himself below others

If you don't compete, then you're dealing with men correctly
And the tao, in all its antiquity, is on your side

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

Thank you both Brothers for more light to "reflect" on!

Paul Chapin said...

Jay - Read the article, nice piece, I am a firm believer in these principles. The number one job of the Master especially in a lodge that is rebuilding is to be the cheerleader, focus on the positive, glass half full. If a Master leads brothers will follow, most like to help, hate to lead. All great leaders lead from the front of the pack, I'm sure you already know the small circle of brothers that get things done, your job is to expand that circle.

You will do great, a year goes by fast, give it your all. Of course you could end up like me heading into my fourth year as Master......

The Palmetto Bug said...

WMs are elected to lead. Therefore, you should lead.