Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Freemasonry Makes Men...Period
Now, its not that I did not know about philosophy or history or science, these were always passions of mine but modern American society never demanded that I be able to discuss such matters in public. The modern man is supposed to watch sports, swill beer, and ogle women or at least that is what has become the acceptable norm. In some circles any discussion above how "hot" so and so is or did you see the Yankees game were frowned upon and usually brought down epithets like nerd or loser.
Marriage was certainly a cure for many things. My wife got me my first button down shirt without short sleeves and pair of khakis that did not have big pockets down the side. She even had me pluck out my many earrings that I had collected over the years. She suggested things and I tried them and eventually agreed with her but even after my first child I was prone to coming home and turning on the PS2 and killing or flying something with a baby in my arms.
Then I became a Freemason.
Respect for the institution and ritual made me dress myself better for lodge and as I started to dress better for lodge, I found myself liking the way I looked and dressing better all the time. I still wear T-shirts at home and to the beach but I cant imagine wearing a T-shirt out to dinner like I used to. I take that request of the Worshipful Master when I first stood a just and upright mason that I should ever look and act as such, seriously and am glad of it.
As I learned my proficiency and started doing the lecture work I realized that I was a good speaker and found that I could speak to new people with a much higher level of confidence than I had ever before. It even lead me to do theater, something I had not done since junior high school. The more lectures I learned the more I realized that I was capable of learning things and expressing what they meant to me with great clarity to someone else.
As I progressed in the officers line and took on more and more responsibility and started to help plan and organize things, I realized that my opinion mattered and my contribution to something actually resulted in something.
Most of all, as Brothers who meet upon the level I realized that I am just as much as a man as the next guy no matter what he does or is titled and that profound insight is the most powerful. I will always respect anyone I do not know but I will never give them reverence that is not due.
Of course all of these traits can be acquired without knocking on the West Gate and may just come with getting older and having more responsibilities in life and many fine Brothers of mine can easily transition into the Macho Man character on a moments notice but I think that our order can guide a man child into manhood with quite amazing results. I even tuck in my shirts now and think it looks sloppy otherwise!!!