Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rightous Indignation

"It belongs to small-mindedness to be unable to bear either honor or dishonor, either good fortune or bad, but to be filled with conceit when honored and puffed up by trifling good fortune, and to be unable to bear even the smallest dishonor and to deem any chance failure a great misfortune, and to be distressed and annonyed at everything. Moreover the small-minded man is the sort of person to call all slights an insult and dishonor, even those that are due to ignorance or forgetfulness. Small-mindedness is accompanied by pettiness, querulousness, pessimism and self-abasement."--Aristotle, Virtues and Vices
"We may be angry and sin not; but this disposition may become sinful, and this in the highest degree. It is so when it is excessive, when it is rage, and makes us lose control of ourselves. It is so, and may become a vice, when it leads us to wish evil to those who have offended us. It is resentment when it prompts us to meet and repay evil by evil. It is vengeance when it impels us to crush those who have injured us. It is vindictiveness when it is seeking out ingeniously and laboriously means and instruments to give pain to those who have thwarted us. Already sin has entered."  James McCosh

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."  Buddha

and the most important ones for those of us with a blog.

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.  Ambrose Bierce

Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them." James Fallows


So the dust has cleared, the fires are out and a survey of the battlefield is complete. I am human and as a human being I am capable of great things and small. As a Freemason I will continually struggle with subduing my passion, a recurring theme here at the North Eastern Corner, but as a human the fire of my passion can burn bright, it just needs to be kept under control. The best thing about a blog is it can be a great funnel to collect and channel my creative tendencies but that can also be a bad thing.
For two years I have put myself out to lead my lodge and for two years I have been on the short end of things. It hurts. The first time,I did not stick my neck out but resolved myself that the Brothers would make the best decision. The second time I really put myself out there and they decided again. Both times I was not chosen by the people that were there on the night of the election. Duplicity and deceit abounded the second time around and I let the bad intentions of others blind me of the good intentions of the rest. In my humiliated rage I vented here on the corner and my angry words and thoughts, although quite profound and timely, polluted the light that I am capable of and for that I am sorry. I could not see the forest for the trees.
In both elections and in the wee hour times after lodge I have spoken with men who want and believe in the same things as me. Twice now a large group of Brothers voted for something and were beaten by those who were voting against something. It has just been a numbers thing. Collectively there are more Brothers in my lodge that want to grow something than there are ones who want to watch. I let my small minded anger loose sight of this fact and asked for a demit in order to show those guys just how wrong they are and to separate myself from those that wronged me.
This was completely justified in my small minded state because I was defaced and those that voted against me were evil and I wanted nothing to do with them. How could I sit in lodge with men who attacked me so?
 
The funny thing about time is that we all have loads of it and our perception of that time greatly affects how we act. In my righteous indignation I surmised that my valuable time was not worth giving to those men who voted out of fear or ignorance against something, completely forgetting about the ones that voted for something. I acted upon this egregious assault and wanted to stomp off somewhere to sulk and regroup.
I talked to many of my Bothers and up until last night was completely resolved to martyring myself for the cause of perfect Freemasonry.
Had time been against me my demit would have been accepted and I would have left something and many men who I have come to love and trust, but time was with me. As the blazing fire of my rage dissapated I looked out and saw a band of brothers circled around me waitng for the steady light to return and I realized that abandoning the things that had hurt me so would also leave behind those who had not.
I will not go through with my demit.
I will take some time off from my lodge because I need some.
Another lesson learned Jack.
Time heals all wounds and I really need to subdue my passions....someday.

2 comments:

Nick Johnson said...

MMM,

I'm thinking out loud but how difficult is it to start a new lodge? The reason I ask is because I thought of something a very wise Mason said to me: "There are two things for brothers looking for a more traditional approach, gain critical mass in the lodge by bringing like-minded men in or take those like-minded brothers and start a new lodge."

I found that babysteps in my lodge also helped to get more education. We did minor changes with the hope of getting those changes to be amplified in the future. I can tell that it has worked splendidly.

Nick

Silas said...

I read your blog and glad to read to read that we hopefully will be seeing you soon. Several of us brothers would love to continue having your enthusiasm and encouragement.