I do not know what to write about tonight because I have Blogger's Block. I was thinking about tomorrow and announcing that the Blog has ended. I think it has served its purpose. I got a lot of things off my chest and probably need to drop it now as it was/is becoming an obsession. I mean I feel obligated to write something everyday.
I got an e-mail from someone today asking me if I was sick because my blog had disappeared. I don't think it has disappeared. There are a lot of posts up and you could spend a long time reading the 900+ posts from this past year. Case in point. I was directed to read a post on another blog today. It is a great entry over at The Tao of Masonry. But it was written in June of 2006. I immediately felt inferior as to not being able to write as well as the Brother who describes himself as:
TOM ACCUOSTII mean, is that great or what? So, why should I bother to keep on with this Blog. When I started I called it "The Most Boring Blog on the Internet" - Is it? I feel that way sometimes. I have gotten into trouble with it. Opened myself up more than I should perhaps have done but it is an obsession so I have kept on Perhaps it is time to quit.
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So here is the real post for today:
The Way We "Help" Each Other.I got an e-mail from Brother Kurt this morning. He sent me a poem which I will share sometime. It had this line in it.
Where every man's a Brother, and every Brother is a friend.It did two things. One reminded me that next month is Poetry Month and two set up an idea for this post.
Every Brother is a friend. Does a friend criticize his friend? One of my Brothers told me that he was upset because he heard another Brother saying something negative about him and what he was doing down at the Scottish Rite. It was not said to him to help him be better but as a nasty remark that he overheard. (I wasn't going to say anything about this but he put it up on his blog so I guess it is all right.) I was under the impression that the criticism was leveled at his ritual work. Turns out it wasn't but that does not matter. It still hurt him. He is ready to stop his participation in the work at Scottish Rite. I told him not to let one person ruin his enjoyment of Masonry. A lesson I have to learn over and over.
I know of other so-called Brothers who have attained the exalted positions of Masonic Instructor or District Lecturer by passing an examination to recite all three degrees of the Masonic Ritual. This is quite an accomplishment and they should be proud of their accomplishment. They should remember, however, as my Brother said "Remember that we are volunteers and we don't really need to be at the reunions to get along in Freemasonry."
That is the key. Freemasonry is a volunteer organization.
Brothers want to do good ritual work. They spend hours practicing and working to perfect their ritual. They want to participate. They want to help new Masons become enrolled in the craft. Another Brother told me about the time he went to a practice at another Lodge. There are two MI's over there who used to be members of our Lodge. They got mad and moved their membership. They are excellent ritualists. I also understand why they left. The person they were working with used to come to our Lodge and was very critical of anyone who made a mistake in the ritual. Correcting them openly and without compassion. It did not make for good feelings and he was asked not to do it any more. And he got his feelings hurt and did not come back. However, they are doing the same thing he did. Driving people out. One of my best friends in Masonry told me he would not go back there because of the way ________jumped on him because he said the wrong word. That is just not right. (IMHO)
It is not that you don't want to correct someone when they do something wrong. It is just the way you do it. Quietly and not making a big deal out of it. Being helpful and not jumping down their throat. And with some people you can't even do that. I have one Brother who does not like to be given any suggestions. So I have learned not to help. I just let him go and try to show by example when I can. I am not an M I. I made a conscious choice not to try for it many years ago. I have some regrets about that and I encourage young Masons to go for it if they want. I did not want the pressure. I also didn't think I was smart enough to do it.
So there you have it. My rant for today. Using Honey rather than Vinegar to catch flies. Something I heard a long time ago. If we really want to help the fraternity we will remember that we need to help each other kindly. I have not always done that and I regret the times when I have snapped at a Brother and forgotten my own higher self. To be honest all we can do is try. I get the most upset when I fail to live up to the obligations I am under - I get even more upset when I hear stories where my Brothers are abused by someone who doesn't even try to live up to the obligation to treat each other as Brothers.
So I am going to close with the Ancient Prayer I used to have up on the left had column. I don't always live up to it but it does give me something to strive for.
An Ancient Prayer
May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me; and if I do may I be reconciled quickly. May I never devise evil against any man. May I love, seek and attain only that which is happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself . . . May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never angry with people because of circumstances. May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow their footsteps.Eusebius, 4th Century
So I hope you realize that I try to love each and every one of you. Especially some of you who have grown closer than blood family over the year(s). I mean I love them also but a lot of my fraternal brothers and sisters and friends have become so very close that I forget that we aren't related by blood. And some of my blogfriends are fast approaching that status.
So I am not ending the Blog. The title is merely an early April Fool's Joke. Watch out tomorrow. Make sure your shoe laces are tied. Or leave them untied so the kids you know can have some fun. ARTYAL, Big Hugs, j-bear