Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bureaucracy and Brotherhood

There's a lot of bureaucracy in Freemasonry at the organizational level. I am not really a fan of it but I understand that for an organization to exist, there must be rules, regulations and the like. This means paperwork. I hate paperwork but understand its necessity and, unfortunately for me, I am pretty good at getting it done. I would much rather be studying Masonic philosophy than filling out yet another Lodge Survey that needs to be turned in within the next couple of days. It's just part of the job that I signed on for when I agreed to be District Deputy Grand Master. I am so busy with the bureaucracy that I sometimes forget what it really means to be a Freemason.

A couple of days ago, I participated in smething that helped me remember. It wasn't a lengthy discourse on the symbolism of the "All Seeing Eye" but something much simpler. I was asked by the Master of my Lodge if I could accompany him and a Past Grand Master (also a member of my Lodge) to present a 50 year pin to a Brother (with a capital B) who is very ill and living in a nursing home. Now, this is something that I admit I am not very comfortable or good at doing, but I agreed to go. None of us knew the Brother in question - he belonged to a Lodge that "merged" with ours nearly 10 years and we had never met. When we arrived, it was very clear that this Brother was extremely ill. Fortunately, his wife was present and we were able to present the plaque & pin to her for which she was very grateful. We had the chance to learn more about our Brother, his life & family. We reminded his wife that we were there should she ever need anything.

We reminded ourselves that this is what Brotherhood was all about. This is why we are Freemasons.