Monday, January 12, 2009

Being Called to Serve



On January 19th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, all Americans are being called to a day of service by the President-Elect Barack Obama and General Colin Powell. I think that this is an interesting concept regardless of the politics involved. A website, USA Service, has been created that allows different service organizations to post their charitable events to coincide with the National Day of Service on the 19th.

Although most Masonic bloggers disagree with me that we are not a service organization or hate the label of "service organization", I think it is a very important aspect of modern Freemasonry. There is a reason that I believe in service. From a young age, I was taught to do service in the community, to volunteer my time which eventually led to me becoming an Eagle Scout. When I meet new brothers, many have similar goals that I have. They are seeking service opportunities either in the Blue Lodge or in the Shrine. We, as Lodges, must provide these outlets to volunteer.

Yes, I know that anciently, we were a mutual aid society or wait... weren't we an intellectual society meeting in Salons... no, I thought it was a gentlemen's club. My point is that we have been many things and to be a service organization does not diminish or dilute our brand and fits the mutability that has kept the Fraternity alive. In fact, I think it has as many healthy effects on a Lodge as anything else we do. Service promotes camaraderie, a sense of accomplishment and the benefit of doing good for others. Even if Lodges don't take advantage of this day, I think we still must listen to the call of service that is imparted to all of us, no matter who asks.

2 comments:

Justa Mason said...

They are seeking service opportunities either in the Blue Lodge or in the Shrine.

Why don't they seek service opportunies in a service club instead of expecting Freemasonry to be one when it's not?

Freemasonry's goal is to improve one's character. Isn't that enough on its own?

There's nothing wrong with a Lodge getting together and doing things, but the primary goal is to impart principles to individuals who then go out as individuals and practice them.

Justa

The Millennial Freemason said...

Justa,
I know that you and I will always disagree on the idea of Lodge and charity and I think it really stems from how we see the Lodge.
It comes down to two philosophies summed up by cliches:

1)"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

2)"Give, and ye shall receive."

There's nothing wrong with a Lodge getting together and doing things, but the primary goal is to impart principles to individuals who then go out as individuals and practice them.

For me, service improves the individual thus making him able to be a better person. I think service fits within the goal of imparting those truths through actions. Do I think throwing money at charity is enough? No, but a mixture of service and charity improves the person throughout their life. I don't think I could be in a Lodge where it is business meeting and degree work and that is it. We must practice as a Lodge what we preach.

Nick