Wow, I’m feeling totally motivated again. For starters, I was scouring the Internet looking for good stories about my Generation and the current economic downturn. The signs seem to point to better days than what was first expected for this newest generation and their sense of the economy. Although this story is about Australia, I see parallels in my own life and that of my peers.
Warning: this commentary contains scenes of extreme rosiness and Pollyannaishness. If you or a loved one does not feel comfortable reading about silver linings or uncharacteristic flights of unnecessary glee, please do not read any further.
In an article published in the Herald Sun in Australia, Generation Y is spending far less and is “turning their [collective] backs on greed.” The article describes how young people are seeking more face-to-face time and are spending less on things, opting for vintage clothes and buying from farmer’s markets and spending less at the bar. Some might see this as a disadvantage for Freemasonry; we do cost money after all but I think we have a golden opportunity.
Freemasonry offers men something they can’t get anywhere else: a sense of accomplishment, a place to meet men of every belief (politically, social, religiously), and a place dedicated to history and ancient lore. Many lodges have existed for decades if not centuries. If men are looking for a place to congregate, to feel worth something, then the money part won’t matter. Sure, it costs money to be a Freemason, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t amount to as much as many men realize. That is one of our strengths; we can provide worthwhile entertainment, enjoyment, and a feeling of belonging at a reasonable price. We offer tradition, education and an experience that can be found in no other place on the planet.
If young men are looking for a place of no distractions, then this is their place. If they want “face time”, we offer that too. If men are looking for tradition in an uncertain world, then they will find something among brothers of a similar opinion. There is a silver lining in what this economy is presenting. Men want and need some form of fraternalism to be made whole. We offer that and more. We are the greatest Fraternity this blue marble in space has ever seen.
The article concludes with what Gen Y is looking to do. They have seen the global perspective and it just isn’t as promising as before. They are turning into their smaller world, their community, their friends, and their family. “All Masonry is local” is a common phrase in today’s modern Masonic parlance. Lodges exist in towns, unseen by most in the community but they are there, waiting for young men who are looking for safety, support, but most of all, a place that feels like home. I mean, that’s why it’s called a Lodge, isn’t it?