On a recent Sunday, I saw a broad sampling
of the ways that people express their affection for each other. This brought to mind some
thoughts about our fraternity.
During Sunday church service, our minister asks the children in
the congregation to come forward for a special message. After he has finished, he
then instructs the children to hold hands and form a circle for prayer. The young
boys and girls have no trouble holding hands with each other, but there seems to be an
invisible barrier when it is time for a boy to grasp the hand of a girl, or vice versa.
Later, at the shopping mall, I witnessed a young couple,
obviously in love, holding hands while they walked through the crowd, oblivious of
everyone but each other. I then saw a middle-aged couple walking along together, but
without any visible signs of affection for each other.
While leaving I saw an elderly couple, walking slowly, hand in
hand, with the look of contentment that comes only when each partner knows the other so
well that they almost know what the other is going to do or say before it happens.
How does this relate to the Fraternity of Freemasonry? How many of us are
unwilling, even afraid, to extend the right hand of fellowship and friendship to those who
are not members of the fraternity, and give to them the same information that was given to
each of us, whereby we were able to make our own decision about joining Masonry? We
now have an advantage in being able to say to a worthy friend "You would make a
good Mason." Lets use this golden opportunity to enhance our Fraternity.
If every Mason would replace himself, and add one more, we would not have a
The young couple reminds us of the new Mason, filled with
enthusiasm, who wants to learn everything he can about the fraternity, and take part in
all of its activities. Whether he stays enthusiastic, or turns into the Masonic
equivalent of the middle-aged couple cited earlier, is up to us. As long as we can
offer interesting programs, meaningful family activities, and a reason for being with us,
he will remain. Make him a participant in the organization, and not just a part of
the organization, and he will stay.
The elderly couple, you ask? They remind us of the Mason
who has labored in the fields of Masonry, who is comfortable with his knowledge of the
Fraternity, and who is willing to use his experience to help those who are learning, as he
was so many years ago. Take advantage of this member by using his skills and wisdom
to help educate the next generation of leaders in your Lodge, Chapter, Council, or
Commandery. Thus you will perpetuate the ideals and tenets of our profession while
preparing for the future.
Michael A. Himes
**RWB Himes is currently serving
the Grand Lodge of Ohio as the Junior Grand Deacon
Mike is a very active Mason. He is a Past Master of Northbend Lodge #346,
Past President of the 1st Dist. Officer's Assoc., Past Sovereign Prince of Dalcho
Council Princes of Jerusalem (AASR) & a 33rd Deg. Mason. Mike also is a Past
Dist. Deputy Grand Master of the 1st Masonic District. He is also active in the York Rite
Bodies. There is more, this is just a small sampling to let you know this Brother is
a very BUSY Mason. All of us at Hanselmann Commandery want to thank RWB Himes for
taking some time out of that busy schedule to contribute to the Soapbox. I am sure h
you'll see a few more in the future.