Musings from Masonic Con
On my second trip to Ezekiel Bates Lodge, in Attleboro, Mass, I got to see friends and Brothers at the annual, and always enjoyable, Masonic Con. My first trip to Attleboro, over a year ago, enlightened and invigorated me, and showed me that there were people like me. There were people who dared to become better through the gift of enlightened education. It really is a rare thing nowadays; to be truly inspired and fulfilled at an event with Masonic influence, but the gents at Ezekiel Bates have scored 2/2 in my book.
Why do I paint Masonry in such dull colors you ask? Because in most cases, outside of degree work and the occasional inspirational education piece, Masonic business is just that: bland business. Nothing inspired, uplifting, or thought-provoking happens in Lodges anymore. Correspondences about donations, the occasional "Thank You" card, and the receipt for dinner that evening seem to be the common fare in Lodges more often than not.
In the Information Age of today, where people live, work, play, and engage in commerce instantaneously, there must be a draw to get men, both young and old, out of the house, into a dark suit, and headed to their local Lodge. The above meeting examples certainly do not cut it, which is apparent in the trends in membership and retention visible in most Jurisdictions across the country.
So what do these people want? Bills and By-Laws? Or something more? Do they want education and discussion? Do they want subject matter that challenges the preconceived notions we grow up with? Do they want to learn to become a better person on the INSIDE, so that they can take that knowledge to the OUTSIDE, to their families and friends? Do they want to learn how to break off the corners and bumps in their imperfect ashlars, to discover the enlightened spark of the Divine within themselves?
Or do they just want to stick to green beans at every meal, and lively arguments about replacing light bulbs around the altar? (In my case, it's candles, I cant dig those light bulbs with the S & C inside, but that's just me)
Food for thought!