|Volume 3, Issue 13
|February 27, 2013
Understanding Our By-Laws
In the last few issues I brought you what we should be looking at in order to be a leader in our Lodges, to encourage you to do something with your talent, to plan well, to realize that you are it, to recognize the importance of knowledge, to remember our charge’s, and to understand our By-Laws.
Masonry being the premier self-improvement society for men we should strive to do all of the above and more. However we should be in constant competition with ourselves, because it is us that we are charged to improve, it is that which we can improve in ourselves that will benefit us and those around us that we lead by example and encouraging words.
When traveling around the state I often come across many Brothers that have failed to improve themselves in many ways and the first is in their personal appearance. Sit back and look at the Brothers that attend the meetings and think how much longer or how much harder it would have been to dress as a gentleman or more importantly as a Masonic Gentleman.
Is the way we dress, manners and conduct in public as well in the sanctuary of our Lodges important? You bet they are! They serve as examples to our newly raised Brothers, to our Brothers that have forgotten its importance, and they serve to set us aside from the rest of society as an elite group of men worthy of recognition. Yet we are not nor have ever considered ourselves to be superior to our fellowman.
It is so sad to go to a meeting, gathering, or diner and find Brothers that are dressed in attire not proper to the occasion or so un-kept that it makes you wonder if this Brother ever learned the lessons of self-improvement or has he even bothered to look at himself in the mirror, remember you are someone’s opinion of what a Mason is. In a recent meeting there were several Brothers that were dressed relatively well, the suit was nice and appropriate for the occasion, however when you looked at their shoes it left a lot to be desired not because they were in appropriate but because they had the appearance of not having been cleaned since they were taken out of the box. On others their ties, well let’s say showed signs of having much more than what the tie came with. In some cases they tied the tie but left their collars open and tie not placed in the proper place. Your attire speaks volumes about your habits, your ability to prioritize, and the importance you give to the organization you are participating with regardless of who they are. It says that details matter not to you and most importantly it says many things about yourself that you would let yourself go to the point where it does not matter how bad you may look.
Your attire gives everyone their first hand impression of who you are and what you represent and your future dealings with those individuals may very well rest in the impression you set in that first meeting. In some cases it may take years to get over the perception you set in that first meeting. Why not make the best one possible each and every time you make contact with people. Be the very best you can be each and every time, after all you are competing with yourself, to be a little bit better in everything than you were yesterday, knowing that tomorrow we start all over again and the cycles repeats each and every day ‘till we are called home.
In a world that seems to be not caring, this may sound to you like an enormous task but in reality it really is not. It is as simple as taking a little pride in oneself and making it a part of your daily habits.
We are Masons, and as such we need to be the beacon in our communities, we need to be the light that illuminates the path that makes good men better and this we can accomplish by becoming that which we preach. Are you ready to fulfill your promise, will you be the mentor they need, will you be the model men wish to emulate.
We often confuse the part which says “it is the interior and not the exterior qualifications of a man that we are interested in,” to mean that our outward appearance is of no consequence or interest when in reality this could not be further from the truth. This is not referring to our appearance, but saying that worldly goods have no intrinsic value among us, that the character of the man, what he represents, how he carries himself, how he handles his business and his conduct in public and among the Brethren is what matters to us, and most importantly his commitment to make himself better in every facet of life. That he may transform from the rough ashlar to that perfect ashlar, ready to be set on that northeast corner of our life edifice, so that it will meet with the approbation of our Lord and Creator.
In closing, be all you can be as a man and as a Mason, remember that greatest form of flattery is being emulated by your fellow Masons and those that would consider joining the Fraternity because you are an exemplary example of what a gentleman should be.
Respectfully and Fraternally Submitted, I remain your most humble servant
Jorge L. Aladro
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“My Brothers, the newsletters are intended to be thought provoking, to get you to think creatively, to get you thinking what if?, to dare you to improve yourself and your Lodge.”