It is difficult to believe nearly two months have passed since I had the opportunity to meet and talk to any of you face to face. Although none of us would have chosen this path, we have adjusted to the necessary changes in our lives and to our routines. We have even adapted to new topics of conversation. Phrases like “new normal,” “social distancing,” “flattening the curve,” and “self-quarantine” have become a part of our common vocabulary. Nonetheless, if you are one to keep up on the news and watch the statistics change on a daily basis, it would be very easy to fall into a deep trap of pessimism and negativity. In the past as I worked in my home office, my eye would often glance without a second thought past a sign that quotes our Brother, Winston Churchill. However, in recent days, my eye lingers over those now relevant words:
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
I don’t believe anyone is doubting the difficulty of the times in which we are currently living. But I am most impressed by the ways our Brothers have seized the opportunities that have opened for Masonry in this difficult time. We could have easily closed our doors, gone home, and waited for government officials to tell us it was once again safe to meet. Instead, Masons have made productive use of our smart phones, calling, texting, and sharing with one another to keep in touch. Masons have stepped up to help those in need, regardless of whether they are a member of the fraternity. Masons have embraced virtual meeting spaces, sometimes with groups over 100 in attendance. A gathering we would love to regularly see in our physical meeting rooms. Masons have expanded their reading lists and sought new information about the Brotherhood. Masons have started innumerable educational groups via the internet.
A few months ago, most of us would not have known what Zoom was or how to log in to a virtual meeting, but we have adapted. Masons, and Masonry, have done anything but slow down as a result of the stay at home order and the global health crisis. In short, Masons have embraced the situation in which we are forced to live and found a way to thrive. Masons have focused on the positive opportunities and set an optimistic example for anyone watching. Although it is not a situation in which any of us would have chosen, we have made it a “Great Day for Masonry.”
Keep learning, keep growing and until we can meet in person again, stay healthy!
David Daugherty, DDGM
Second Masonic District of Ohio
“Step into the Light”
That is our Grand Master, Keith W. Newton’s theme. It symbolizes our first step in Freemasonry as we knelt at the Altar and the Three Great Lights were revealed to us. It inspires intellectual, moral and spiritual development and enlightenment in the mysteries of the Order. At home, attending Lodge or when abroad, in the world, it is a charge to us, to be more than a man, a Mason.
‘Tis the season for elections, awards and installations. We anxiously anticipate these joyous occasions. They bring exciting new dynamics, celebrate personal milestones and focus our work with formality and ceremony. What a great way to start the Masonic year!
Most of us have gotten that call from a Brother when we least expected it and needed it the most. It’s a friendly way of letting others know you care. Brothers that have been absent from Lodge, our elderly members, widows, widowers and orphans need a Brotherly call or visit to let them know they are not forgotten. Lend them an ear they can bend, an arm they can lean on and a hand they can shake. It will have a lasting impact on both you and them.
Finally, the Typewritten Ritual is ready to make the rounds early for those hard to remember words and phrases. Ask your Secretary to contact your Deputy soon to reserve time with the Typewritten Ritual for an opportunity to sharpen your ritualistic skills.
On behalf of the District Deputy Grand Masters,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
Health And Happiness
Kent Crager, DDGM