I sometimes hear negative talk about “title hunters” – those members who seem to want to collect all the fancy titles they can. They volunteer and ask for leadership roles and seem to want to be the head of everything for some time. You have met them. You know who I am talking about.
Personally, I have no problem with title hunters. As long as they are doing the work to earn the title, who cares what their motivations are? If they can work for their own egos and support the lodge or whatever body they are head of, and make it a better organization, their mercenary motives are not really that interesting to me.
However, I think we need to get back to all being brothers, rather than seeing the gradations of titles as class separators. Some of the newer brothers do not feel like they belong on the same row of seats as the seasoned old-timers who hold more titles than Carter had liver pills. And, to be honest, I have known some old-timers with lots of titles who mostly seemed interested in associating with their similarly titled colleagues, rather than with the rabble and riffraff. This isn’t how titles are supposed to work. The are supposed to reward a job well done, not be a barrier to social interaction. None of us is a higher rank than Master Mason; we should not create divisions where there are none.
Do we even need all these fancy titles? Those of us who can’t help but swallow the hook and be part of yet another organization tend to accumulate titles left and right, but really we are no higher than the title of Brother. Let’s get rid of the fancy titles, huh? We meet on the level, right? Shouldn’t we dispense with all the formalities and ego-boosting trappings?
I know what some of you are saying. “I worked too hard for my title! Why would I give it up?”
You have to ask yourself something. For whom did you work? Was it for yourself, for your ego, or for your brothers and the lodge? If you perform selfless work, being rewarded is not much of an issue. If you perform work to stoke your ego, maybe not keeping the fancy title is a good lesson.