The Rough Ashlar

Thoughts from a Traveling Man

The Rough Ashlar - Thoughts from a Traveling Man

“I hate the Worshipful Master. What can I do about it?”

S&C - 032_300It seems like each year, I hear someone bellyaching about how he dislikes one officer or another, whether in his own lodge or in the Grand Lodge. Hard feelings a hard indeed, but there is something you can do about your woes. Here are your options:

  • Shut up and deal with it and try to get along with everyone and promote harmony.
  • Stop attending the lodge until whatever you are upset about passes.
  • Surrender your membership card.

It is a little more involved than just this, but those are the first options you should consider.

Your Worshipful Master, junior deacon, grand master, or whatever, was duly elected. I do not know where you are, but here in Virginia, these officers are elected democratically. Election night is the one night the lodge goes from a (hopefully) benevolent dictatorship to a democracy. Here are my thoughts on these issues.

First off, you do not have to like the leaders for them to be effective. If you find the person in question to be offensive somehow, chalk it up to personality differences. Second, if you think they are ineffective or misguided, maybe it is time to whisper good counsel or ask one of the lodge elders to talk to the person you feel has done something wrong.

If your grand lodge treats elections democratically and you did not suggest an alternative or voice a concern, then you really don’t have much to complain about. If you voted to elect the brother whom you see as a problem, you should probably just sit on your hands and wait out the term. If you do not like the election results, you still have the obligation to support the leaders as best as you can.

The blessing in all this is that the elected person will only be in that spot for a year. If you really think things are being done wrong, it will be a short ride.

If you have knowledge of some officer violating Masonic law, there are ways to rectify that. Talk to other lodge officers or your DDGM (or equivalent) about the proper methods and likely outcomes. If the case is simply ineffectiveness or general poor management or a personality difference, you are out of luck because these are not Masonic offenses.

Putting someone in line to become the head of the lodge is a serious thing to consider. You should only recommend brothers you are convinced will work toward the good of the order and the lodge. If you think someone does not fit the mold, you should never try to promote him. It is like hiring people for a job. If you think someone is not a good fit, don’t hire that person. Simple stuff. And remember that it is always easier to not hire someone than it is to fire him later on.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the person you find so objectionable is also on the path to becoming a better man. You may also not have the full picture in your head of what that person is trying to do.

It can be hard to go through a year with someone at the helm who is clueless, not to mention malignant to the lodge. I have sen this before and likely will see it again at some point. To avoid this situation, think about the qualities you want in a leader and only promote those who you think will uphold the high values you have. Also remember to exercise your role in the democracy. If you think something is amiss, ask for guidance and hold your officers accountable.

On the other hand, if there is someone in power whom you do not like, just try to get over it.

Category: Leadership

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