Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
As you know, Dedicated Members for Change is in the mainstream now. I have created a “Dedicated Members for Change Committee” at the California Grand Lodge level, with many enthusiastic members, chaired by PGM Rick Boyles. Brother Rick is a prolific and substantive writer, and I am pleased to share his latest submission, below.
F – L – T
Jurisdiction of California
“If You Have Lemons, Make Lemonade”
One of the facts about our order is that we are all getting older. Many of us have become set in our ways. This is why some of us think change is an onerous thing. I know I personally tend to do the same things constantly, staying in my own little comfort zone. But often I have found that things that happen outside my own miniscule world are so much more interesting than my own petty sphere of operation.
All of us have good qualities and bad. Many of us are retired, or working at a slower pace than we did at an earlier age. The elderly are no more exempt from flaws or bad habits than anyone else. But in trying to attract new members we should realize that we can’t attract people by being hateful, obstinate, or unable to accept anything new. Just as we do in our personal lives, we should reach out to those we encounter and try and exhibit that which we are most proud of. We need to put our best foot forward.
Those with a little expanse of years under their belt –
- Are often less apt to be volatile, or angry, in a lodge setting. We can use this to be welcoming and we can also try to realize that those looking in may be even more apprehensive than those looking out.
- Many are happy within their own orbit, able to look at others in a non-threatening manner. If we exhibit our interests, perhaps we can attract others with similar tastes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with attracting people who like what you do. The funny thing is that while we want to attract the young, we even seem to have difficulty in attracting those our own age. We need to share with the world, what we all find in common.
- “Wisdom comes with old age” is a popular quote. Not so much wisdom I would say, but experience. This comes in handy with each of us. Even in a lodge setting, many events we can help with because we have done them previously. But an event last year does not need to be replayed this year in exactly the same manner. It’s best to alter it or adjust it in some manner to make today’s event unique. What attracts anyone is fun. What repels almost everyone is boredom.
- Many of us who are aging love to talk. Since talk is cheap why not spread it out liberally? In other words, I have found that the best way to attract people and keep them interested is to show them that you feel that they are interesting. No one wants to sit alone in a corner. Lodges exist to chase away loneliness. Most of us like to talk, and one way to keep a new member engaged is to keep talking to them. There are many intriguing personalities out there. If you talk to many you may be surprised to find many talking to you. Most people tend to be gregarious. Depression is often preceded by solitude. Nothing should be more egregious to us than to abandon a fellow member or to make them feel unwanted.
- I personally like to eat. I have the feeling others do as well. I’ve even heard it’s somewhat of a necessity. Think of the commonality of this. I have always been startled by how many lodges give their members little or nothing in the way of refreshments and yet they expect members to just flock in. Why would they? Most lodges meet in the early evening. If a person works, are they supposed to get dinner, and then go to a long and boring lodge meeting rather than watch television or share time with their loved ones? The only way to attract members is to show that the lodge is a home away from home, not a tomb hidden away from the real world. One of the basic reasons our lodges are mainly staffed with the elderly, is because younger people work and either are unable to attend or are uncomfortable with lodge surroundings. Lodges that grow make their lodges comfortable to attend.
Happiness is contagious – pass it on.
In Friendship, Love and Truth, Rick Boyles