Brethren : Some recent events have reminded me of an interesting concept about our fraternity. Freemasonry is not a Democracy. We employ democratic processes such as open discussion and voting in the lodge, but ultimately the Worshipful Master is the final decision maker. It is a sort of benevolent dictatorship reminiscent of the Kings of all ages. King Solomon was said to be a great ruler and wise beyond his years. He ruled with an iron fist and made demands when necessary but he often listened to his people. Ultimately, he made the necessary decisions to build an empire.
Though many of us will preside and be endowed with rank and title, we must not forget that both mean little in terms of successful leadership. A man can be a king, potentate or Worshipful Master and fail at being a leader if he has not earned the respect of his followers, his people, or his team. Respect is bidirectional and it is earned. Being a leader means putting the needs of the greater good above your own. It is about having difficult conversations. It is about admitting when you are wrong. It is about standing up and fighting for what you know is right. It is also about pushing others forward so they can continue a legacy. The best leaders are those that earn respect through action and who everyone can see has wrought and worked in the quarries. After all, who is best to lead and make a demand than someone who has done the work?
As a spiritual, philosophical and esoteric science, Freemasonry makes good men better by creating leaders. The proud, the arrogant, the self-absorbed, and those who cannot take criticism often cause disharmony and many eventually find their ways out of our organization due to lack of personal gain. Being a leader is about knowing when to ask and when to demand. It is about communicating. It is about holding others to their commitments. It is also about knowing how to select the right person to do the job so they can exceed expectations. In our lodge, we have built a family. We have built a new legacy. We need to continue to build a team that can carry that torch forward, unselfishly. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” -Abraham Lincoln
In Light & Love,
Raymond Ortiz II