Rumors. Allegations. Innuendoes. Charges. Accusations. Trials. Is that what the devolution of Odd Fellowship will look like? Is that any way to build up and grow this Order?
Of course it isn’t. Here is an article from Past Grand Master Rick Boyles that should concern all in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows who value FLT.
F – L – T
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California
Bullies in Our Midst
Many of us are elderly, retired, or otherwise unoccupied in this pandemic time. This has caused the Independent Order of Odd Fellows to be more secluded than ever; some are masked, many are participating only remotely, and others never leave their homes for fear of, frankly, many things. The last thing we all need is someone who spreads rumors about anyone, or everyone, else. Did we learn nothing in kindergarten or in our religious or philosophical teachings? Are we not an order based upon friendship, love, and truth?
Yet, when some of us go to the few public events we now have, we hear things. It almost doesn’t matter who it is, or of what they are accused. It is enough that we hear it. So much so, that it is not the accused that becomes suspicious, it is the accuser. Aren’t we having a rough enough time without unfounded accusations being blurted out? It’s time we all act like brothers and sisters who we are theoretically supposed to be and not filled with blind animosity.
We often miss the forest for the trees. In other words, bullies only see the negative about others. If bullies only see the negative, we are only left debating the negative. Bullies like to research a person’s past. Now, it is easier than ever to do. We can look up everyone we don’t know or like on the computer and examine their entire lives. Often times, bullies like to gather with their cronies, perhaps fired up on alcohol, or just long on hatred, and talk about those they feel are the opposition. But here is the flaw in their reasoning. No one opposes.
At least not by code. If members would like to remove other members from the order, oftentimes all they need to do is ask. That’s all it takes. But a bully wants to end someone else’s very existence. A bully may even be unhappy with their own existence. Being a bully is not a clean path to anywhere. If you ask a bully why they do what they do, they act as if they are compelled to spread gossip in search of truth. But it is not truth they seek it is verification of their own value. Yet, a bully may not even be capable of self-examination, so they project outwards in the hope of seeing nothing reflected back upon them, however inevitable that may be.
Leaders lead by example. It may be hard for a bully to understand, but no one is perfect. We all may have something we are not particularly proud of in our past, but no one else should be the judge of us. This is a fraternal order that is based on love. Nothing could be more clear. Those who want to spread hate or vitriol are anathema to the order itself.
In F., L., & T., Rick Boyles
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