Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

Lewis Carroll, in his book “Alice in Wonderland” perhaps said it this way: “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

For more along this line, we offer the following article, written by Past Grand Master Rick Boyles.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California


A Member of the World

Recently, the news show 60 Minutes had a segment on the most sophisticated machine in the world, a super-collider, The Hadron Collider, built underground in Switzerland and France in order to study the world’s tiniest matter, solve intricate science problems, and questions relating to our position in the universe. Sub-atomic particles called protons travel almost at the speed of light and their collisions emulate what may have occurred at the time of the Big Bang, the cataclysmic explosion that is purported to be the beginning of the universe as we know it. Through this process, scientists discovered the Higgs Boson particle, famously called “the God Particle”, which gives all matter the image of mass. The large collection of scientists involved in this research is known as CERN, so large and pervasive a group that they are making other stupendous discoveries as well. In fact, there is some expectation that they are going to reveal other actual dimensions, which the famous “string theory” (a theory of quantum gravity) requires in order to prove its own viability. They are also investigating dark matter and dark energy which may further help explain the measurements of the universe, since without the existence of dark matter the measurements of the universe are inaccurate. Discoveries are now coming so quickly, that by the time you read this there may have been additional discoveries made.

What is my point? Simply that we in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows are stuck as if we reside in a permanent time warp. Most of us are elderly and not quick to accept change. Our failure to adapt to new things can permeate everything we say or do. This may not seem damaging to anyone, but if we fail to show progress, we only succeeding in showing our age. In order for us to grow, we must embrace the world that we are a part of, not deny its existence, and in a small way, we already do, to some extent. A scientist on 60 minutes noted that while it may seem incredible that we may be able to discover new dimensions, 100 years ago we would have been incredulous at the existence of cell phones, or many other facets of today’s world. Most of us now accept and use cell phones, so we have adapted to the present somewhat. In order to grow into today’s world, we should recognize all the other ways in which we can modernize.

1) We must resolve to lose our prejudices. The world around us has changed. Religious prejudice, race prejudice, sexual prejudice all are truly outmoded and have no place in today’s world.

2) We no longer attract anyone by bobbing for apples, pinning the tail on the donkey, or any of the other pastimes of the distant past. If we seek to attract members, we need to offer something new and inviting, not simply a revisit to our own childhood.

3) Stress kills. Our order does not need any more stress. No one’s title should entitle them to be a bearer of stress.

4) Time is of the essence. The world is faster than in our youth. Most people, particularly those with jobs, don’t have the time or the inclination to spend more than a couple free hours having fun. That is where we should focus our attention. An evening at a lodge should be fun-filled, stress-less, and noninvasive.

5) Loosen the reins. Hats are okay, so is happiness, good food, jokes, fun. Tuxedos, spats, corsages, and petticoats are all part of history.

6) Your god is your god. He/she may not be mine. Everyone believes their own religion is right. It is right for them. Your belief does not trump theirs.

7) Live a little. Recruit your friends. Tell them you are getting together to have food and tell jokes. You can read the minutes, but why not make sure they last about a minute? No need to bludgeon everyone with your reports. Read them quick and then move on to the fun parts of our order. Very few join to hear the minutes. Happiness is catching.

If we are going to grow, we need to not only modernize we need to see that the world around us is changing. We need to pull our heads out of the sand and modernize with it.

In Friendship, Love and Truth, Rick Boyles

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