Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
On July 19, the DMC Newsletter featured an article by PGM Rick Boyles on the subject of “negativity” in the Lodge. Well, that article inspired Nancy Johnson to write an==her own article about what I call “positivity” in the Lodge. Nancy is a very active member of Mission Peak Lodge #114 and also serves as the current Grand Marshal of California. She is also Co-chair of the Grand Lodge Historical Committee and is involved in many aspects of our Order, both locally and statewide. Nancy has a great, positive, can-do attitude about our Order.
While negativity is a serious problem in some Lodges, Nancy reminds us to keep a positive attitude. Remember: The links in our Odd Fellows’ chain are “Friendship – Love – Truth” – a negative attitude violates the highest principles of our Order; a positive attitude empowers those principles within us and within our Lodges.
F – L – T
Jurisdiction of California
I have just read the article “Negativity is in the eye of the beholder” and I am guilty… I have definitely heard these comments and may have even spoken some of these words.
Have you ever uttered the phrase “If I had just one bad thing to say, it would be____ (fill in the blank)”. After reading Rick’s article, I had to wonder, why do I do this? Why do WE do this?
So, I have chosen to make a change. Curb the trend and change my words to, “If I had ten good things to say, it would be____ (Fill in the blanks)”.
1. Our order has, and will continue to stand by our principles, “Friendship, Love & Truth”. I took a couple on a tour of our Lodge yesterday and when I told them the principles, the wife said, “What is more important than that”.
2. Our motto, Visit the sick, Relieve the distressed, Bury the dead & Educate the orphan, is not outdated and just as important today as it was in the 1800’s. Take the time to go Visit a hospital, Relieve the homeless, Honor our fallen & Help our youth.
3. Once I took a Theta Rho club to walk for Juvenile Diabetes. They were hot and tired and one asked, “Why can’t we just give them the money?” I explained the importance of making a statement… they walked and walked and walked.
4. You may not get a member at each function, but you are making an impact and this will be remembered in the community. Be visible, loud and proud. It is a lot of work, but so worth the time and effort.
5. Do more than Lodge community. Get involved in local politics. Join the district Business Association, the Chamber of Commerce and be involved in the City council meetings. You will be surprised by the decisions some of these organizations are making on behalf of an invisible Lodge building.
6. Contact the Museum in your area. Get the Lodge relics on display. Most museums have a rotating display cabinet and allow the community to present loaned items as long as you set up the signage. Some museums do history walks, find out who does these and get them involved in the Lodge. Our local person was not even aware of the history, just pointed to the building. Now we make sure we know when she walks and open the building to answer questions. We have made sure she has enough information to also answer questions and have tied other buildings to our historic members of the Lodge, so everything in our community ties together to the focal point of her walk, OUR LODGE HALL.
7. Your District is your family. Get involved with other Lodges in the district. Have a traveling “poker run” with all the local lodges involved. Do not plan huge meals, but easy quick throw together meals so that half the members are not stuck setting and cleaning up. As an example: Livermore Lodge, donuts; Mission Peak Lodge, Togos; Pacheco Lodge, pasta & Sycamore Lodge, cupcakes. It sounds easy and gets a full day of fun and fellowship.
8. What happened to the Traveling Gavel? This was a great social tool to get the Lodges to visit. We have one in our museum and it is high time we dust that off and get it moving again.
9. We have so many heroes in our Lodges. They should be praised for their good work, not condemned. I have heard so many comments of our hard workers being “title grabbers”. Take those title grabbers and give them a nice award for the work they do and give them the honor they deserve. It is amazing what the value of “Thank You” is.
10. Last, but certainly not the least of all the positive aspects of our wonderful fraternity is… Publicize. Do not be the silent worker in the community. Our order has nearly “secreted” itself out of business. Do what you can to get the media involved. There are so many social outlets now. Your Lodge can simply send out a newsletter or if you are more ambitious get a Facebook page, but send out the good work to others. You may have an idea that works for others. Do not limit your news to just the members of your Lodge.
Mission Peak Lodge #114