Frequently, I read things and think about how it could apply to the Odd Fellows. The late John Wooden, great basketball coach at UCLA, wrote a couple of books with vignettes describing his observations and reflections on life and living. One of the vignettes was called “Make Friendship a Fine Art.” It goes like this:

“Don’t take friendship for granted. Friendship is giving and sharing of yourself. If just one side works at it, it isn’t friendship. You must work at friendship. Make if a fine art. Go more than halfway. It is two-sided, just like marriage.

Someone is not a good friend because he or she does good things for you all the time. It’s friendship when you do good things for each other. It’s showing concern and consideration. Friendship is so valuable and so powerful. We take it for granted, but we shouldn’t.

The first and most important step in friendship is being a friend.”

As Odd Fellows, Friendship is one of our core principles. Yet, some of us give this principle lip service only and behave differently. Brothers and sisters are treated with disrespect and even hostility. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and think about what we are doing to discourage Friendship. What can we do to promote and improve Friendship within our lodges and within our Order. This is a lifelong goal and commitment. We are never done striving for that ideal. We are never done seeking to do more and do better. As Coach Wooden wrote, don’t take friendship for granted.

F – L – T

Dave Reed
Deputy Grand Master

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