Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
Each of us has a responsibility to Odd Fellowship and to our Lodge. Most of our Lodges have been around for over 100 years – some even going back into the 1800’s. Year after year, and decade after decade, the brothers and sisters who preceded us lovingly cared for the Lodge Hall, carefully nurtured the reputation and image of Odd Fellowship, and diligently brought in new members to continue IOOF as a viable entity in the community.
In the light of this lengthy and vibrant history, the question becomes apparent: What are YOU going to do to nurture your Lodge during YOUR time as a member?
That is the essential subject of the excellent DMC article which follows, written by Deputy Grand Master Dave Reed.
F – L – T
Past Grand Master
Is Your Comfort Zone Shrinking?
I am always looking for experiences in my life that can apply to the Odd Fellows, now and in the future. Sometimes it is something I read in a book or in the newspaper. Recently, I was attending a yoga class. Yoga typically focuses on stretching and flexibility and controlled breathing and focusing your mind.
My yoga teacher commented that you should always try to expand your “comfort zone”. You should strive to increase your flexibility and increase your stamina. She said that if you don’t try to expand your comfort zone, your comfort zone will actually shrink. It made sense. We do things in yoga and in life) where we feel comfortable. We have a comfort zone.
In thinking about this idea of comfort zones, I realized this process is happening in our Odd Fellow lodges. It is especially noticeable in small, shrinking lodges. The members all have their comfort zone. Their comfort zone is small group of friends. Often, it is a small group of long-time friends.
Their comfort zones are their routines of what their lodges do (or don’t do). They meet for a meal. They sometimes contribute money to a worthy cause. They don’t push their boundaries. They don’t try doing activities to get their members more active. They don’t try doing activities that get them more involved in their community. They don’t try doing activities to make their lodge attractive to new members. They discourage members who suggest new or different things. Those types of things take them out of their comfort zones.
So, what is the result? Their comfort zone shrinks. Fewer members attend meetings. Members leave the lodge or pass away. Members don’t suggest new or different activities. Their lodge shrinks, too.
Our comfort zones will not grow by themselves. If your comfort zone is going to expand, you have to make it happen. You have to decide you want to do something about it. You have to decide you want it to grown. You have to be willing to do something about it.
You and your Odd Fellow lodge have to be willing to think about your goals. You and your lodge have to be willing to make an effort to accomplish your goals. The goals don’t have to be earthshaking. But you and your lodge have to be willing to pursue your goals one small step at a time. Otherwise, your comfort zone (and lodge) will continue to shrink.
This concept of comfort zones applies equally to bigger, more active lodges. If we don’t move forward, we will be moving backwards.
It is up to each of us to make an effort to help our lodge’s comfort zone from shrinking. It begins and ends with you.
F – L – T
Deputy Grand Master