In the articles appearing in this DMC Newsletter, we have often opined that the most successful Lodges are places that are fun for the members, socially active and involved in the community. These are the Lodges that will sustain themselves, thrive and grow.

But now science has come up with another reason to be involved with fun, social active and involved Lodges: You are less likely to experience cognitive decline as you age.

Yes, it’s true. In research just published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” the scientists examined three personality traits: conscientiousness, extroversion, and neuroticism. It was noted that people who score high in the personality trait of “conscientiousness” tend to be responsible, organized, hard-working and goal-directed. People who score high in the personality trait of “extroversion” tend to be enthusiastic, gregarious, talkative and assertive. And those who score high in neuroticism have low emotional stability and have a tendency toward mood swings, anxiety, depression, self-doubt and other negative feelings. I’m sure we all know people who fit into these three personality categories. In fact, you may be in one of them yourself.

But here’s the fascinating discovery that the scientists made: Those people who scored high on conscientiousness or low in neuroticism were significantly less likely to progress from normal cognition to mild cognitive impairment as they age. And they found that people who scored high on extroversion also tended to maintain normal cognitive function longer than others.

What does all this mean in plain English? “Cognitive impairment” means your mental faculties have slowed down. The study indicated that you could delay this mental slowdown by leading a life that is more active, more fun, more involved. Certainly, being a member of a Lodge which is active, fun and involved can only help toward this goal of living a fuller, more “woke” life.

The study found no association between any of the personality traits and total life expectancy. So, an active Lodge experience will not help you live longer. But it will help you live better.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California

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