​In my humble opinion (IMHO), one of the greatest things the Independent Order of Odd Fellows ever did was to limit the reign of the Grand Master, the Noble Grand, and other elective officers, with the exception of the Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer (because they need more technical expertise), to one year. This is no reflection on any elective officer in particular, but it is an examination of these positions as they are.

Grand Masters, Noble Grands, and all other elective officers, come from all social classes. Every profession you can think of has had at least one GM from its ranks. We have had lawyers, judges, doctors, and even lowly booksellers such as me in the position. It is clearly a position of honor. Individual lodges are even more diverse, with no one being excluded. This is a great thing.

The problem is, like in real life, we have people who are never wrong. They are smarter than you or I. They would tell you that if you asked. You can find them at any jurisdictional occasion, basking in the limelight, talking endlessly. It doesn’t matter if they pump gas in their everyday lives or if they are brain surgeons. They are smarter than you and always will be. (IMHO).

That spawns the question, why did they join the Odd Fellows? Our simple order made up of simpletons like me just hoping that friendship, love, and truth means more than a tagline. Perhaps their time would be better utilized calculating the exact mathematical definition of pi, or something even more complex like finding happiness in their own lives.

We also have members that are always mad. They vote mad, talk mad, and carry on within our walls mad as hell. I asked one member why he was always mad, and he replied that was his way of carrying on in life. It doesn’t matter what end of the political spectrum you’re in, there are mad types on all sides. The same mad member told me that he was surprised because his lodge could not get new members. I said maybe we should see what the prospective member likes. After uttering an overused expletive, he said, “we’re a lodge, what more is there to like?”

So, these are two types of people who are tough to deal with – people who know everything, and will not debate anything, and people who are always mad and filled with tension.

Imagine if we could all discuss things amicably and be happy with who we are. We might actually get new members… (IMHO)…

In F., L., & T.,

Rick Boyles
Past Grand Master
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Jurisdiction of California

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