Posted in 2017 Messages
(My message this month was inspired by a Short Talk Bulletin I enjoyed that was published in 1941)
What does it take to be an officer of a Lodge? Not much. Either being appointed by the Worshipful Master or elected if it’s an elected position. Pretty easy. What does it take to be a good officer? That’s even easier but much less followed. A good officer attends the meetings of his Lodge, arriving on time and staying to the end. Just as importantly, he pays attention. He doesn’t spend the meeting texting. While not all meetings can be as entertaining or exciting as others, he is there in mind as well as body. A good officer never refuses an assignment to a committee, whether investigation of a petitioner, examination of a visitor, or any other if within the length of his cabletow. He welcomes such tasks and even seeks them. Someone has to do the work of the Lodge. The best officers and finest Secretary alone cannot make a Lodge. They have well determined duties, and many usually go far beyond them. But they cannot do it all, nor should they try. Other members, officers and sideliners alike, must take the interest and do the job for the love of their Lodge. A good officer learns the work of an officer. If he knows he is going to be appointed or elected to a chair, he must know in advance what that chair does and how he needs to do it. A good officer is interested in Lodge discussions and understands what they are about. When he speaks, it is from conviction. He argues good naturedly; never under any circumstance does he use personalities. He always addresses the Master, says his say briefly and sits. All of the Brethren appreciate common sense and appreciate when a brother has something intelligent to say, whether they agree with it or not. A good officer does his job and doesn’t tell others how to do theirs. He doesn’t try to tell the Tyler how to tile, the Secretary how to collect dues, the Senior Deacon how to deliver the Middle Chamber work. He does not instruct the Master in the art of the presiding nor tell the Treasurer how to keep accounts. If he has a constructive suggestion, he presents it politely. He never talks down to anyone. A good officer strives to give something for nothing. If you are unsure about this, then look up the definition of a “Master’s Wages.” A good officer remembers names and takes the time to greet people by name. To be able to speak to a brother who hasn’t been in Lodge for some time and call him by name both surprises and pleases. Every brother is human. To be remembered by name is one of the most subtle and simplest way to feel flattered. A good officer knows how to smile. A smile that comes from within. Not from making an effort. The best smile starts at the eyes. Any officer can force a grin but eyes smile from the heart. Smiles beget smiles. Smiles create friendly feelings. And let’s not forget, every smiling officer exemplifies good feelings to and from his Lodge.
Brian K. Mandel, WM
Brian K. Mandel, WM