Jim M GM_Formal_Composite_Seal WEB

Before his first official remarks as the newly installed State Master Councilor of Washington DeMolay, Brother Luke Walker shared a pep talk from Internet sensation Kid President: “I don’t know everything, but I do know this: It’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance. So get to it.” Put another way, we as Freemasons must accept our responsibility to Be the Difference.

Freemasonry calls us – dare I say, compels us every day – to Be the Difference. It starts with Building Bridges – in our families, social circles, communities, workplaces, and lodges; with others and even within ourselves. This is about creating a sense of connectedness, and it is not always an easy task. In fact, it just might be one of the hardest things that we, as imperfect and ego-driven humans, are asked to do. It is at times awkward and daunting and painful; it can be clumsy and uncertain and utterly exhausting. Sometimes it involves uncomfortable conversations and bruised egos and being the first one to say “I’m sorry” or “I love you” or “I was wrong.” It requires a healthy dose of faith, liberal amounts of forgiveness, and an endless quantity of grace. These are not activities that we can do once and simply set aside. We must do them Every Day, Every Way.

There is a natural tendency, I guess, to want to preserve, protect, defend, and maintain the status quo. It is easy to get busy and beaten down with the day-to-day stresses and the curveballs that life throws at us, and sometimes bridge building just seems like too much work and a colossal waste of time. I submit to you that that sort of attitude is boring, and to again quote Kid President, “Boring is easy. Everybody can be boring, but you’re gooder than that.”

We need to LEARN that we do not advance as a fraternity when we dig in our heels and stay in our comfort zone; when we focus on maintaining relationships rather than nourishing relationships; when we snicker at the expense of another, when we think in terms of “us-them” and “the other,” or when we focus on the ways we are different.

We must CHANGE our thinking beyond the status quo, and embrace new ways of doing things. We must remember that Freemasonry unites men of every sect, country, and opinion; and conciliates true friendship among those who would otherwise remain perpetually at a distant. We need to ask questions and take the time to listen to the answers. We need to step into the heart and mind of our brethren; we need to make the phone call or send the email – all with an open mind, and a generous heart.

This is hard, hard work; it is good work, beautiful work, essential work. This is holy human work. This is about saying the you are willing to Be the Difference.

So I ask: What bridge will you build that will make your corner of the world awesome?  We already know what will happen if we do nothing. This is your time; this is our time.  We can make every day better for each other every day, every way. We need to learn that we got work to do. We can cry about it or we can change and dance about it.  We were made to Be the Difference so let’s Be the Difference!

Thank you my Brothers. Now let us set to work!

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