A Brother can send his wife a dozen red roses. His wife joyfully may view that as an expression of his never-ending love and affection. However, the sender of a message cannot always control how it is received. His spouse may receive that bouquet and think, “What is he up to?”
Both cases involve the same message, received differently. The filters each recipient processes the message through may alter or twist the initial intent of the message. An environment of openness, genuine caring, and love, will affect the filters of one receiver. On the other hand, a home filled with mystery, drama, anger or lack of transparency may filter the message for another differently.
We must be attuned to the filters our Brothers choose as we move our Craft forward. That is one reason I have come out stressing our environment in terms of Family Friendly Freemasonry and a time for generational change. We must also hold on to what, over the ages, has made Masonry a force for independent thought. We must resist the tendency to fall for the conspiracy theories and be open with our intent and purpose. Our message promotes a better world and encourages happiness. I should clarify that when I say happiness I do not mean everyone sitting around the fireplace snickering. I mean it in the grander more historical sense as when our forefathers used it in the Declaration of Independence.
Our greatest assets as a Brotherhood are our teachings and our practicing Brothers. When I promote a message for generational change, all must understand it will never be successful without the wisdom, guidance and dedication of our most informed Brothers. So, I am not suggesting we kick our greybeards, like me, to the curb. Rather, I am calling on us to take the responsibility to teach, share and promote the growth of our new great young leaders and help share a historical perspective. Masonry is like a great tree, the key to survival is simple…grow or die. If we all live by the messages that spring forth from our teachings, our Craft will be as immortal as they are.