Sunday, November 5, 2017

A View From The East

Greetings, or rather farewell. It’s strange to think that this will be my final article as a part of the progressive line. I can hardly recognize the young man that I was four years ago when I wrote my first article as Senior Deacon. In that time I’ve learned so much about myself and our beloved fraternity, among which is the fact that I have so much left to learn.  Upon reflection, I realize this was perhaps the point for me, that it is easy enough to say that you understand that you don’t have all the answers, but to actually accept that you still have a long way to go is a hard pill to swallow sometimes.  So I won’t be writing any educational material this time, instead a simple letter of gratitude.

I learned as a Steward that the best leaders must first learn to follow, as well as the value of selfless service. As a Deacon, I learned about the importance of hospitality and fellowship, and that our bonds of brotherly love are strengthened through time spent, and sincere fraternal relations. As Junior Warden, I began to grasp the idea that charity and relief grant rewards that cannot be bought with money, and the chair also provided the foundations of planning and leadership. In the West, I learned the importance of prudence and tact in our daily dealings with others, and it solidified the idea that it is easier to dangle a carrot, than to try to push a mule.

But the lessons I’ve learned as Master of the Lodge did not come to me right away. I’ve been struggling with putting this to paper for some time, not sure what it was that I had left to say. In fact, it is in the writing of this article that I realized my greatest take away from this year was forecast in my thank you speech upon assuming the East. I stated that I did not see this as my year, but rather our year, and that I was honored to have been entrusted at the helm of such a great lodge. I still see Barkley as a large ship slow to turn, and near impossible to stop once moving. Thinking on this, my realization is one of humility and gratitude. This year was not possible because of me or anything that I had done alone, at times, it was probably in spite of me. There is a not a single week that would have happened without a concentrated effort from a strong support system, not only from the progressive line, but also from the Brothers sitting on the sidelines. Every single brother has a role to play in this lodge and fraternity.

I am reminded of words that were shared with me shortly after my installation. “Remember to give them roses.” There is no way that I could possibly mention every Brother that has made an impact on me or played an important role in this Journey we have taken together, so please suffice it to say that you are all appreciated and that I will always endeavor to be at your service with humility and gratitude for the simple honor of being able to call you all Brothers. My greatest hope for all of you is that John W Barkley continues to be a beacon of Light, guiding new Brothers to a deeper understanding of themselves and the potential they have to affect change around them.

Scott D Clark - Worshipful Master