America. We’re a great and awesome nation. That statement can be taken in a number of ways. I prefer to think of us as a nation of great people, of equality, freedom and diversity; awesome in our achievements and service. But if you take it literally it could very well mean that we are a nation of overweight, overindulgent people who, in general, don’t know how to slow down. Our nation’s health is in jeopardy, and we’ve no one to blame but ourselves.
As we study temperance one of the first things that Brother Franklin suggests is that we “Eat not to dullness…”. I think most of us can attest to exactly what he’s talking about. I certainly can.
Sitting down to a meal of delicious food and devouring everything in sight as quickly as one is capable (so as not to allow your body time to inform you that it is full) with the misconception that more is better. That’s been my habit for more years than I can remember. Without getting into the details of dieting and eating healthy that is so rampantly available on the Internet, I’d like to instead consider what this overindulgence does where your Masonic duties are concerned.
Being of the fraternity requires that you be capable of serving. Serving others, serving yourself in your continued education and growth and serving the community on a whole. Brothers! I can testify that being overweight does not help in these areas. It makes one lethargic. It causes the body to ache (every pound you weigh is the equivalent of 7 pounds of pressure on your joints). It presents a far less impressive overall figure of Masonry. Eating to dullness does exactly what the phrase states. It impairs your thought processes; slowing them down and causing your intellectual reflexes to be less honed.
The good thing is that there’s something we can do about it. Temperance teaches us to savor the flavor. To enjoy the moment fully while not overindulging in the source. We live in a fast-paced world where we are often allotted little time for our meals. Because of work schedules, we are taking in large amounts of nutrients at the wrong times of the day. This virtue urges us to slow things down enough to be considerate of our health, to enjoy those foods that we take for granted. Indulge not in the dullness of overeating. Being healthy means that we will be around longer, and the longer that we are around the more we are able to uphold our duties to God, our families, our neighbors, and our fraternity.
This is as good a time as any to become resolute to exercise and lose weight. Resolve to retrain your body to eat healthy foods when they are supposed to be eaten and in the portions they are prescribed by nutritional specialists. Let us become healthy and fit.
“Eat not to dullness…”
Smart fellow, that Brother Franklin.