Picking Up Trash

By: Worshipful Chad Powell

This is a short article I wrote for my Lodge in 2014. I still find this relevant in our fraternity and find myself debating this topic more often as I continue my journey for light.

I recently had the special opportunity to sit down with a brother from another state and talk to him for long periods of time over several days. The brother is a leader in his state and a great leader among Masons in the country. He shared a story with me that I would like to share with his permission; it has impacted my view on Masonry today.

A Lodge met for a business meeting and was discussing their efforts so far that year. The Worshipful Master stood up and proudly announced that the Lodge had finally been granted permission to clean up a section of a road just outside of town. The Master had worked hard to achieve this opportunity to serve the community and was
proud of his efforts. One muffled phrase from an old-timer on the sideline put the entire event into perspective.

The older brother leaned back and said seemingly, to himself in a sad manner, “I remember when we ran this town, the politics, and major businesses. We had great men begging to join. Now we beg to pick up the trash.”

This story is one that I am still struggling with and trying to process completely. Do not be content with mediocre but continually strive for greatness within yourselves and the brotherhood for as you lift yourself up those around you will be lifted up as well.

Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker wrote,
“You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” I would add to this that you are also the product of those things you spend the majority of your time doing. Brothers, take a good look at where we are now and where we want our Lodge to be. Let us all continue to be those men that will elevate our Lodge, bring in
those men who will do the same, and participate in those endeavors which are worthy of the service of all Freemasons.

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