S. Kenneth Baril
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
At this point in time, our cherished order faces a critical junction in our glorious history. Simply put, our brotherhood faces the frightening prospect of declining membership and a general apathy among many of its members.
It will be necessary for all of us in the Masonic order throughout the United States to do some serious soul searching and thinking to prevent this sad prospect from continuing into the future.
Every organization and every type of organization in this nation face the same dual problems, apathy among its present members and the inability to draw in and retain new ones. This epidemic starts with child and youth activities, religious groups, civic organizations, veteran groups and all others we may think of.
No further proof of such decline is needed than to speak with some hard working Cub Scout leader, CYO worker or a Commander of a veteran post, to see that this malaise is nationwide.
What the Masonic fraternity must do, will involve a widespread plan to attempt to reestablish the moral values upon which this great nation was founded and prospered so well. The Masonic fraternity is facing a morally and ethically corrupt society, a society that will not and cannot respond to traditional approaches, because it simply no longer feels the Masonic fraternity (or any other organization today) is a part of its’ moral character.
In short, Freemasonry must attempt in its own way and fashioned after Masonic concepts, to help in the rebirth of those values that have been lost. A nation that loses its values has relinquished its heritage and will surely forfeit the future. This is where the crux of the matter lies. We are faced on all sides with a decline in personal honesty and integrity, with religious, business, government and educational corruption and moral bankruptcy on the part of the American people. Our society is torn with problems involving alcohol and drug abuse, with violent crimes and depravity, with sexual promiscuity and more degradation to an extent many of us could not have imagined just a few short years ago.
In responding in our own way to such problems, in attempting to help re-establish the values we cherish, should be the Masonic mission of the next quarter century. The task ahead, if such is pursued, will entail hard work and complex planning, but any attempt at less is a band-aid approach to the problems we face.
We all like to think that our Masonic philosophy is a bulwark of morality, a way to live with our fellow man, be he Mason or not, in peace, harmony and brotherly love.
How better to reflect such a philosophy than to engage in a noble enterprise such as this? Our fraternity would not face such a drastic decline as we experience today if society reflected those values it held so long ago.
The answer lies in a collective attempt to restore cherished values across this land. What more glorious mission could the Masonic order engage upon at this point in time? Time is running out and we have within our grasp an opportunity to help in the restoration of traditional American values. If such an attempt is made and fails, we may still take pride in the attempt; if such an effort results in other groups and individuals taking up the challenge, wonderful!
This is the path to Masonic survival, and probably too, the survival of the values and country we all love.
Written by S. Kenneth Baril (Date Unknown)