How to avoid being WM?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by JMartinez, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. JMartinez

    JMartinez Registered User

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    Just like the title says. I've been a Mason for 4 years. I am now JW. I want to support the line up in front of me. I'm in my 20's. I'm a full-time student in college. I lack the respect of my brethren and the wisdom it would take to serve. My being nominated is a matter of lack of membership and members to fill the seats than that of merit. What do I do?
     
  2. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Even if you don't believe they respect you, you may be surprised. Failing that, they should respect the gavel if nothing else.

    Still, I can understand your reasoning. If the SW is already a Past Master (or even open minded) you might toss out the idea of everyone holding their position another year. That, or you could just tell the incoming WM that you'd like to stay where you are or support the lodge in another capacity.
     
  3. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    There should be no hurry to progress and your senior brethren should respect that. Progress when you feel ready.
     
  4. Mike Martin

    Mike Martin Eternal Apprentice Premium Member

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    You should raise the issue with the Lodge Committee and tell them that you are not confidenet enough to progress so quickly and that it is putting unnecessary pressure on you. If your Lodge mates are worth their salt they will try to ease up and help you to progress more comfortably.
     
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  5. Jay Welch

    Jay Welch Registered User

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    Hey Brother what you lack is not skill, knowledge , or experience. Its confidence . No matter what station in life you find yourself at you'll always be surrounded by forces greater than yourself. Its gonna be a long time before you're the oldest, wisest, and saltiest dog on the sea. If you wait for the time to be just right then life will pass right by. I personally know one the youngest DDGL's in the land. He was I think 22 or 23 when he took the post. Very young and green guy but he is the smartest guy in the room no matter who else is there. My point is don't be overly intimidated by these guys. If they didn't respect you then you wouldn't be there!
    Old guys have always and will always give the young guys a hard time. The good news is you can do the same when your old and crusty!
    Enjoy your experience. Its gonna be ok they may kill ya but they cant eat ya !
     
  6. JMartinez

    JMartinez Registered User

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    The thing that bothers me is that all my "brothers" belittle me. Because of my age I'm treated like a kid. Even though I do most of the fundraising, reach out to missing brethren, and never miss a meeting.
     
  7. Jay Welch

    Jay Welch Registered User

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    Well I don't condone any sort of disrespectful behavior , but I suggest throwing some jabs back. Look man I've made a life time of trying to figure out old men. Heres the deal its not that they think less of you or dislike you, the truth is probably the opposite. Im certain that they mean you no harm. Most likely they just see you as a green kid! Don't take it to heart too much. They're having some cheap fun with you ,so fight back. I would start with Viagra jokes, or maybe offer to come over and help em change the tennis balls on they're walker! Oh I'm sorry you couldn't hear me... everybody turn up your hearing aids! Have some fun with em and don't take it too serious. But please don't be discouraged Brother. Remember these are the very guys who elected you! Don't be hateful but don't be timid either. Good luck and please hang in there . We need young guys in the Craft!
     
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  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    "You're aware that the statement you just made means I'm not going to advance to the East in two years, right? You spoke down to me. Time for you to step up to fill the gap you just made. Want to think about it a bit and try that statement again?"

    It is the sort of statement that a WM needs to make on occasion. Find within yourself the ability to say it and you will find within your brothers the ability to support you in your trip through the line. Tough love.

    We're brothers and brothers bicker in a lot of families. But when push comes to shove we're there to support. They aren't even aware they are pushing in the wrong direction. Shove them a bit. They don't even know the lessons of leadership they are about to teach you. When they hear words like that from you, then they'll know.

    Words or not they know you can do it. They've just forgotten. Bring their memory back to them. We PMs tend to tell stories about our years in the East and forget the stories that lead us to the East. Shove their memory a bit for when they were in your shoes.

    Four years? Argh. Tossing our new brother from the pan into the fire. You'll shine of course, but yikes the pace of it.
     
  9. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    Are you sure that this is the best lodge for you?
     
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  10. Jay Welch

    Jay Welch Registered User

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    Sounds like you maybe simply overwhelmed with school and a new post in lodge and all the pressure that brings. Look when you feel that heat just don't forget to breath. And always remember " Slow is smooth , smooth is fast !" So don't let anyone else make you hurry.
     
  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I'm in a similar position. After just 5 months as an MM I was appointed Senior Deacon. I will have to pay very close attention as I will be coming up on the WM position much sooner than I thought.
     
  12. Jay Welch

    Jay Welch Registered User

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    If you hang around the lodge much at all youre gonna get put to work. Best be ready to get called out! So much fun, I love it.
     
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  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed. Joining Masonry is one of the best things that I ever did.
     
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  14. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    As JW it is time to start collecting support. Start looking at the Brothers who are shaping opinions (getting their way) in your Lodge. Begin speaking to these Brothers privately. Discuss some issue in the Lodge and offer your opinion. Pay attention to their responses. Do they consider your position carefully and respond thoughtfully, or do they act like pushy blowhards? (sorry but it happens) Your job at this point is to take a progressive attitude toward the issues of the day and to begin to rally support for those issues. Let me say that again - You are not taking a poll, you are convincing the Brothers of the right course of action, this is what a leader does. This kind of behind the scenes data collection does three things. First, it is crucial to understanding the condition of your Lodge. Second, it prepares you to be a leader. Third, it prepares the Brothers to follow your lead on future issues.
     
  15. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    First of all, while it's expected that you continue in the line to become Master, it's not _required_ that you do so. You have a choice, and (assuming you have a regular, continuing line of officers) should you decide not to continue on and to drop back to the sidelines, talk things over with your current Master and Senior Warden about your concerns. Probably your Senior Deacon, too, since he's going to be affected as well.

    As with joining the Craft, it's of your own free will and accord that you take on any of the chairs.

    I can empathize... two orders of business after I turned in my Master's proficiency, I was brought west of the altar and installed as Junior Deacon, since the lodge had similar manpower shortages. I've continued in the line since then, and started my term as Sr. Warden in December. I got with the program,and decided to do the best job I could in each post. As Sr. Deacon, I went outside the lodge and earned my officer proficiency and even instructor certifications, busted my rear as junior warden, serving something like 40 banquet-type meals for from 30 to 130 members, and helping lecture & tutor new brothers at our own and at neighboring lodges. At this point, if I make it to next year, I will be the firs fellow to have sat sequentially in all five chairs in a long, long time, and I have a pretty good team of folks coming up behind me.

    My faith got shaken pretty hard back in January when a couple of the old biddies on the Rainbow Advisory Board got all ruffled up about the fact the the other wardens and I had noted a typo in a program for one of the girls' installations, and sicced the PM and Master to come ream me out. Right about the same time, two of the past masters got riled at a practice session when I gently pointed out to them that their renditions of a part of the ritual were far, far away from the actual adopted work. I got yelled at for that as well. Lord, I thought, if something as petty as that gets them all riled up like that, well, I probably am not the right fellow to be sitting in the East next year. I stewed on it for a day or so, talked it over with the two guys in line behind me, as well as a couple of my mentors, and decided to stay in the line, but be low key for the time being to see how everything plays out. Next year's program is mostly in draft, and synced to our lodge's 5-year plan. So I'm fairly confident for this and next year, if we're allowed to carry things out.

    Becoming Master isn't something that you should walk into bare-handed. I've done a lot of reading and study, watched other brothers in the position to try and pick up on both good ideas and bad (e.g., what seems to work well and what to avoid) by traveling out to a wide range of other lodges, studied and earned my proficiency and instructor certificates so as to be able to sit in and teach any chair, any degree, and worked hard to be a productive member in the lodge. I've only been in the Craft for a little more than 3 years myself, so you've still got time now to subdue your passions and improve yourself. I've found a couple of books that have really helped me, as well as picking up key lessons from my Royal Arch and Scottish Rite degrees.

    As for the harassment from the other brethren, don't be thin-skinned. Our guys poke at each other in the same manner, usually in a joking way... but you do need to discern that foggy line between joking and bullying. The latter should never be allowed to happen in the lodge. We all made a promise to whisper good counsel when needed, and these sorts of incidents are when we should do so, before it gets to the point where charges would be justified.

    Search your feelings... that little spark of leadership may still be within you. Find a good mentor (or two or three) and fan that flame.

    Tom Ezell
    Senior Warden, Adoniram #288
     
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  16. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    Wise counsel Bro. Ezell. Wise counsel indeed.
     
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  17. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    As the SW in our lodge, I will be moving to the East in July. I have been studying all of the openings and closings as well as planning my year for a few months now. The issue I have is my line officers below JW. I am going to have to put some men in place that may not be quite ready. This is because some of those that would be more qualified tend to not come regularly. My take on the officers is (1) they must be willing to accept the position and the duties that come with it (2) They must be able to make at least the stated meetings (3) they must be willing to help those behind them to prepare for the next year.
    Now, I know that there are circumstances where someone may miss a stated meeting or two and that is fine, however, to miss the meetings because someone just doesn't want top go that night is not acceptable for a line officer, at least for me. Does that mean I am taking my duties and position too serious?
     
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  18. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    I am of the same mindset. If at all possible, I will not put someone in an office or on a committee if they are not regularly active. I've heard some say that they would be active if you have them something to do. This is where I would have my committees source outside help on projects. I just have a hard time putting the future of the lodge into the hands of someone who prioritizes prime time tv over the Lodge.
     
  19. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    My thoughts exactly
     
  20. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Not at all. The officers of a Lodge must accept the responsibilities of their offices and, at the least, attend stated meetings unless work or family emergencies interfere. If they cannot, they should decline said offices.
     
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