Too BIG of a Gap?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by scottmh59, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    Is the gap between the 70+ year old masons and the younger masons lets say 35 and lower too big for them too just pass their knowledge on?

    Me and my dad,who came in after me had a long conversation last night about that.Had the baby boomers taken more of an interest in free masonry and not left such a big gap in the ages then maybe there would not be such friction between these older masons and younger ones.The boomers could have filled in that space and the transition to us would be much smoother. A 70+ year old man will look at a 50+ year old and think of his own son and in time respect him as the man he grew to be.But when that 70+ year old looks at me will he ever see the young man growing up and becoming more mature? Or will he just simple see a kid who is no older than his grand children and treat me as such? Is that gap too big to over come?

    And of course there are always exceptions to this and i have met many older masons who adapted to the changing times and want nothing more than to pass on their knowledge to us,thats their legacy.To these men we are the ones to keep masonry going for the next generation.But there is still the flip side of that coin with older masons that seem to want and take masonry with them and leave nothing for us. Thoughts.........
     
  2. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    This is a great topic Bro. Scott.

    To me the gap isn't in age, other than the obvious, but in the knowledge. I have not met a Mason to date that knows the craft that isn't willing to share it. I believe where the tension is at is with the brethren that were sped through and not tought to keep the ego in balance and that we are all truly equal. I am not saying I know anywhere near a quarter of the lessons but I am noticing that its the ones that have no clue that have the problems. Its the ones that show up to floor school or just stated meeting and say the words but have no idea what they are saying that is causing the tension in the two lodges I belong to.

    Its funny because my girlfriends father is a Master Mason from Georgia (well aware of the obligation) and he will not talk about ANYTHING Masonic around Non-Masons because he was taught its all secret and I am like man that is the farthest from the truth. Yet he wonders why his son has never shown an intrest. I wonder if this is where the age gap came in to play is misunderstanding the craft by a generation. I mean in the 1940s, 50s, and early 60s everyone was a Mason. I saw where one year in the 30s FW lodge brought in over 1000 masons. I am like how could all those people me MASONS? I just think the craft suffered due to this.
     
  3. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    for sure it was a different time in the 40's ,50's. And i wonder how much of the activity from then was because being a mason was just the thing to do at the time? With no internet,cable tv,etc..When you grew up and stoped playing baseball at the local sand lot,did masonry become the thing to do just to fill up time?
     
  4. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    You are right it would be a smoother transition if we where getting it from our Dads instead of our Grandparents. Name one thing we as younger Mason relate to the older guys with just about the only thing is that we all show up. Our worlds are so far apart they are a hard working never give up generation that never ask questions we are a generation of slackers untill we get our questions answered and feel comfortable then watchout b/c we can work circles aroun any generation of the past. The old guys have no time for question in their day their answers were always a kick in the butt for talking in the first place. I see this massive divide as a trial by fire for our generation IF we make it through, Masonry will shine like never before and our generation will be looked upon for generations as the mystic revivial generation.
     
  5. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

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    Unfortunately, I am one of those you are talking about. I will try to share some of my thoughts which may explain some of it, but as my Drill Instructor said "There is NO excuse BOY!", so I will give my reasons...
    As I graduated H.S., I entered a small Tech School to further my education in Electronics, and some day have a good life. Hmm Uncle Sam sent a letter, and due to some problems at the school office, many of us were drafted. I entered the military, and during that time, married. We had a son, and I was in and out of Viet Nam and other nice places. I finally go out, and decided to go back to school on the G.I. Bill. Too many Bleeding Hearts at the colleges who would not accept what many of us had done, so I left, and took on a job as an autobody repair man. During that time the County Sheriff made me an offer, and a few of us put together a team to combat a "problem" many areas were having at the time. I did that for a few years, and we had a daughter. Then divorce. Things changed fast, and not always good. We got back together for a while, re-married, and had a son. Still LEO, and body work, but in another area of the Country. Moved to Texas, we divorced a second time (there is an education there fellas..). We both have new families, I finally retired from Law Enforcement, and have a daughter with this marriage. Now, being a Dad takes a lot of time, whether you are in the house, or 100 miles away. Working at least one job takes a good bit of time. Having been given a rough time about your "duties" for Country makes you double think a lot. And, trying to make sure you do right in everything takes a lot of time, especially the time you would devote to sleep. Now, some 40 years after this started, my life has slowed down enough I could take the time to Petition, enter, study, and become a Master Mason. I've said all along, that when I have the time to devote, I would take the challenge. Unfortunately, I had the time all along... I was never aware of it, as the work is one of our secrets, and it is not supposed to be discussed among non-Masons. I've told many that had I known 25 years ago what I know now, I would have been a LOT farther along. Some talk of making changes, or "modernizing" masonry. I did not come into an Ancient organization so I or anyone else could modernize it. I am almost 58 years old, and was raised a year ago June 13th (Friday the 13th), and I had no trouble learning the work, or getting it turned in. Now, it took me a lot longer than I thought it should have. I should have had it ALL done in a couple of weeks...... But, it took me about 4 months, with the MM work taking me 9 hours of study to learn. I'm NOT exceptional after all. My instructor keeps telling me how proud he is of me for the way I studied, turned my work in, and my continued dedication. Hey folks!! This is what I was talking about all along! And, I had the time... I studied for at least one hour every evening after work, Monday through Friday. It was like anything else, set a routine, and stick with it. Some can't study every night, but if you look, the time is there. I was given a candidate to teach. He is in his 30's, and his Dad was a Mason. He listened to the Masonic Funeral Rites, and decided he wanted to follow in his Dad's steps. He has been initiated as an E.A. and we have studied about 5 hours. In that time, he made outstanding progress, but kept saying he couldn't do it. The reason he hasn't been able to do it, is that he is more interested in riding his new motorcycle... I build customs, so he can come by, and study, but he WON'T!!! He had given many excuses, but I have information to the contrary. I have offered to make any adjustments it would take to get him through, but at this point I can see he is not interested, and I have to question his ability to be a Mason in the sense we all expect to be, or should be. 5 hours of study since March... I have a son his age, and one older. the Older one is interested, but like me, is putting it off, until he has time. He's still doing some college studies, and is about to promote in his F.D. to another higher rank. He's also just been informed he is going through a divorce. Is history repeating? I sure hope not. I can't push him, but I sure like to let him know how much fun I have with it, and I really do. My Lodge has dwindled down to a small number who come, We have paid dues for many of them over the years, hoping they would come back. We can't do it anymore, because they have not been contributing anything, and many will be suspeneded shortly. I hate that, as these are the same folks who were active when I was the age of many of you, but never really made any attempts to get younger folks involved. Now, I hope you yoounger fellows do not take the same attitude, and say when I get time, or we'll always make it, because it is getting harder. As for the work and learning it, I don't think it needs to be any less, it just needs to be taught in a manner where the candidate actually learns the meaning of the words he is learning and saying. By the way, I learned the questions and answers for 2 reasons... 1st that I might be able to study on my own, and second that I might be abe to "repay" my instructor by teaching another. I'm sorry this is so long, but perhaps it sheds a little light on things that happen... If I can help any Brother in any way, I am always ready to try.
     
  6. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    We lost the men that came of age in the 60s, 70s & 80s. Part of the reason was the impression of secrecy. The biggest however was the age of rebellion. It wasnt cool to be part of the establishment to be part of our fathers world. We seem to be seeing an influx of men from those era's now thankfully (including me).

    Part of not belonging to the establishment also meant not belonging to something meaningful that is larger than yourself. I think over time we have started to come to realize we have a gap in our lives. Some would argue that religions also suffered because of it. Since WE didnt have those connections to masonry and religion, our children didnt either. It making a comback now and I hope the trends continue. (hummm is there a 40 yr cycle here?)
     
  7. A7V

    A7V Registered User

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    In my experience those guys joined for a different reason. They joined what was then a social club for men.

    The guys my age that I know who have joined did it for the esoteric knowledge.

    Neither is wrong, but it is hard to get together when you join for different reasons and have a hard time understanding why the other would join "just for that"....
     
  8. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    From what I have seen, with a little time, honesty, and dedication, the gap can be bridged, at least until we come to topics like racism.
     
  9. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

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    A little different perspective... Sons teaching Dads. My son has followed a lot in my footsteps, but I love to talk with him, and do more listening these days. He has knowledge I am proud of. Perhaps more will share the same, but "if" he comes in, I may still be able to teach him.
     
  10. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    My relationship with my Dad grew beyond anything I could have imagined through sharing the craft together, I thank the G.A.O.T.U. all the time my Dad talked me into it. He did not pressure me the first 2 times he asked but then the third time he said I will pay the fees you just come up and do it and I did not even caring enough to think about what I was doing I did because my Dad liked it so I thought it could not be that bad. Just like all through my life he knew what was best for me and I cannot thank him enough for not letting me wait till I thought I was ready because now I can tackle any problem with my working tools and impress any boss with the confindence I get from the craft. Dads have a way of corralling their sons into wisdom and I would humble request you do all you can Brother Hippie to make that "if" a "when". Just my thoughts as these moments with my Dad in the quaries of the Craft hard at work have been the best of my life. It was the best gift every given me even though it took a year to realize.
     
  11. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    i too have become even closer with my dad through masonry. My dad came in after me,only because like so many people he did not know how to join and had grown up hearing the old"you have to be invited in" thing. Since he has been raised he comes to me on a regular basis with questions and i too to him. We find ourselves having long conversations about the history and the future of masonry and i love everybit of it.Hippie,i hope you get the chance to have a masonic relationship with your son one day.Your relationship will then go to onther level you can not even imagine right now.
     
  12. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

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    Bro. Scott, I have sent a PM.
     
  13. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    i have slowy "but" surely seen the gap start to close.:45:
     
  14. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Here is something staggering that I haven't even got a chance to share with the other Bros. from 148. I got the dues cards in and was seperating between paying members and non-paying. I have 185 members. 86 of which are not dues paying because of 50+ or endowment or other reason. Out of those 86 members 54 are 50+ masons. That means out of 185 members 54 are over atleast 70. WOW.

    That translates into 29% of Masons at Fort Worth 148 are over 70. Take that same number and translate that into Texas Masonry and that means out of 95,000 Masons over 27,000 Masons are over 70. WOW. This is huge. I guess I never really saw it this way but it is. I am wondering what everyone else is seeing. This would be nice to use as a presentation.
     
  15. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    wow..

    hopefully we can close the member gap before all the older ones go:36:
     
  16. SSG_Morrison

    SSG_Morrison Registered User

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    I have just started my journey into Freemasonry. My family has a very rich history in Masonry. My Grandfathers on both sides where both Masons. My uncles on both sides are masons. My father is a Mason. He was raised some time in 1974. My uncle on my mothers side that I'm closest to, was raised in 1953. All of them were and still are very tight lipped about masonry, and will not speak of it unless with another mason when no one is around. They all are also West Texas Masons. Does maybe the area in which you are taught the craft, maybe have an impact on how some Masons act?
     
  17. SSG_Morrison

    SSG_Morrison Registered User

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    The one thing I have found from the older Masons in the lodge I attend in KS is that they have respect for me being in the military, and being a Vet over someone my age that isn't. I think the common bond is the war. Even though the war they attended was much different, ( Korea, Vetnam) they view me almost as an equal.
     

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