Before I started my year in the East, I took some time to talk to some Past Masters to ask for their advice and lessons learned from their year as Worshipful Master. Some of the advice I was able to apply to planning my year, some advice helped me to focus and get my head in the game, and some advice helped me to handle some of the stress of balancing Lodge responsibilities with my work and family life. Many of the Past Masters told me that I could judge my own success by looking back at the end of my year to see what we accomplished as a Lodge, and perhaps what could have been done differently.
As I sit here now and reflect, there is one thought running through my head which echoes what several others have said at the end of their year, “I wish I had more time.” Admittedly, that could mean a variety of things in this situation, but I mean it from the perspective of having more that I wanted to accomplish during my year. I think various membership events outside of normal Stated and Extra Meetings would have benefited the membership, and there is always room to grow our involvement in the community. Personally, I would have also added in more time to work with brethren on learning the ritual and delving into the rich history of our Fraternity.
I could go on and on about things I would do differently with the knowledge I gained in my year in the East, but instead I’m reminded of a quote by Walt Disney, which is mentioned in the movie Meet the Robinsons (go easy on me, I have a 7 year-old so I’m well versed in Disney movies), “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things.” As I move forward and slowly begin to realize my role in Lodge will be different in only a matter of weeks, I want to wish Dave the best for his year. Having worked with Dave in lodge for a few years now I know he will make a fantastic Worshipful Master and I look forward to seeing the Lodge under his direction and guidance.
Lastly, I will leave all members with my advice from knowledge that I gained over the last year, and there are several parts:
- Brothers weren’t just making a joke when they told you that you get out of Lodge what you put into it, so if you are sitting there trying to figure out what good Lodge does for you, perhaps you should look at it the other way around.
- Don’t forget the lessons taught in our degrees (if you are drawing a blank, we have a ton of candidates getting degrees early in the year) and always take the chance to learn something new about the Fraternity.
- If you have an interest in learning ritual or taking on more responsibility in Lodge, start now! There is almost NEVER a “good” time to go through the East; we all frankly have too much going on in our lives with at least some level of uncertainty at work or home, but don’t let that discourage you from taking a step forward.
Thank you all for giving me the chance to learn and grow in Freemasonry and for entrusting the Lodge to my care for the past year.
– Kirk W. Borowski, W.M. 2018