From the East!…
What an awesome time we had last month! We started the month off with our district visitation. Home Lodge and Reseda Lodge visited our lodge for our stated meeting dinner and we had our post stated meeting dinner entertainment variety show. The picnic was a blast as always. One of the fastest water balloon fights we ever had, that ended with me getting soaked by a Gatorade bucket being dumped over my head. Well played guys! Seriously though, Brad and Walter did an excellent job as always and this year they have the added help of brothers Barry Balonick and Daniel Haff. It was wonderful to be joined by the San Fernando Scottish Rite, their involvement really made this year’s picnic over the top. We were graced by the presence of Most Worshipful M. David Perry, who told us the story of “Two Brothers with one hammer,” for the 5th anniversary of our CSA. The Job’s daughters gave us Christmas in July which my family thoroughly enjoyed. Definitely go and check out the other articles and see what we have in store this month. It’s OK I’ll wait here.
See, what did I tell you amazing stuff. I want to talk to you about something that’s been on my mind for a little while now:
As a rule Masons are not supposed to discuss politics. As a practice some of the most interesting political discussions can be found among circles of masons. What I find interesting is that brothers of differing political viewpoints and affiliations can have meaningful discourse in person discussing Politics. Yet online, specifically on social media, one can find that the wheels of polite and enlightened political discourse have ground to a halt. On Facebook posting a political message, image, or video can result in two of your closest friends unfriending each other, online and IRL (which on the Internet means in real life.) That’s right we live in a culture where unfriending is a real thing. This didn’t used to be a word “unfriend.” Or a concept. Sometimes friendships ended, and yes sometimes this was due to a heated political debate or discussion. Usually after years of trying to convince your friend that their political idea was stupid or wrong. Online the hateful things you say to your friends are there for the entire world to see. Friendship ending arguments that used to occur behind closed doors are now occurring in a public forum. I can’t help but feel like an opportunity is being missed. If you have a public forum with a permanent record why not use that to say something worth saying, instead of saying something you might regret. In the heat of an argument the things you say are ephemeral and exist only in the time and space that you said them. Online you can always go back to the argument and see the ugly exchanges that ended a friendship, a constant reminder. The ephemeral nature of the old way of arguing allowed for those wounds to heal, and for friendships to find a new ground on which to build. But with the permanency of what we post on the internet old wounds won’t always heal, rather they become refreshed and sometimes even deepened by the ability to go back and re-live the argument over and over. Allowing negative ideas like this to fester can only cause to divide people. In real life the civil society can find a way to have these kinds of conversations without ending friendships. Practicing the art of civil dialogue isn’t something that we should just do in real life, it is something that we should continue to do, even more so, online where the effects are permanent and lasting. Like a stone thrown into a pond, civil dialogue can affect a deep, lasting, and permanent change; not just in the ripples on the surface, but to the whole body of water. As Masons we should be the example to the online world of how civil conduct can save friendships, and social media.
From the West!…
Greetings Brethren and Ladies!
On August 12th, we hear a 2nd degree proficiency from Brother Jason Taylorson.
This month I would like to leave you with a question. This question is purely for you and the answer does not need to be shared with anyone.
Why did you become a Mason?
This is a question I try to ask myself often. This is not only a reminder to me but also an inspiration. It helps me stay on track and make it through the rough spots. I became a Mason because of the deeper sense of Brotherly Love. Any time a group of people have a common experience it is easier for them to form a long lasting bond. Knowing that I share this experience allows me to open up to a brother. It is comforting knowing that I have many people I can share with in good times and bad.
What’s your why?
From the South!….
Greetings Brethren, Ladies and friends!
July brought us another incredible Picnic! A big thank you to Brothers Dan Haff, Barry Balonick and Walter McClain for their help. The food was great and the joint event with the San Fernando York Rite was a success. If you didn’t make it this year we would love to see you there next year!
August marks the hottest month of the year and as such, we are going to continue our business casual dress for the August Stated Meeting. Polo shirts and slacks are okay… but no t-shirts or jeans please.
We have another surprise for August… it will be a FREE Stated Meeting Dinner. We will be celebrating the summer with hot dogs, gourmet burger station, sides and some home made deserts. All brought to you by your special chefs, the officers of Hollywood 355. While this is a free event, I would ask that you please RSVP by August 2nd. That will help us buy the right amount of food.
From the Behind the East!….
Summer has been sizzling and very eventful so far. My whole family had a wonderful time at this year’s annual picnic. As always we enjoyed great bbq, fun and water balloons. Can’t wait til next year. Many thanks to Brad McCall, Walter McClain, Barry Balonick and Dan Haff for a well done event.
I hear by all who attended last month’s Variety Show that it was well enjoyed and appreciated. We had an intimate and interactive evening with all original music, live dancing, and laughter from our talented MC and poet Sean Hill, and friends. It was nice to see and meet so many new faces in the crowd, as well as visit with old friends.
Coming up for the August 4th Stated Dinner we are taking it way back….to elementary school. I am bringing Show-and-Tell to the social hall, with your help of course. I loved show-and-tell day in Elementary School because it was like a window into other people’s lives that you may not have been able to see otherwise. When I planned the year of Ladies Entertainment I wanted it to include opportunities to get to know each other better as a growing community. So in keeping with the theme of doing activities that I love, and inviting others to participate with me, I ask that you bring in something to share with us that brings you happiness.
Don’t forget!! Hollywood Lodge has a big event coming up on Saturday, September 10th. The Ladies are organizing a Movie Marathon Fundraiser featuring classic movies, with the Jobies, DeMolay, and Rainbow Girls providing refreshments. More details to come but mark your calendars!!
Have a splendid and happy August. See you all soon!!