It’s difficult to maintain a positive perspective in these troubling economic times. People are frustrated, despondent, even angry. But I have learned over the years, that no matter what disaster I may be faced with, there is always someone in worse shape than I am, such as a starving, uneducated third-world child who doesn’t have a roof over his head, or his father who earns pennies a day to support his family. So, we should actually count the blessings we have got as opposed to banging our heads against the wall.
If you’ve got a job, thank your lucky stars you do, and renew your effort to make your company as successful as possible. Now is the time for cooperation as opposed to petty competition, teamwork as opposed to individualism. And by all means, take nothing for granted. Otherwise you might be the next one in the unemployment line.
If you are unemployed, be grateful we have unemployment programs to lend you a helping hand. But remember, there is no honor in becoming a ward of the state. Sharpen your skills, change with the times, and hustle for the next job.
If you are married, be thankful you are not going through a costly divorce now (which is horrible timing for doing so). Perhaps it is time to renew your devotion to your spouse and improve your family relationships.
If you have any savings, remind yourself there are many others out there without a safety net. Now is the time to wisely invest your money. It’s hard to say who to trust in this regard, but perhaps a loan to a family member or neighbor who needs a helping hand is in order.
If you have a good credit record, consider the millions who do not. Try to keep your record as clean as possible, you will undoubtedly need it some day.
If you have some free time to participate in nonprofit organizations, consider yourself lucky, but remember, such groups will probably need more support as people’s obligations are shifting and their participation declining.
If your Masonic Lodge building is structurally sound and in good condition, be grateful you are not looking at a major repair bill, such as a new roof or replacing the heating and air conditioning system. Consider there are Lodges out there that are in need of major repairs or, even worse, are closing their doors. It might be wise to start tucking a few dollars away for a rainy day so your Lodge doesn’t end up in the same condition.
If you have people wanting to join your Lodge, make sure they are welcomed warmly and made to feel an important part of the Craft. There are some Lodges desperate for new members and are dying on the vine. Encourage the young Masons and challenge them to participate; the effect of a young man’s enthusiasm can be contagious and a powerful agent for future growth.
If the administrative processes of your Lodge are performed like clockwork, thank your officers for making this a natural part of the Lodge’s culture. There are some Lodges operating in organizational disarray, where paperwork and finances can be easily misplaced. This creates distrust and suspicion between the officers and the Craft.
If you have harmony in the Lodge, be grateful you are among men where their word is their bond, who believe in teamwork and cooperation as opposed to personal glory and political maneuvering. We have all seen enough of this in the outside world. Let us be men and let us rejoice in the spirit of Brotherhood.
If there is a silver lining in our current economic recession, I believe it is we will emerge from this mess stronger, more resilient, and hopefully smarter. Now is the time to stop whining and start believing in ourselves. The government is not going to solve all of our problems, nor is it their job to do so. To paraphrase Bro. Winston Churchill,
Nothing can save us if we will not save ourselves. If we lose faith in ourselves, in our capacity to guide and govern, if we lose our will to live, then indeed our story is told.
I admonish you not to despair; but to stay positive instead, to stay connected, to stay tuned in to what is going on, and become more proactive as opposed to reactive in our future. Just remember, the glass is half full, not half empty. Positive thinking is just as contagious as negative thinking, maybe more so. As we said back in the 1970’s, “Keep on truckin’.”
Keep the Faith!
by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS, MMBBFMN
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry
NOTE: The opinions expressed in this essay are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of any Grand Masonic jurisdiction or any other Masonic related body.
As with all of my Masonic articles herein, please feel free to reuse them in Masonic publications or re-post them on Masonic web sites (except Florida). When doing so, please add the following:
Article reprinted with permission of the author and Freemason Information
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Copyright 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.