A new book takes an optimistic approach to the vexing issue of declining membership. Managing the Future of Freemasonry: The Book of Optimism, by Dr David West, is a work by a man who understands philosophical thinking. A graduate in and of Philosophy from the University of Leicester, West has taught at universities in England and Canada and worked in top industries and holding government roles working to fathom the the future of work. He has been an adviser to a Cabinet Minister and founded The Working Manager Ltd, creating the core content of its management education process. An active Freemason of his mother lodge, St Laurence No. 5511, West suggests he sees the possibilities of the future.
From the press release about his book,
The numbers are staggering; since 1959, worldwide membership of Freemasonry has declined by almost 75%, akin to numerous other societies and groups tasked with being positive pillars of the community.
According to Dr. David West, this sudden decline is the result of significant negative changes to society as a whole. In his powerful and evidence based new book, West outlines the problem and suggests plausible solutions for a revival of Freemasonry.
Managing the Future of Freemasonry: The Book of Optimism calls on the author’s renowned management and leadership expertise in what is being seen as a true game-changer.
The golden years of Freemasonry have passed with the departure of a world never likely to return. We cannot pretend that our membership problem will simply go away. If we are to rescue our order, we must take an objective look at ourselves and understand the society we now face. Our challenge will be to renew our ideals and bring them to the attention of a new audience, one that we as yet know little about. This will require hard work, open-mindedness, creativity and above all leadership. The optimism which runs through this book depends upon our ability to change, knowing that holding on to the past will be the last thing our order does. West says,
I’m totally convinced that a resurgence of Freemasonry is possible, However, we must first take an objective look at how our society has changed, what has caused this change and what needs to be done to repair things. When we know this, we can ‘redesign’ Freemasonry to be a vital building block in getting society back on track. It’s all down to proper management, lateral thinking and a departure from our old mind-set.
Hard work, open-mindedness, creativity, and above all leadership are skills that Freemasonry needs to hone and be willing to put into action because, after all, reversal of the decline will be far from immediate. Complacency has already become our enemy and, with societal discord now at an all-time high, we have a bold opportunity ahead of us to work for tangible change.
You can find Managing the Future of Freemasonry: The Book of Optimism on Amazon.
The decline can be seen more in the called “Regular” Masonry i.e. the Masonry supported by UGLE and the GL of the USA, than in the not recognised Masonry .
In the opinion of many masons, the following points should be considered:
1) The regular masonry is more concerned by caricative actions than by fraternity and moral and spiritual improvement. Ex: From 3rd, you can become 32th in a week end ( USA) or 18th ( England). Many lodges have only 4 meetings in a year, one for initiation, one for passing, one for raising and one for installation (England), while, in France for example, there are one or even two meetings per month during which there are effective works through presentation of papers on a masonic or spiritual subject.
2) Fraternity is just a word in a world where a GL not recognised by the UGLE means that it is not regular, and where there is only one recognised GL per country, except when the already recognised GL does approve the recognition of another GL, which is impossible in the majority of cases. Recognition of regularity should be verified directly by the GL which give its recognition, not through any other intermediary GL.