Monday, May 17, 2010

Why do we do this?

Anyone who has been around PA DeMolay long enough (yes, it's another one of those posts) will be familiar with the simple, yet rhetorical, question of "Why do we do this?" Usually, you would hear this question on a Sunday morning during Chapel service as a starter to the discussion of mixing of faiths within our program. Today, however, it has a different meaning.

Last week I got an e-mail from "Dad" Rick Freedman, of Friendship-Bray Chapter, with some pictures attached, and no message. The subject of the e-mail was "The things we do for those kids..." Attached to the message was a series of photos, which you'll find throughout this article, of "Dad" Freedman in several silly get-ups from our activities over the years. "Dad" Freedman ranks right up there as one of the PA DeMolay all-star Advisors, always being ready to throw on a silly costume and act like a nut to help the program. So, I asked myself, why does "Dad" Freedman do this? Heck, why does any advisor do this?

Many of you will have heard the adage "Advisory Council's who play together, stay together." Over and over again that saying has proven true. It goes back to the old idea that if you aren't having fun doing something, why bother? DeMolay is a program for the young men, but it's been proven time and time again that the Advisors and adult leaders of the program gain just as much, if not more, from their involvement when compared to the young men. "Dad" Freedman is a prime example. Not only does he have a positive and rewarding experience working with the young men of Friendship-Bray Chapter (which is in a growth stage right now) but he also enjoys working with young men from across the state as a member of the Executive Officer's Leadership Team. "Dad" Freedman, as well as many other Advisors, don't do this just for the benefit of the young men, but they do it for themselves as well.

It comes back to the idea of WIIFM. WIIFM stands for "What's in it for me?" We can preach all we want that the program is about the young men, and that volunteering your time to help them serves the community. That's exactly true, but couldn't I go help the community through Big Brother's and Big Sisters? Or aid my town through work with Rotary? Of course I could, but DeMolay has something for me that I can't find anywhere else. It's that intangible feeling of knowing that you have made a difference in the life of others while having more fun than you realize. That's what's in it for me, and I would conjecture that it's part of why "Dad" Freedman participates in the way he does.

I challenge each Advisor to answer three simple questions.
  1. Why do I do this?

  2. What's in it for me?

  3. What experience have I had in DeMolay that I couldn't have gotten anywhere else?

If you can answer all of those questions, then you have a great starting pitch for recruiting new Advisors.

Now that's why I do this.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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