Thursday, March 10, 2011

Metaphorically speaking...

Alright, I promised you one of "Dad" Anthony's patented thoughtful rants today. On Monday, not too long after I completed the blog post for that day, I was talking with another Advisor and came up with a great metaphor (at least I think so anyways!) It relates back to the Unplugged concept and tries to place all of the puzzle pieces together to show how DeMolay should operate.

DeMolay is an engine for social learning and positive change. This occurs at every level. Whether your Chapter is out planting trees, PA DeMolay is donating to the Learning Centers, or DeMolay International is helping Relay for Life, the organization is providing young men across America the chance to show that young people can and do still make a difference. The real question is, how do we get this proverbial "engine" to fire on all cylinders? Well, before we can maximize performance of this engine, we must understand the component parts.

In DeMolay, the the engine is the program. I think that's pretty obvious as it provides the mechanism for the members to do all the things they like to do - social activities, community service, etc. In every engine you need two key things to make it function - fuel and a spark. In this case, the fuel are the DeMolays. Without a constant stream of enthusiastic members, the program will quickly run out of "gas" and the engine will stop functioning. However, just pouring fuel into an engine doesn't help either, you need a spark to ignite the substance. The spark, is provided by a spark plug in a regular engine and in the DeMolay "engine" it's provided by the Advisors. They show the young men how to flow through the program and make it work, sparking their interest when necessary and then remaining dormant until the next need for an ignition. While spark plugs don't "unplug" they don't constantly fire either. They are there to provide a quick spark to keep the whole system firing.

There are many, many, more parts to an engine, but this simple metaphor seemed to explain the Unplugged idea a bit more in my head, so, I thought I'd share. What is your Advisory Council doing to keep the engine running on all cylinders? Are they sparking too often, or not enough?

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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