Today’s blog topic randomly came to me this morning as I was making my tuna sandwich for lunch. I know that’s an odd time for a topic to come to mind, but hey, I’ll take it!
I happened to catch a glance of the word “legacy” written on the newspaper sitting nearby and for some reason my mind started thinking about the legacy of DeMolay, what my legacy is, and what everyone thinks of their legacy. Before we dig into that, however, let’s define “legacy.” Dictionary.com gives us the following:
1. Law . a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient
So, what does this mean in the fraternal word? Generally, when people put lots of time, effort, and money into something they like to see a return on their investment. In some cases this return comes in the form of recognition or perhaps and award. That kind of return is quite common in the fraternal world. The return could also be a promotion or the opportunity to go through the chairs and become the leader of the body. But, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Once someone becomes a leader, they are assuredly putting huge effort into the organization, which makes their “legacy” all that more important. Why would you want to be Master Councilor if you weren’t going to do anything? It’s often said that when you get elected to a position of leadership for an organization your primary goal should be to leave the group in better shape than when you took over. This is when the idea of “leaving your mark” on the group takes over. That very notion has everything to do with the idea of legacy.
When I was an Elected State Officer for Pennsylvania DeMolay I wanted to do something to help the DeMolay program not only for that year, but for the future as well. I wanted to do the same thing in every organization which I’m involved. Then, it hit me. We all leave a legacy so profound that most of us never even realize it or take time to ponder its implications. That legacy is found in the people we recruit into the organization. The most important thing you can do for DeMolay is to recruit other young men who you believe will benefit from and be an asset to the program. That’s the longest lasting legacy that you’ll have. Those young men will go recruit their friends and soon your Chapter will grow.
My DeMolay legacy was 5 members. Of those five, two were Officers in our Chapter, and one went on to be Master Councilor. That makes me feel like I made a difference in the history of Erie Chapter. To date, I have sponsored three men into the Masonic Fraternity. One is currently Senior Deacon of my home Lodge and he will be conferring the degrees on his step-son in just a few weeks. Now, that’s a quality experience!
Everyday you are leaving your legacy on DeMolay – is it one of growth, new members, and positive experiences? Or is it one of lost interest, boring activities, and stagnant membership? That choice is up to you.
Frat! ~ “Dad” Anthony