Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Wisdom of John Adams

As the final days of the primary elections wrap up around our country, I find myself reflecting back on the great leaders of the past. This article is part of series that consists of thoughtful quotes from leaders of our country in the past. You'll recognize most of the names, but in many cases not the quotes. Take some time to think about them and what they mean. How can you apply them in your chapter and take control of you organization?

The Wisdom of John Adams
  • A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man.
  • A government of laws, and not of men.
  • Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.
  • Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
  • Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
  • Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.
  • Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear and imagination - everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.
  • I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.
  • I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning that you may prepare your mind for your fate.
  • I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
  • If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve?
  • In politics the middle way is none at all.
  • Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.
  • Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Little Ideas

When one looks back at the history of DeMolay, almost everything that we now hold dear started as a little idea. The order of DeMolay started as a club of 9 guys. That's a pretty little Chapter by today's standards. Frank Marshall wrote the ritual, by hand, in his front yard. That's a pretty insignificant place to create such an enduring piece of performance art. The first Chevaliers and Legions of Honor were created and given by "Dad" Land - not to create some long lasting piece of history, but to recognize those who helped to build DeMolay. Everything we do started as a simple idea that has been built up over time.

All of history is the same way. Take a look at this video from one of my favorite people - Adam Savage from the hit TV show Mythbusters.

As you think about your chapter and what you do in DeMolay, remember that you don't have to think big to make a difference.Some of the most important parts of our program started as little ideas that grew over time.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, March 19, 2012

Museum Quality DeMolay

Many of you know that I really enjoy fraternal history - especially that of DeMolay (and how it relates to Pennsylvania.) I also enjoy learning more about Masonry and other fraternal groups. One of the internet's best known resources for information on this topic is the Phoenix Masonry Online Museum. This website is chock full of things relating to fraternalism and Freemasonry, both here in American and around the world. It is touted as the first "On-Line" Museum, endeavoring to display artifacts and historic pieces via photos published on the internet.

Recently, the site updated its collection with a bunch of DeMolay artifacts. You can check out the full collection here -

It is a great resource for seeing old versions of awards and honors, identifying that neat pin you found at a flea market, or just for learning more about DeMolay. Take some time and scroll through the site - I know you'll learn something!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Serving More than Ourselves

DeMolay Month is a time for showing off our organization to the community as a whole. One of the best ways to do this is to get out there and make an impact your local neighborhoods. The challenge, however, is having enough man power, money, and planning to undertake large projects that could really make a difference. Many Chapters struggle with this. If your Chapter isn't big enough to create and execute a large community service project, consider offering to assist another community service organization with one of their projects.

Partnering allows you to prove a valuable service as a part of a larger program, do a great job, help business-leaders (which gets you some recognition) and still maintain your Chapter's identity - garnering some publicity to go along with the actual service contact with all the patrons at the event!

Check out the link and see how the concept worked for Elizabethtown DeMolay...

What is your Chapter doing for DeMolay Month?

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Prize Fight of the Week

The election season always seems to take its toll on community organizations. Brotherhood may reign supreme in DeMolay, but everyone has their own political passions that can sometimes bleed into the fraternal world. Every person is welcome to their opinions and ideas, but we must be careful to not infringe on anyone else when expressing our own. Whether you believe yourself to be conservative or liberal, libertarian or green, or any other part of the political spectrum, there is a time and a place to discuss those opinions; DeMolay should rarely, if ever, be that time and place.

"But, "Dad" Anthony, isn't government an important part of DeMolay teachings?" you ask. Why, yes it is! However, there is a line to be drawn between government and politics. In DeMolay, we are welcome to discuss government until the cows come home, but politics is something we should avoid. To help you understand this difference, I direct you where a great article details the specifics.

In our Chapters, we should talk about the political process and how those elected to those positions are performing. What we should avoid is heated debate over specific issues. Let me give you an example. Let's say your local congressmen has signed a bill that opposes a controversial issue. You are welcome to discuss the statements he publicly makes regarding the bill, and even the community reaction. What you should avoid doing is discussing the pros and cons of his stance or inviting debate about the topic.

It's important for our members to recognize the way our democracy works and be able to participate in it when they are of age to do so. So, don't be afraid to discuss government in your Chapter, but an avoidance of politics is always a good policy to have.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

P.S. - This is one of my favorite videos about government and politics. While it relates to government in Ireland, it's a great way to think about this topic.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson

As the final days of the primary elections wrap up around our country, I find myself reflecting back on the great leaders of the past. I'm going to run a series of articles over the next couple of weeks that mainly consist of thoughtful quotes from leaders of our country in the past. You'll recognize most of the names, but in many cases not the quotes. Take some time to think about them and what they mean. How can you apply them in your chapter and take control of you organization?

The Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson

  • The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
  • Power is not alluring to pure minds.
  • What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?
  • Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
  • A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.
  • I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lorraine Bowls Away the Competition

 Congratulations go out to Lorraine Chapter, in Butler, PA, for being the winners for DeMolay International, Region II, in the Postal Bowling Competition. That means the guys at Lorraine beat out teams from seven other states with their skills and high scores.

What is the Postal Bowling Tournament, you may ask? Well, according to DeMolay International, here is how it works:

  • Hold a chapter bowling event.
  • Send your results to DeMolay headquarters.
  • Find out how you stack up against other chapters from around the globe.

Pretty simple, huh?

Awards are presented in the following categories:

  • Individual High Game
  • Individual High Series
  • Regional High Team Series
  • International High Team Series

The tournament does have some other rules though...

All teams must bowl between a set time period (the next one is from November 30, 2012, and January 30, 2013.)  Scores submitted that were bowled during another time period will not be accepted.  All entries must be postmarked by February 1, 2013 and received no later than February 15, 2013.

Entry fee is: $10 per five (5) member team.

Ten pin bowling only (no handicaps).  A chapter may enter more than one team; however, each bowler may compete on only one team.  A team may enter only once.  Each team member must bowl three (3) lines with the team, and each team member must be an active DeMolay in good standing.

The members of the team must be decided before competition play begins.  Bowlers are allowed to practice; however, a team must decide that it is beginning a competition game before the first frame is bowled. (You cannot list the best five players out of ten, or the best three games out of five, etc.)

Awards will be sent to each recipient's Executive Officer for presentation.  All teams entered will receive a list of the winners.

So, plan a bowling event for your Chapter next year, and take control of the lanes!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ron Swanson and Taxes

It's about this time of year that many young men around the country hear their parents bemoaning the fact that they have to do their taxes. Similarly, many of those same guys are filing their own taxes for the first time after having gotten a job in 2011. Tax season has come to be the bane of many an American's existence. 

However, for most of the younger guys out there, taxes really aren't that hard. Taking a little of responsibility now will pay off big later (in the form of a return and the ability to do your taxes without an accountant.) The folks over at the Art of Manliness have prepared a great article entitled "A Young Man's Guide to Doing His Taxes" about this very subject and I encourage you to read it.

I'm reminded of the seventh Preceptor - Patriotism. There is a time to be a hero of war as well as a patriot of peace. Doing your duty as a citizen of our country is the first step on that path.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony