Thursday, August 23, 2012

LEGO your old ideas...

It's been a while since I've written a completely new content article myself, but I finally found some inspiration to do so. PA DeMolay is quite busy over the summer - Convention, Softball, Key Man, and more - make for a packed schedule. This usually leads me to working quite a few hours in a short period of time. I know that to get through this sprint, I'm going to need something to look forward too. This is what happens when you have a degree in Psychology; you learn to motivate yourself via rewards. So, this year, my reward was to take a tentative step into a hobby I've been considering for quite some time - LEGO.

Yes, you're right. LEGO are "kids toys." However, there is a thriving community of adult fans who are constructing some magnificent pieces of out those tiny LEGO bricks. I've always enjoyed building things such as models and toy soldiers. The down side of those hobbies was the painting that comes after the piece is constructed (which I'm not very good at.) LEGO seemed to provide a great middle ground. I can construct all I want and not have to paint a thing. Perfect! As Key Man finished up, I was looking forward to taking my dive into the world of LEGO enthusiasts.

Thus far, I have not been disappointed. It's amazing how complex and detail oriented this "toy" is. The range of kits has changed drastically from when I was a kid. The pieces are familiar and new all at the same time. It's really been fun re-learning how to "play" with LEGO. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our work, we forget to take time to just do mindless activity. For some that's watching television or sports, for others it's a craft, and many enjoy reading or writing. For me, I need to be an active participant in my mindless activity, hence LEGO.

As usual, I'm sure you're asking "what does this have to do with DeMolay?" As I've sat and constructed with my LEGO, I'm forced to relearn some things that I thought I knew how to do. Reading detailed instructions is a great example. LEGO has gotten much more complex than it used to be and following instructions is key. As I worked through the diagrams, I was immediately reminded of the ritual diagrams. Following those specific instructions seems second nature, but having an eye for detail with them can be a real challenge.

I'm also forced to look at familiar pieces in a different light. A simple brick that I've seen a thousand times before can become something very different if used at a different angle or in a new way. This again reminds me to look back at DeMolay and ask how the "old" things we do can be re-imagined and used in a new way. Taking a program and redeveloping how it's used is a great way to reinvigorate excitement for it. In fact, we're doing that right now at the office with a couple programs. By applying what I've learned with my "toys," I'm finding it easier to think outside the box on these issues.

Of course, there are other lessons that can be learned as well. LEGO can be used to teach communications, problem solving, precision, and more. Perhaps your Chapter could have a LEGO modeling night after a meeting. Have the members each bring in some LEGO and ask them to build something. What would a LEGO model of Courtesy look like? Can they make a Jacques mini-fig? Could they construct a ritual diagram? The possibilities, like the LEGO bricks, can be endless.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

1 comment:

  1. I love Legos!!! Nice food for thought brother.