Monday, May 19, 2014

"The places you will go are going to be amazing, but please bring the Lorax with you!"

Today's post is from a special guest - "Dad" Peter Brusoe, Past International Master Councilor. Thanks, "Dad" Brusoe for your article!

Graduation season is upon us! Last week American University ( held their college graduation, this weekend my undergraduate, the University at Albany (, holds theirs. It is truly an exciting time as colleges and universities honor their students for all of the hard work done to earn their degrees.  Pomp and circumstance will soon be the bane of every university musician.  One of the surest ways to tell graduation season is upon us, however, is the appearance of Dr. Suess’s "Oh the Places You Will Go" in gift shops and special stands set up at your favorite neighborhood bookstore.

"Oh the Places You Will Go" is a powerful story.  It motivates the reader by talking about the brain in your head, your feet in the shoes, taking your mountain and climbing it.  They then proceed to go to far off lands in the mystical and magical world that is Dr. Suess. There’s a strong admonition about avoiding the waiting place and not making excuses.  It’s a great  book, the elementary school student I read to during my lunch hour loves it.  Yet, if I were to add a few footnotes to "Oh the Places You Will Go" it revolves around the companionship and responsibility.

Life is a journey and like most journeys it is not meant to be taken alone.  We learn this in DeMolay.  In our induction ceremony a new member journeys with the Senior Deacon and the Stewards.  In the DeMolay drama while Jacques DeMolay is the star of the drama, it is Geoffroi de Charny who stands beside him.  The Lord of the Rings is an epic six book drama.  Yet, if Frodo did not have the Fellowship of the Ring, or Sam and the other Hobbits the book would have been called Your Guide to Mordor. If there was a time machine I would convince Theodor Geisel - Dr. Suess – to change the title to be "Oh the Places You Will Go Because of the love of your parents, the amazing teachers you had, and your other mentors and guides." The problem is that it does not rhyme that well. For those who are graduating or for those who will be graduating take the time to express appreciation to those who have helped propel you to the success you now enjoy. We hear in the flower talk how our mothers do the trouble healing, thoughtful and considerate things that only mothers seem to know how to do.  Fathers do the amazing inspiring things that all sons need.  We should make sure that we are doing our most to thank them for the guidance and support they give.

"Oh The Places You Will Go" is it fails to talk about the responsibility that comes with success.  At graduations we hear that a degree is conferred with “The honors, duties and responsibilities there unto pertaining.”  At the Legion of Honor Ceremony we hear that the door open wide to you for additional service, at DeMolay we hear that we need to translate our lives into ones of service.  The Evangelist Luke records in his Gospel Account that to whom much is given much is expected.

To find a book that addresses that, one needs not to go far, rather, just look down the book shelf to   The Lorax. It is a good choice for college graduates, and perhaps mandatory reading for all students. The Lorax talks about the decimation of The Truffula Trees by the Oncler and his compatriots. The Lorax, like an apocalyptical Old Testament prophet, comes back time and time again to warn the Oncler about the dangers of his activities.  At the end what was a paradise is transformed into a dystopian ecological wasteland. The Lorax disappears and writes the words

The Once-ler ponders what this word means and then comes to the conclusion of this:
“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.” The Oncler drops the last remaining seed of the Truffula Trees into the hands of the boy and girl waiting to go fix the mistakes of the preceding generation.

This, my brothers, is our greatest challenge. As we travel to whichever place we will go we must bring our passion and dedication with us and we must care.  If you are a newly installed Master Councilor, take your chapter to new heights, and care very much.  When you see something in your community that needs fixing – graffiti or trash- be the person who cares an awful lot to make the world a better place.  If you are a recent college graduate or high school graduate take the education you have amassed over 13 or 17 years to make our world a better place.
            My DeMolay Brother
            Remember the Onceler
            For every day we can care
            our brotherhood is to share
            In our home and nation
            regardless of our station
            From helping & caring others
            to honoring our fathers & mothers
            The future belongs to us
            So come, let’s not fuss
            For today we must do more
            that is our noble chore.

 Remember brothers, unless we care nothing is going to get better.

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