Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Temporal Value of a Memory

Earlier this week, I received an email that is not all that uncommon. In it, a gentleman was inquiring as to the value of some of DeMolay Merit Bars that had belonged to one of his family members. The man had fallen on hard times and was hoping that it might have some value that could help him with his situation. Sadly, Merit Bars don't have much of an after market, so I had to break it to him that the piece he had didn't have much worldly value.

However, in his email, the man discussed the history of the set of Merit Bars; how it had belonged to an important family member and it had become an heirloom to himself and his children. It was obvious that the thought of parting with the piece to help his situation was tough on him. Fortunately (at least in one way) the value of the piece to he and his family far, far outweighed the value of resale. Thankfully, the bars will stay with him and be passed down to the next generation of his family.

This story brings up a good point. What is the value of the regalia that we obtain? Sometimes, it can be quite valuable monetarily, being composed of precious metals or precious stones. More often, it is simply an outward display of our dedication, rendered in metal with enamel and made to look quite impressive. The regalia has value, not because it's worth money, but rather because it represents the hard work, time, and effort that went into earning it. The medallion and cordon of a Chevalier or a Legionnaire are pretty much nil in terms of metal and materials. But, the sentimental value they retain is priceless for nearly every recipient.

As we approach Thanksgiving, we'd like to thank all of those who have labored on behalf of DeMolay and may have earned an honor or award. In that same vein, we hope that those who have received awards and honors are thankful - not for the physical emblem they have received, but rather for the experiences they've passed through to earn it.

In the words of our motto for our 90th Anniversary - "It's not the honor that you take with you, but the heritage that you leave behind."

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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