TEAM WORK - LEADERSHIP - TEAM WORK
Did you gain something last time you were in Lodge? Did you let go of anything during Ritual? Are your feelings about the Lodge based on fact or are they inherited? How and what do you feel about the following words, Ritual, Brother, fear, anger, anxiety, hope, hopelessness, sadness, safety? What is your comfort level using each word in speaking to someone? How do you understand each word? How do you imagine each of these words impacting people in the profane world? In the Craft? THESE are the lessons that we learn in Masonry, how do we, and can we use these and similar words properly in Lodge and in the profane world!
When we set out to explore the Masonic Path, we are not alone, many Brothers before us have tread upon the various Paths Masonry offers to us, and believe it or not, all Paths are about TEAM WORK. Masonry IS about TEAM WORK. TEAM WORK means that we will not turn our back on ANY Brother for any reason, we all work TOGETHER. Each Brother within the Lodge has his own strong point or points, and he leads another Brother or perhaps the whole Lodge to a new and exciting place where Honor and Brotherhood stand strong together. There are Questions, like those above, and many Answers, which is what we are here to try and workout.
One of the greatest things in Freemasonry is TEAM WORK, but there can be no TEAM WORK without Leadership, enlightened Leadership, and Leadership cannot exist without one of the greatest sources of Power………TEAM WORK. Our leaders must have the ability to make honest and sometimes very powerful choices, and for this they must have a clear perspective of Life. They must be honest with themselves and all the Brothers of the Lodge, this is where TEAM WORK comes hand in hand with LEADERSHIP.
TEAM WORK and LEADERSHIP, one cannot be a Leader without understanding how to get things done with TEAM WORK. A leader should not just bark out orders and expect them to be followed to the letter. Or do things on his own because he feels no one knows how to do them or they will not do them correctly. He must be working with those he has assigned jobs to, asking what has been done and how he can help to improve the outcome of the task.
Brothers, open your eyes, because one of the things that Freemasonry IS about is TEAM WORK, as well as LEADERSHIP through TEAM WORK. As the Master opens the Lodge he comes to an altered state of awareness, he may feel as though he transcends himself. If he is truly aware of this realization he might be, as Carl Jung states, “of the same essence as the universe, and his own midpoint is its center.” Isn’t this what we are all trying to do, to understand? This ……….is what LEADERSHIP and TEAM WORK is all about! The center of the circle. If we all realize that we are all centers of our own universe and we come together with others who have the same understanding, we each are the LEADER AND we are part of the TEAM, the Masonic Team.
One does not choose actively a Masonic Path on their own, rather the Path chooses him. The consensus of anthropological literature confirms that the “call” to a “path” often emerges from an individual’s profoundly transformative experiences of consciousness. Typically these experiences emerge spontaneously and often follow events which are mental or perceptual deviations from our shared reality. THIS is why we have the Three Degrees.
LEADERSHIP and TEAM WORK, these are the two hallmarks of Freemasonry. We cannot have TEAM WORK without proper vigorous, devoted LEADERSHIP, nor their LEADERSHIP without energetic, dynamic and robust TEAM WORK. This is why, how and what Masonry has undergone over the more than 300 years of its existence. Our forebears knew that in order to keep this Brotherhood going, everyone in the Lodge needed to do the WORK. Not just a few Brothers but every Brother in the Lodge from sideliners all the way up to and including the Master of the Lodge needed to do the WORK.
When you become a Mason you become a Leader, but, you also become a TEAMMATE to every Mason in the World, you are a Brother a member of the Family. That’s right you are teamed up with every Brother in the whole entire WORLD! You are the bellwether, the conductor as well as the one having a part, playing an instrument, in the orchestra of Masonic music. Presidents of these United States have been sideliners on up to Masters of their Lodges! In Lodge they were treated no differently than the shoemaker or plumber. WHY? Because it takes a TEAM to do the things that we as masons do, someone needs to lead, yes, BUT we all learn by seeing and doing our jobs.
TEAM WORK and LEADERSHIP go together hand in hand, as our motto for QUEST XXXV this year says, ”Together Everyone Achieves More.” The “TEAM” is ALL of us Masons, committee heads and all the Brothers of each Lodge working together, getting done what is needed within our communities, our families, our lives and Masonry.
A few years back, when I was Junior Warden of my Lodge, I had the honor, no, the privilege to carry and use the key that opened the doors to the Lodge. The Lodge had entrusted me to keep the pantry for the collations in good order so our cornucopia would never run out. I did this, but not alone, I had the help of all the Brothers of the Lodge. This was true LEADERSHIP through TEAM WORK, every Brother in the Lodge helped me with suggestions, and hard work, but putting them all together we had HARMONY. That is what makes true BROTHERHOOD.
Thank You my Brothers, may you enjoy this day of TEAM WORK together with all your Brothers of the Queens District.
Worshipful Nicholas Isabella