Monday, August 6, 2012
Those Old School Antiquated Anti-Technology Freemasons . . . Really?
I think he might be a little surprised about what he found, however. We've got some old-timers without question, but we've got our share of young guys, too--in fact, I think in a few circles within the Craft, my friend (we're both 45) would feel like the "Old Man." I do. In fact, one my mentors in Freemasonry is a young man at least 15 years my junior. And a few of those "old-timers" often send me emails and text messages.
Many see Freemasonry as an organization from the past, but it would surprise them to know that we've always embraced new technology. I'm the secretary of my lodge--entering my second year in what we jokingly refer to as a "lifetime" appointment. Last year, most of my work involved filling out little cards and mailing them to the Grand Secretary, and waiting to get his response in snail-mail. That didn't last long. The Grand Lodge of Illinois went to a new web-based system. I get home from my monthly meeting, and I get on-line, and do what used to take me a couple hours filling out forms, in a few minutes on the internet. And instead of an old-school call list, like we used to have to report a special meeting, or a funeral, I can now make one phone call and send a recorded message to every member of my lodge's phone number--one call to deliver a message to 100. We had a discussion in my lodge last month about adding Wi-Fi. Something we've never needed in the past, but something we may need in the future.
Freemasonry changes with time, as all things do. It's unlikely we'll ever leave our traditions or values, but we'll always be anxious to embrace any new way to communicate. And that is usually driven by our new young Brothers. And there is even a Freemason app for iPhone--Masonic Traveler USA. Every lodge in the United States is listed in that app, and you can navigate right to the front door of that lodge from wherever you may be--and it includes lodges, Grand Lodges, Shrines, Scottish Rite Temples, York Rite, etc. It even tells you the stated meeting nights. So much for the idea the Freemasonry is a secret society, huh?
Things change. Technology changes. Opinons change. And those old school antiquated Freemasons have managed to stay on the cutting edge.