This year marks my tenth as a Freemason – one full decade of having pledged myself to aid my fellow man and to help those in need. To be a leader and support my community. In that time I have served in almost every office available at the local level, as well as assisting California’s Grand Lodge on its committees. I have memorized hours’ worth of ceremonies written 300 or more years ago, studied history and anthropology, overseen charities and youth groups, and even laid several Brothers to rest.

It is an odd thing, realizing that I’m no longer one of the “young guys” in our Lodge. Even with having served two terms as Worshipful Master, the elected leader of a Masonic Lodge, I still feel small and unsure of myself. For 2018 I have been asked to be the Officers’ Coach, an important role for helping ensure the rites and ceremonies of our organization are performed correctly and that our officers receive sufficient guidance when necessary. It is a huge responsibility and it is my sincere hope that I live up to the expectations of both my Lodge and myself.

Freemasonry’s aim is societal improvement, starting at the individual level. It uses symbolism and allegory to impart simple but important lessons on its members, wherein which virtuous and selfless behavior is encouraged – not only while in the Lodge but also out and about in our daily lives.It’s not a church or spiritual group, nor is Freemasonry a political or lobbying organization. On the whole its aims can be summed up by three of our core virtues: brotherly love, relief, and truth.

American Freemasons donate over $2,000,000 every day to charitable causes and relief funds, which is certainly admirable, but for me the greatest feat is giving men the tools for self-improvement. 2017 brought wide-scale attention to the many ways in which we men must improve, change, and grow. I am very thankful to Freemasonry for giving me the ability and cognitive awareness to adjust and realign my own behavior. It is my hope that I can impart the depth of our lessons, not just the words and motions, to the next generation of Masons, as I continue to try and improve myself as well.