It has been a long time since I joined the fraternity yet it seems like yesterday when I turned in my petition to become a mason. Freemasonry has given me so much that I decided to write a post about it for all of you who want a glimpse of what this fraternity is all about.
I was about 9 years old during the 90’s gulf war and we were living in Saudi Arabia. There I used to spend most of my recreational time at US Naval Base with my uncle (there were many American families living there). Towards the end of the war one of the navy officers was going back to the States with his family. Before leaving Saudi Arabia he called me and my dad and invited us to his house. He persuaded my dad to buy an apple computer from him. That Apple II computer became the reason I got hooked to the programming and made me what I am today. The officer that sold that computer to my dad had a Masonic ring and a very big Masonic insignia on his living room wall. That was the time when I became fascinated with Freemasonry.
I petitioned McKinley Lodge when I relocated to Canton Ohio for Aultman Hospital. After I submitted my petition I was told that my petition will be voted on and if approved, I will be able to proceed towards getting initiated. My petition was approved and couple of nice Masons showed up at my house to interview me (this is known as inspection to check if your family is OK with you becoming a mason and if you have nothing to hide before you can be initiated). The inspection went well and the inspecting committee gave favorable recommendation for me.
After my initiation I went on a journey of learning so many cool things. One of the first lessons propounded to me was that I will get out of Freemasonry what I will put into it. I was amazed to see such a diverse group of individuals; all of a sudden I found myself networked with regular folks who were mechanics, lawyers, marines, sheriffs, detectives, entrepreneurs, electricians, veterans, doctors and the list goes on.
I showed interest in becoming a Blue Lodge officer and was placed in line of officers. In Freemasonry there are different positions just like any corporate environment and every year you are promoted to the next position. This goes on until you become a worshipful master.
I like to think of freemasonry as a practical school of leadership. I have no doubt that I got my leadership skills polished and my confidence strengthened through Freemasonry.
I became more outgoing, extrovert and able to speak my thoughts as I was continually put in a situation where I had to meet and hold conversations with individuals from different aspects of life. How many of us can claim to have friends from many different careers ranging from Law, Govt., Blue Collar, White collar, professionals and self employed at the same time.
I came over my fear of public speaking because as a Blue Lodge officer you have to regularly speak and sometimes in front of 500+ audience groups. It was quite a challenge for me at first since most of the time I have never met these attendees before.
Masonry also involves lots of learning and remembering stuff orally. There are exams, lectures, charges and other things that any good Mason learns. More often these items can be really long and being able to remember that makes you feel great.
I also got to have experiences that I am 100% positive I would’ve never had otherwise. Among the line of the officers one position is of a Chaplain. As a Chaplain I was required to offer prayers and remember lots of other things. The experience I had during the Chaplain position was pretty awesome. Other unique experiences I would like to mention are being a steward and cooking for 50 plus brothers (that was something).
In essence Freemasonry is a family which brings you new experiences, teaches you knowledge and offers you a unique network. It is a quite special feeling to be able to go anywhere in the entire world and attend a Freemason Lodge and get a welcome like they have known you for long time. You will be surprised how many Freemasons are around you but you don’t know them yet.
Feel free to ask me anything about Masons!