Nosce Te Ipsum Et Superabit Terrore
A few weeks ago, I shared how I began a new stage of my Masonic Journey by taking on roles in the fall Reunion at the Pasadena Scottish Rite. For our Reunions we perform several degrees over two weekends (Friday night and Saturday morning to afternoon). I performed as Junior Warden in the 18th degree on the first Saturday afternoon and the Count in the 28th degree on the second Friday evening. Although these roles did not have the most lines in the degree, they did not have the least either. They were definitely a good starting point for me, as I return to on-stage performances after nearly 20 years.
As I’ve described before, I have an overwhelming fear of being in front of people, which I’ve been trying to conquer (mainly through Karaoke). I am proud to say that I did not suffer from debilitating stage fright for my performances. With plenty of support from brothers, especially those working with me on-stage and from the side-lines, I felt comfortable. To be sure, I was nervous and anxious as hell, but more than one brother provided comforting counsel, which set my mind at ease. I’m very thankful to the degree masters who allowed me to challenge myself and believed that I could do it.
Those performances have made an impression on me. Prior to them, I was uncertain what I wanted to do within Freemasonry in regard to leadership positions. I always maintained that I have no real aspirations toward becoming the master of my lodge. I just wanted to be able to do good work. The more I do within Freemasonry, the more I realize I want to do. I tackled those performances, and, not to brag, I did well. I did not do that for myself. I took the roles for myself. I challenged myself to be onstage, but I got into the roles, memorized them, and tried to give the best performance I could for the brethren in attendance. I wanted them to be amazed with the same awe and wonder I had when I watched them last May.
I now realize that I want to be master of my lodge and I want to continue to serve in positions of leadership, not for my own ambition or drive for success, but because I want to serve my brethren. I want to help make this world a better place, and the best way to do that is to be involved and to be a leader, inspiring others to get involved. As I continue to challenge myself and grow, I find that I am learning who I really am. I find myself more inspired everyday to do good work. The ideas that I come up with are how to better help and serve others. I am reminded of Bro. Benjamin Franklin, who, as I was told in my recent trip to Pennsylvania, thought of great ideas and then made committees to put those ideas into action, all the while making the committee believe the idea was theirs and not his. He is definitely a role-model for every Mason to follow.
This year has been at absolutely amazing ride, and I’ve grabbed that bull or goat, what have you, by the horns and have not fallen. I was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in February. I advanced through the 32 degrees of the Scottish Rite in May. I joined the Southern California Research Lodge this summer. And, I returned my third degree proficiency in September. I will be installed as Senior Steward for my home lodge, and Junior Deacon in the research lodge. I will be performing as the first ruffian in the Spirit of Hiram at the Pasadena Scottish Rite in March. I will be the Assistant Director of the 18h degree in May, and will likely continue my role as the Count in the 28th degree. I look forward to doing more great work within Freemasonry in the years to come.