Losing Interest

I have found myself in a place where I have lost interest in the Order, and most fraternal organizations period. Perhaps this is a temporary thing, let's hope so. While watching the Christmas parade in my town a few days ago, I was thinking about the lone old man that was driving the Lions Club entry, the sameness of the Optimist Club's float, the few guys from the local Shrine Club and their firetruck, and then there was my Elks Lodge's. With so little interest in organizations, and the fact that they are all shrinking, I wonder what the point is sometimes. I am a busy person and it seems like I am always having to go to a meeting, or something. I like the fact that I can go to a meeting if I want, but most of the times I would honestly like to be doing something else. I will serve as Noble Grand next year, and then it may be time for me to leave fraternalism period. Maybe someone has some words of encouragement?


Blogger Patriotic_Mason said...

I don't think you should give up on your Fraternity. From what little I know of the IOOF, it seems to be one of the better Fraternal organizations out there. Certainly better than many of the "animal" clubs IMO.

Im not IOOF, but as a Freemason, we too are looking around at our aging membership and wondering what's going on. For us, we've decided that it's time to focus on quality, not quantity. If you're interested, I'd recommend reading this:

While it's geared towards Freemasonry, you may be able to apply it's main ideas yo the IOOF.



December 03, 2005  
Blogger Mike said...

I just ran across you blog and thought I'd add my two cents. I just joined the Odd Fellows last month. I joined a lodge that only had 7 remaining members that used to have forty during the 80's. Why did I join this nearly dead lodge?

I spoke with one of the members and found that they still want to do good works and help rebuild our small town, but they lack the manpower. I found their goals earnest and the opportunities to do good plentiful. Yes, it will be a rough road and I may also find myself questioning why I bother, but I know that even small numbers of good men can accomplish great things.

These organizations are what you make them. If others are just meet, eat and retreat folks, that's fine. If you pursue the high road and do good works, you will attract new members. The children of the baby boomers (myself included) were not brought up with much of anything (snese of community, involvement in various organizations, strong church ties, etc.), but that void can be filled through fraternal organizations. Our masonic lodge has seen quite a bit of growth in the last few years in those under age 35, with only a handful over that age showing interest. Those younger men coming in are taking an active role, learning the work and reviving the lodge.

I have no doubt that the Odd Fellows lodge I joined can also turn itself around. All it needs to do is show that it matters. No one young wants to join an organization that appears to be nothing more than old men in strange costumes riding in parades. What attracts new members are good works, good men who lead by example and a sense of opportunity; not opportunity for self, but for purpose.

Just my two cents.

February 21, 2006  

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