Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Different But Similar
There have been several occasions when I have heard people compare the first meeting with a candidate with that of a sales meeting. I wholeheartedly disagree with this premise. Meeting with those men interested in becoming masons should never involve any kind of sale whatsoever and should never come across as such. Meeting with a candidate for the first time should be a time to answer questions and start and interesting conversation. At no point during such conversations have I had the goal of getting a petition signed… my objective has always been to have a great conversation.
By approaching the process in this way it allows all the cards to be put on the table. The potential candidate gets to know me and I get to know them. We find our similarities and, sometimes, we discuss our differences. While I do my best to answer any questions they may have about freemasonry and give a very broad overview of the lodge, the fraternity, and the process of becoming a mason, it is a very open and broad conversation as a whole. Right or wrong, this is how I approach these opportunities to meet interesting people from the community.
This was the case last night as I had previously coordinated a time to meet with a prospective candidate last week. After a brief introduction and welcome, we made our way into the hall and sat at one of the dining tables to simply have a conversation and to get to know one another. Over the course of the evening there were a number of other brothers who introduced themselves and joined the conversation and by the end of the night we had discussed a wide range of topics. However, the most important part of the evening was that we were able to learn a little about him and he was able to learn a little about us as individuals, the lodge, and freemasonry in general.
As we talked about our families and the reasons why freemasonry piqued our interest there were a number of commonalities in our perspectives and in our lives that wouldn’t necessarily be evident to someone who would simply see the two of us talking. The reasons for our interest in the fraternity are nearly identical and we are both interested to learn about our grandfather’s lives within freemasonry. However, he did surprise me by the end of the night by immediately completing a petition on the spot. This surprised me both because I didn’t expect him to do so (I never go beyond handing someone a petition and asking them to think about it) and because it is the same way that I would have reacted had I been given the same situation.
Again, I walked toward the parking lot reinvigorated by the night and excited to have another good man interested in joining our lodge and becoming part of this fantastic fraternity. I consider myself very lucky for having witnessed that same passion and excitement so many times in so many good men over the years (especially over the last several months). There is a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to during the second half of the year.