Wednesday, June 22, 2016

No Shoe For You!

The last couple of years we have been able to round up the brothers and converge en masse in Conshohocken to take the shoe for the remainder of the year. It seems as though, like many things, time has gotten away from me a bit and the reminders weren’t as frequent as they have been in the past. This was clearly an issue last night as our turnout to the last official district visitation of the year wasn’t nearly what it had been during our previous efforts. Because of this we all got in our cars knowing that another lodge would be holding the shoe until the calendar changes.

However, while we may not have walked away with the shoe, it was a great night when I was able to reconnect with some brothers I had not seen since this same meeting last year while others I was meeting for the first time… at least I think it was the first time. It was during these moments of re-acquaintance that some of the best conversations of the evening took place and I was able to find many more commonalities with a few of my brothers which I had not realized previously. Of course, as usual, there were also moments when I realized more clearly just how much more I have yet to experience in the fraternity.

The meeting itself is always a little odd for me as I am used to sitting in the east for the duration and actively playing a role in all meetings. Sitting on the sidelines for the entire meeting is something that I am simply not used to doing. I can’t tell you how many times that I nearly stood up when I heard only two raps from the gavel. That being said, there were things that I was able to observe from this perspective as I watched another secretary take charge. There were some things that I didn’t prefer while there were other items that I will certainly incorporate moving forward.

However, there was a singular moment that caught me completely off guard. As the names of those brothers that were suspended was read to those in attendance, my mind stuttered a little when I heard a brother who shares my family name was no longer in good standing. I guess this year my work will have to go beyond my lodge and I need to improve my communication not just with the brethren but within my own family as well. After all, no matter you endeavor, which is how we learn and that is how we band together both as brothers and as a family, separately and together.