02 Jun Papyrus Magazine June 2022
Volume 43 Number 3
Illustrious Sir Donald A. Campbell
Why is it important for me to be an active Shriner? The quality of our membership must always remain foremost, in our hearts and minds. We must not lose the true perspective of the function of Shriners. Its success is measured by the quality of its membership and by the contribution we make to civilization and society. If you recall in my first Potentate’s message, I asked you what type of “wood” you are? There was a reason I asked you that question because I was not a hardwood in Rameses. I would describe my early years as a Shriner as Driftwood. I attended Spring and Fall Ceremonials, elections, and installations.
So, what made me change? I was part of the team that ran the 2010 International Shrine Conference in Toronto. In 2009 I attended my first Imperial Session in San Antonio, Texas. That was the time I became Hardwood, an active energized Shriner. Each year I witnessed parent after parent standing before our Sessions, crying, and thanking the Shriners for giving their child a chance to live a normal life. I listened to a beautiful 16-year-old child who had a speaking impediment which made her shy. A Shriner’s Hospital quickly diagnosed a rare and hard to detect cleft pallet. A quick medical operation changed her life. She then sang to our group.
It’s easy to be a Shriner when you see the end results! It’s not only about mini cars and parades. It’s about the 1.4 million children we helped to live a better life. Masonry made me feel better within myself. Shriners help to make the world be a better place (J. Sowder, 2019). Join me to help our children.
Nearly a quarter of our Nobles don’t belong to a Club or Unit. The problem with that, the only means of communication with them, is through the Papyrus, if they are receiving it. In the meantime, we started an e-mail group called “Noble at large”. COVID-19 changed the way we were doing business. Sudden closures and limited gatherings meant sending out an urgent e-mail to Clubs and Units so they can immediately notify their members. But we missed a quarter of our Nobles!
To our members who do not belong to a Club or Unit, please consider doing so. You will not be disappointed. In hindsight, I should have joined a Club or a Unit in an area of interest, such as the Drum Corp or the Pipe Band. We have people, Shriners, there to teach you. Don’t take the easy way out. Learn something new that you never had the chance to do.
Become A Contributor. When we hear the phrase, the days are long, but the years are short, most of us easily get why the days are long. Being at work all day with stressful clients, followed by a frustrating drive to pick up your kids from daycare or school, followed by an evening full of meeting the rest of life’s demands, can make a day seem certainly long. Or maybe your day is filled with the demands of your children and more times than you care to admit, you are just waiting for the day to be over. But what about the years are short part? I used to think the years flew by because we’re such a busy society always in motion. We live a life where busy is king and productivity is lucrative. Our schedules are filled to the brim with busy time from sunup until sundown, and then some. But seriously, ask yourself these two questions: Could I have contributed just one extra day to help or promote my Club/Unit or Rameses functions? Could I have tried to attend the 2022 elections, buy a $15 package of Vidalia onions, coffee, or tea, or purchase a Shrine Lottery Ticket to support Shrine Children?
Focus on gratitude. Every moment that we are grateful is a moment we are grounded in the present. The years are short because we spend so much time not focusing on the present moment. Our thoughts wander to the past, which cannot be changed. Or to the future, which is always changing, based on what we are doing in the present moment. In 2022, try to make it a point to give that extra day to your Unit, Club or Rameses Shriners. In 2022 support a Shrine Children’s project and make it a point to attend a Rameses function. An active Unit/Club is a healthy Unit/Club.