The other day I heard, once again, from a veteran brother Widows Son who told me ďwhat a young Widows Sons wants.Ē I have heard this far too many times, in my time as a Widows Son, so I am going to put my thoughts on paper as to what a young Widows Son wants. After all, Iím 36 years old and have been a Widows Son for almost 5 yearsótherefore, I know!

This is my proclamation of a young Widows Son concerning what I believe we want. I wrote this so we might all improve our understanding of one another and progress the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association.

Many brother Widows Sons, who are older, do not know what the younger Widows Sons want, and they often misunderstand or misstate what they think they know. We young Widows Sons, or new Widows Sons, also bear the responsibility for this.

We are often unclear when declaring our desires, our disappointments, and our frustrations, and make ourselves sound like we are challenging the system put in place by our founder some time ago, that has brought the Widows Sons where they are today.

When we are disgruntled, what do we do? One of three things; We find someone who shares our ideas and join forces with them to pressure a change within the Widows Sons, we start a new pseudo group within the group and try to convince as many members as we can to join our new pseudo group, or we go through the process of making a change through the organization's methods.

When we are disgruntled and revolt, we attempt to form our own community inside the organization, but outside it's boundaries, or try to force our ideals or demands into the organization. Sadly, when we rebel, we then join a group of  Widows Sons  as diverse as the Widows Sons itself: unfulfilled Widows Sons.

Well, Brethren, I donít intend to become an unfulfilled Widows Son. So here I stand. I stand for the founding principles of the Widows Sons because those are the principles the Widows Sons grew out of to become the largest Masonic Riders Association in the world. The founding principles of the Widows Sons are successful, and changing them will change the Widows Sons into something it was not founded to be.

It is also vital for all members of the Widows Sons to understand one another and how we can apply the founding principles of the Widows Sons to our lives so that we can create a Widows Sons environment that is beneficial for all, without changing the founding principles.

Initially, we must discuss the Lodges, the birth place of the Master Mason, for without the Masonic Lodge, the Widows Sons would not exist. The young man approaching the Craft today does so to supplement and add to what his church and family have already given him. He joins the Masons to become a better man, not to become a Widows Son. The Widows Sons become available to him after he becomes a Master Mason and is on his journey of becoming a better man.
So, getting back to my thought on what is thought a young Widows Sons wants, here my thoughts on those thoughts.

1. Young Widows Sons want the growth process to be easier and go faster. Which leads to putting brethren in officer's positions before they have learned how the Widows Sons operate.

This is true in many cases. Someone joins today and is made an officer at the next monthly meeting. Now, as an officer, he is given the authority to make decisions for the chapter set in compliance with the boundaries of the organization. But he has not been in the Widows Sons long enough to know or understand the boundaries of the Widows Sons nor why they were put in place.

 This not true in some cases. Once I join the Widows Sons and am permitted entry into the organization, I want a fulfilling and life-changing experience on which I can build a better understanding of my relationship to my brethren and my God. I donít mind hard work. To the contrary, and this is a big one, I want to feel like I have achieved something. I donít want to be handed a patch, and told thank you for your dues, and by the way, here is your membership card. I want my path to be challenging and enlightening.

2. Young Widows Sons want or need low dues.

I am very willing to pay higher dues. I do, however, want a quality experienceóeducational, social, and communityófor my money. I donít need low dues. If the Widows Sons does not value itself, why should I value it? Can something that comes so cheaply have real value? These are questions I asked myself when I saw the Widows Sons low dues schedules.

3. The Young want the Widows Sons easy to get in.

I donít even want to believe that just anybody who wants to should easily get into the Widows Sons. I wish that every investigation committee treated their assignment with the importance it should haveóbut many chose quantity over quality when it came to a choice of having a big quantity membership or a smaller quality membership.

I would like the Widows Sons to be well guarded and to care greatly about the brothers who enter it. Some fit, some don't. If I am going to call someone my brother, I want to be able to trust him. I donít trust everybody who shows up with some money in one hand, and a membership application in the other. We have to make sure increasing our membership numbers is NOT the only thing that counts. Let us care about the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association enough to guard it against those who do not have what it takes to be made a member of the Widows Sons, or those who want to use the Widows Sons to advance their own agenda.

These observations would prove of little value, if I did not offer some solutions and provide an explanation of how they might be applied to the Widows Sons. The concepts I provide above are succinct, but no less complete. Let us address how they might apply directly to Widows Sons and tie it all together.

The Widows Sons is a rolling billboard for Freemasonry. What you do while wearing a widows son logo on your back in public reflects directly back to freemasonry. If you are hell raising like the bikers you see in movies on tv, you are not doing freemasonry any favours. Our motto, since 1999, has been "Mason First, then a Widows Son." If you, or your actions, are not living up to that motto, and it does not show publicly, you do not deserve to wear the Widows Son logo, you should remove yourself from the Widows Sons.

Do not thrust a Widows Sons application at men the night they are raised Master Masons as if the only thing of importance in what they just experienced is being a Widows Son. They will find out about the Widows Sons on their own, and if they desire joining they will find you. You will have a more quality group if you wait for them instead of recruiting them.

I visited the Widows Sons in another state and they used the opening ritual approved by the WSMRA to open and close their meeting. It was very Masonic and kept the aim of the organization in focus at the opening and closing of their meeting. I have since found out there is a Grand Chapter Handbook issued by the Executive Council of the Widows Sons used in Europe and Asia and is becoming popular in the US and Canada.

And if it takes a brother a couple of years to find the Widows Sons, so what? If the brother understands what has been presented to him in the lodge, if the degrees were done with brothers that knew and understood the work, and if each degree was treated as a special event, then the brother is not going to mind the time it takes to become a Widows Sons. And he will be a better Widows Son. Remember, it is not all about the speed of the education, its about the quality of it that makes young Widows Sons better Widows Sons.

Bring education and discussion to the forefront of the Widows Sons meetings. The WSMRA opening and closing ritual is a good place to start. The Widows Sons were designed to be like Masonry. Masonry has authorized opening and closing ritual and so does the Widows Sons. Request your copy of the Grand Chapter Handbook from the Executive Council. If you keep your history as the Grand Chapter Handbook suggests you can use your recorded history as an educational tool for your meetings.

Making the Widows Sons a greater organization is the goal of the Executive Council. It is not going to be easy because we are asking you to imagine the Widows Sons as many have never seen. I am asking you to see beyond your own personal desires and allow progress in this beautiful organization of ours.

Get the Grand Chapter Handbook and follow its suggestions.




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