On The Level Podcast

Interview With M∴ W∴ Robert Lambert: Reflections from the Grand Lodge Leadership and Beyond

January 27, 2024 Christopher Burns Season 2 Episode 11
On The Level Podcast
Interview With M∴ W∴ Robert Lambert: Reflections from the Grand Lodge Leadership and Beyond
On The Level Podcast
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on a captivating expedition as we sit down with Most Worshipful Robert Lambert, the Grandmaster of Masons of Florida, whose journey from youthful enthusiasm in DeMolay to a revered leader in the fraternity exemplifies the very fabric of the Masonic brotherhood. His stories of camaraderie and mentorship reveal the profound connections that transcend local lodges, painting a picture of the fraternity's far-reaching impact. Lambert's experiences, from the Air Force’s F-16 jets to the halls of Grandmaster, offer an unprecedented glance at the personal growth achievable within the Masonic community.

In the face of adversity, the Masonic brotherhood stands united, a theme Most Worshipful Lambert brings to life through tales of the fraternity's response to natural disasters. The narrative extends beyond the labor of aiding hurricane-stricken regions, delving into the solidarity and leadership among members. We discuss the emotional spectrum of concluding a term as Grandmaster, a reminder that while titles may fade, the bond amongst brothers endures. It's a poignant reflection on the core values that hold the Masonic order together, resonating with anyone who values community and service.

Wrapping up our chat, the conversation takes an unexpected twist with the "jeans controversy," showing how a simple dress code debate can ignite passion and discourse within the fraternity. Most Worshipful Lambert’s insights on the representative government within Masonry and the principles that could enlighten broader governance are thought-provoking. It’s not just about the regalia and titles; it’s the shared experiences and the cycle of leadership that reinforce the timeless influence of Masonic values in society. Join us for this enlightening episode that delves into the heart of Freemasonry, celebrating its achievements and pondering its potential to inspire beyond its own storied walls.

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Speaker 1:

Hey, chris, yeah, fred, what's a Mason?

Speaker 2:

That's a really good question, fred.

Speaker 1:

You've reached the internet's home for all things masonry. Join Chris and I as we plumb the depths of our ancient craft, from the common gavel to the trowel. Nothing is off the table, so grab your tools and let's get to work. This is On the Level, brother Chris, hi, hi Fred.

Speaker 2:

We are back.

Speaker 1:

The honors keep coming. Our interviews have reached their crescendo at this point. We are welcoming in most worshipful Lambert here.

Speaker 2:

Grandmaster of Masons of Florida Say it the way it's supposed to be said.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to phone him.

Speaker 2:

I wish for Robert Lambert, grandmaster of Masons of Florida. Is there a more prestigious way to say it? That's close enough. I got an idea.

Speaker 1:

Let's start that over, you want? To start that over.

Speaker 2:

No, hang me out there like that.

Speaker 1:

Oh, because you made a mistake.

Speaker 3:

Definitely keeping that in. That three hours of sleep is really starting to kick in.

Speaker 2:

He was chugging coffee before, I guess it's wearing off. This is going to be more entertaining.

Speaker 1:

It wears off quicker and quicker.

Speaker 3:

The longer you go.

Speaker 2:

It happens with addictions.

Speaker 1:

This show is not technically about me and my problems.

Speaker 3:

I would like it to be. We are actually enjoying it about you.

Speaker 2:

Go ahead.

Speaker 3:

Thank you most worshipful.

Speaker 2:

I'm glad he gets the show immediately.

Speaker 1:

It's about demoralizing Fred what we are actually here for is to highlight the 2013 Grand Lodge communication here in beautiful Orlando Florida 194th Grand Communication 194th.

Speaker 1:

That's something else. What a privilege it is to be a part of something like this. This is the first time I've been to one of these. It's absolutely been amazing for me. I don't want to go that way. Most worshipful person, we want to thank you for coming on the show. Would you please? We know you but our fans don't know you. Can you give us an introduction? Everyone in Florida knows you. Maybe the guy in Israel doesn't know you. Would you introduce yourself to us and give us a little history of your Masonic career?

Speaker 3:

My Masonic career stretches many years back in history. By the way, this is 2023, not 2013. He caught it. He caught it.

Speaker 2:

He wrote it down.

Speaker 1:

You need to get out.

Speaker 2:

You caught it.

Speaker 1:

We are going to get along so well, I have the power of editing.

Speaker 2:

Just keep it up, mr, the most worshipful here has the power of editing, that's true.

Speaker 1:

He does have the ultimate delete button.

Speaker 3:

I have contact with the man who owns the ultimate delete button.

Speaker 2:

He told us about his delete button.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, you just start to fade out.

Speaker 1:

It's a fader. You just fade out of existence Like a ghost.

Speaker 2:

You just close the floor. Yes, if you would, sir.

Speaker 3:

My Masonic history starts back personally when I was 13 years old, my father asked me if I wanted to be a DMLA. I had the opportunity to join the youth group Of young men. I was around some excellent leadership, nothing better than our advisory board. These men had experience with all over the world. Wow, they were teachers. I progressed to that. I went through until I was 21. Which at that time, that's when I joined the Air Force I had a little hiatus for it all.

Speaker 1:

Got. You had a lot of fun in the Air Force.

Speaker 2:

Well, okay.

Speaker 3:

Did you fly planes? I didn't fly them. I fixed and worked on F-16s.

Speaker 2:

Oh wow, that's cool. You worked on ships. No, that's an actual jet.

Speaker 1:

That would be a jet.

Speaker 3:

I know it was the ultimate fighter From the Top Gun movies.

Speaker 2:

No those guys floor it, dang it.

Speaker 1:

He worked on a single-seater badass fighter.

Speaker 3:

They had the B models, which was a double-seater. Oh was it they have 16.

Speaker 1:

Is that the Tomcat?

Speaker 3:

No, that's the F-14. We want to talk about them.

Speaker 2:

Don't talk about Navy.

Speaker 3:

We have a Marine, no crayons, huh.

Speaker 2:

Oh boy, he is armed probably.

Speaker 1:

More than likely he's armed and he doesn't have a mic. Let's move on. After that I came back and went to join the Temple Terrace lodge. Oh, okay.

Speaker 3:

Didn't stay there too long because I was on the other side of town. I lived in Hillsborough County. They're basically on the east side. I lived on the west side. I wasn't overly active.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

But then a brother of mine, arthur my name is Arthur asked why don't you come to our lodge, which was about 15 minutes away from my house.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

His name is Arthur Meyer, a very good man, and I did visit him. I thought, if I'm going to stay active and get my money's worth, I'll get to transform. I did that what lodge was that.

Speaker 2:

Holyrood.

Speaker 3:

Holyrood 257.

Speaker 1:

And what year was this?

Speaker 3:

I know, sorry. Oh, that was probably mid-2000.

Speaker 2:

It would be ironic if it was 2013.

Speaker 3:

No, no, but believe it or not, something interesting happened in 2013.

Speaker 1:

We'll get back to 2013. Oh, we will.

Speaker 3:

So by 2010, I was mastered a lot. Wow, I'd already been about 20 years, mason at that time Okay.

Speaker 2:

You're a young guy then right, 61.

Speaker 3:

Okay, okay for all those 20 year olds. I'm an old guy, but, but 2013 Was worth, for Danny Griffith made me one of his district deputies. Okay and that was a chance to meet a whole different group of brothers, because Usually when you're in your own lodge and district, you have a tendency just to be around these guys.

Speaker 2:

Mm-hmm yeah.

Speaker 3:

I had a chance to be around guys from all over the jurisdiction the entire state of Florida right. Right handle the keys and it makes it so much more fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can imagine. I'm finding that to be true because we we Only in our district, in district 23,. But the more I go around to other lodges and meet other brothers, the better this thing gets.

Speaker 3:

Right, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And their experiences in life right, it's just so much more fun. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

After that, most worship will. Steve boring asked me to be his persuviant. Don't ask me what that job is. It's a long title. You've only got 15 minutes.

Speaker 2:

Is that a blue lunch?

Speaker 3:

Really it's a. It's a grand launch position.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay, that's why I've never heard of it.

Speaker 3:

Basically, he's a the Swiss army knife of the Grand Lodge. Okay, Well, I like that position yeah you do the prayer or you need it's filling for this guy, that guy kind of like a marshal in a blue lodge. It's. It's the marshals Marshall.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay, okay.

Speaker 3:

All right, and then most worst, from John Karim asked me in 20, 2017, when he was deputy Grand Master, if I'd be his grand marshal okay which made it even more exciting right and At that point I'd already been thinking about the Grand Line Get the elected Grand Line. But I had a really exciting, fun year working for most of our crew.

Speaker 1:

Brilliant man.

Speaker 2:

Okay, just People speak so highly of him, real, with a reverence.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, he actually passed away Tuesday of his year as Grand Master at Grand Lodge.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, wow, he was, he had just been. He was like it was the day after the day of. He was no longer Grand Master that that he was still grand.

Speaker 3:

He was still Technically physically passed away a couple days later, but it collapsed at Grand Lodge.

Speaker 2:

Collapse at Grand Lodge.

Speaker 3:

Oh wow. Looked at his district deputy. We got to keep going. We don't have a choice. Well it's a very tough situation. They worked hard for him and they were proud to work for him, sure, and they had every right to be Wow. That's a that's quite a story, which happened to be the day before that was when I actually was elected junior Grand Warden.

Speaker 2:

Okay so.

Speaker 3:

It was an exciting right, mixed emotions.

Speaker 2:

It's the motion day.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely Wednesday morning, big highs and big lows there was Wow but, and I just try to kind of follow some of his examples, and. I had the pleasure and honor working underneath most worship with Turlington and underneath most water foster.

Speaker 2:

You were a lucky charm. Is that what he called this?

Speaker 3:

technically because I wasn't a grand line, but that's what he called the thinkors group.

Speaker 2:

like you have the legion. What, what? The Lambert's legions? Yes, okay.

Speaker 3:

We let the district deputies pick their names.

Speaker 2:

Okay, oh, we wouldn't pick the things.

Speaker 3:

There was gonna live with it, so we were Danny boys.

Speaker 1:

Oh okay, Danny grunt. Oh okay, I see how this works.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I go. Danny boys, yes, wow.

Speaker 3:

You had fosters fleet last year.

Speaker 2:

Okay cuz he was a Navy guy.

Speaker 3:

Uh-huh yeah right so but yeah, it was very enjoyable to have a line of brothers that you knew and worked well with mm-hmm.

Speaker 2:

And I think that was reflected out to the craft yeah it definitely comes across when you guys do your Grandmaster official visits and we see you guys interacting, you can feel how much fun everybody's having to get exactly yeah, and that's like encouraging, I think, to everybody else to see that your grand line is enjoying their time, and they're really enjoying each other, absolutely, absolutely, yeah so we want that in our blue lodges.

Speaker 1:

Sorry, so. So here we are, grand Lodge, and tomorrow Begins a new chapter for you.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Um, what's, uh, what's? What's the year been like? What give us, give us the over the 30,000 foot view here of your year? What, what do you? What? What stands out to you?

Speaker 3:

The good stuff that stands out is the fellowship with the brothers.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, of course, uh-huh.

Speaker 3:

I had a very interesting opportunity. The D-malay had their international conference here.

Speaker 1:

Okay, my year All right.

Speaker 3:

And as a senior D-malay, it was very exciting to be announced in as the Grandmaster Mace of Florida, walking in amongst all those brothers, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that was a real touching moment. That's quite an honor.

Speaker 3:

It was the, I would say, the most single challenging thing, and Floridians hate this word Hurricanes.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah okay.

Speaker 2:

Right, I heard district deputy dealt with that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I had two of them that were hit very, very hard.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

But they handled it with skill and grace. If anything positive came out, all that was watching how the brothers work together, rally. Yeah, absolutely yeah took care of the lodges. They took care of the neighborhoods.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

We had a group of brothers that took care of over 1500 families and Fort Myers.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm Right about that.

Speaker 3:

They were on the ground working when the Red Cross didn't come in until a week later.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I think on it was. Was it right where full Dobbs and District deputy?

Speaker 2:

that's our district, hey district instructor 23.

Speaker 1:

They were. They were in north. They were in Port Charlotte the day after yes, they were down at the day.

Speaker 2:

They looked at every lodging our district. The next day, the next day, every lodge, they went and checked if they could get there. There was something right. Couldn't get to Punta Gorda.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, couldn't get into Punta Gorda, right? Yeah, I have that Saturday. We were supposed to have our official visit.

Speaker 2:

Mm-hmm. Oh, yes, yeah, oh, that's right, yeah, at Robarts. But that turned into an emergency response center for the.

Speaker 3:

Yeah that's right, that was not gonna happen, but that's how we gathered a group of brothers together with supplies, generators, things like that, and we started hitting South in Tampa, now normally Fort Myers, about two and a half hour drive. Yeah, we were over set and, excuse me, over seven hours. Right we end up all the way in in Sebring to get around, to finally get to a bridge that we can get over to Peace River.

Speaker 1:

Right, get down there, get down in there. Yeah, it was. It was horrible, but it was a tangled mess. Oh, it was. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

I gave credit to the power companies. They were all incredible. You know, stuck in one traffic jam. I accept their watch and pull this broken pole, pop the hole, put the new pole on, hang the line on it. In less than 10 minutes they're rolling down to the next right. Incredible, they have it down to a science. Really something to watch now. I wish I didn't have to sit there and watch it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah right, it led to another good thing, I think, because that district visit you were supposed to have for us Turned into a really intimate thing at a lodge, something I never experienced really yeah, we went inside in order to make the visit happen.

Speaker 3:

We do a town hall meeting.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we did a lot more casual.

Speaker 2:

It was very casual and intimate.

Speaker 3:

It's very much more intimate. Oh, it was a lot more fun to be honest with you. Was it for you fun? Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

It was for us. As for me anyways, I felt just less.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I don't know, we were like together.

Speaker 2:

It felt like we were just together. It wasn't like a.

Speaker 3:

Well, I told the guys I hate podiums to begin with, so I step out into the crowd and into the brothers and talk to them one on one. So it was a lot more interesting that way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I enjoyed it and we talked about like man. That was actually really nice. Maybe we should think about doing more intimate things in the future.

Speaker 1:

Without a hurricane. Well, it's like yeah without a hurricane, yeah, without the hurricane part.

Speaker 2:

It's a struggle for the district people because they want to show you guys their respect through the pomp and circumstance of the whole. Thing. So we don't want to think the grand launch, people to think we're a po-dunk little poor community who can't give you a good reception. But at the same time I saw the value in it.

Speaker 3:

I think I did too, because personally the pomp and circumstance is not what excites me. To begin with, yes, it's the excitement of the brothers.

Speaker 2:

Yeah right, that's what's great, and you got to feel it in that setting.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, Particularly the young brothers, the new ones, because they always want to get your title right.

Speaker 1:

And they stumble through it.

Speaker 3:

Totally right, and you just want to chuck a little. You have to remind them brother works. It's the greatest title any Mason has is brother.

Speaker 2:

It's good for you to tell those new guys that too. It's a message they really need to hear early on, because it'll stick with them as they become people of power and position and hopefully they'll think the same way that you do.

Speaker 3:

Sure, they have to understand once you're out of that position in the east, you are back on the sidelines. How apropos of you to say that, since you are about to be there yourself again, and I'm staring it down.

Speaker 2:

I'm six months away from that and I know a lot of worship masters that I've seen are very looking forward to that.

Speaker 3:

Did you?

Speaker 2:

find yourself looking forward to the end, or did you find yourself just trying to enjoy the moment of it all, taking it all in?

Speaker 3:

I think you've got to look at it with a little good and sad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like sad to finish it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right, a little bittersweet. Right, it is a bittersweet.

Speaker 3:

That's the right word for it and particularly when you've got a good relationship with a guy coming behind you I am so proud of you.

Speaker 2:

That makes it a little easier to step away, right, I am so happy to see him have this opportunity.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, it's just so much fun to be out with the brothers because they want to learn something, they want to listen to you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So you've got to make sure you've got something intelligent to say Well, that hasn't been a problem for you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 3:

Some moments I get tongue tied like anybody else and I get tickled sometimes when somebody's doing something right in the middle of me trying to do something where I'm trying to look like I'm intelligent.

Speaker 2:

Right, you know we like to see that our leaders are humans. I think it's a good thing if you can laugh at yourself a little bit as a leader. And it shows us it's OK to make mistakes every now and then.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's true leadership, though.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it really is.

Speaker 1:

It really is. I mean, look, there's a place for it has to be done right. And you have to set the bar and set the standard. I understand that, but to not take yourself so seriously that you lose perspective. I've heard you talk about the brothers sitting here at least six times now and obviously that's what's important to you is the brethren, is the craft, the guys.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's not the me, it's the we.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right, yeah, that's great.

Speaker 3:

I always like to remind myself that nothing that I've done successful has been me. It has been the people around me.

Speaker 1:

Right right.

Speaker 3:

It's been the craft. These guys are what makes it successful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and people say that about you most of the time.

Speaker 3:

Sure, they say a lot of things about me. Oh, yes, especially lately.

Speaker 1:

Gee no, just kidding.

Speaker 2:

Just mostly about the jeans thing. Yeah, the jeans thing is a big deal Of all the things you did. It's going to be the jeans thing that you remember, for you know it's funny about that One thing I wasn't 100% hooked on that to begin with. Right.

Speaker 3:

But I found it so interesting that the problems we have with membership, money, lodges, conditions in the last 20 years you saw more passion. About one word jeans.

Speaker 2:

Right, that's so ironic, isn't it yeah?

Speaker 3:

And people said you're not from a farming industry, you don't understand, you must work to save. I got news from I bailed Hay in Indiana.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I heard you saying that today, I think.

Speaker 3:

I come from a farming family. I come from a bunch of miners.

Speaker 2:

That's important for people to know. Do people know this about you? I didn't know that about you. You come from a mining. Tell us a little bit about that.

Speaker 3:

Oh, my grandparents from my mother's side, you kind of want to ever talk about this. My grandparents on my mother's side from Rockville, indiana, pushed for Rockville.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, shout out to Rockville, that's right.

Speaker 3:

My great-great-grandfather, I think, as was his property. They, my grandfather and his dad, actually mined under their own property.

Speaker 2:

Wow yeah, some Randall Beverly hillbillies.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's rare, because usually the mineral rights are owned by somebody else.

Speaker 3:

Back in those days, nobody thought about minerals, right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so they had their own mineral rights, so they mined and farmed the land, or just Mostly in that property they mined.

Speaker 3:

Ok, it was kind of hilly, right, yeah, and it's rich with resources under there, yeah, that part of the country, absolutely. Of course they didn't strike it rich, because you can see, I'm not driving the Mercedes.

Speaker 2:

Well, everybody assumes to be a grand lodge officer, especially a grandmaster, you have to be super wealthy Like the average everyday Mason. I hear it all the time and I have no idea what it takes to do this financially. You could set the story straight. What does it take of a person to become a grandmaster?

Speaker 3:

financially, it doesn't take a lot of wealth on a personal basis.

Speaker 2:

OK.

Speaker 3:

It takes a lot of desire, particularly so I'm still a working man.

Speaker 2:

Really, yes, you manage to do all this and have a full-time job. A full-time job Wow.

Speaker 3:

I work in the IT industry, so I can control my time a little better than some people.

Speaker 2:

Sure, but you still got to put it in.

Speaker 3:

Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Wow, and your family? I did not know that. I didn't either. Well, I knew you were an IT guy, but I thought you were retired.

Speaker 3:

No, in fact, previous grant, past grandmaster. He was still working, I'm still working, the incoming grandmaster is still working and none of us are wealthy. I can tell you that right now.

Speaker 2:

That word is kind of relative, right yeah.

Speaker 3:

But I will say that anybody's playing on running, because you do got to do a lot of traveling on your own.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh, ok, they don't reimburse you for the travel, huh, not for that.

Speaker 3:

It's probably about between the $10,000 to $12,000 investment for a $75 jewel.

Speaker 2:

Right yeah, if it were for the jewel, but it's not Exactly.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I get the pun, though. Absolutely.

Speaker 3:

So you do have to be willing to put a little bit into it.

Speaker 2:

So the investment's more in time than it is money in reality, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

And it's an absolute labor of love and passion Absolutely. Absolutely. There is no the money. Those are numbers and I get the numbers. I understand it.

Speaker 2:

That's the story people tell themselves. Oh, those guys are all rich. Oh, I hear it all the time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it's like I don't know, man, it can't be that you can't get that far, because it's got to be passion, it's got to be a love and a desire, because I don't know this for sure, but you can confirm this you take a lot of crap along the way, man, when you get to where you're at. You got to deal with a lot of stuff, man, and if it's not a passionate labor of love, it's not going to be fun. Yeah, oh, it's not going to be excruciating, in my opinion.

Speaker 3:

do some, but again, it's you just got to be willing to think it through.

Speaker 2:

Mm-hmm.

Speaker 3:

In a lot of ways it's like running a lodge on steroids.

Speaker 2:

Right oh boy.

Speaker 3:

And again, you highly rely on the experience of your secretary Uh-huh. Right, that may help you through those humps.

Speaker 2:

And you're lucky there. Oh yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

Our grand secretary. Don't ever tell him I said this. He's an amazing individual.

Speaker 2:

Don't worry, he doesn't listen to the show he just confirmed it with us.

Speaker 1:

He just confirmed it with us.

Speaker 2:

We have a delete button too, sir. There you go.

Speaker 3:

But you just have to be willing to think things through.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Do not let your emotions take over.

Speaker 2:

That's the hardest part right.

Speaker 3:

For some people it is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it seems like it would be, it was kind of a mid-ground.

Speaker 3:

There was things that somebody hit me with and I just had to take a several deep breaths before. I spoke Right I was like I'm going to count to ten rule. Yeah, yeah, and mostly those are when somebody did something bad.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

And because you're like, I surround my people with good, myself with good people.

Speaker 1:

Right, I don't expect that. Right, yeah and right, and then it hits you upside the head.

Speaker 2:

Exactly.

Speaker 1:

And you got to take that step back, which I'm very bad at, and not react. That's why you're not the grand master of Masonism, but then you're not the grand master of Masonism, florida, and it's very Masonic.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

It's very Masonic attitude.

Speaker 2:

Right Because circumscribe your passions.

Speaker 1:

Circumstrive those passions, man. Yeah, be in control of yourself, that's right.

Speaker 2:

But that's what good leadership looks like. It's not about you, said it at the very beginning. It's not about me, it's about we, and when you take me out of the equation, it's a lot easier to not get so upset about things. That's right.

Speaker 3:

You have to understand it is a team effort.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely yeah.

Speaker 3:

And I tell everybody, when you're the leader, there's two things you have to remember. When it's successful, it's the team.

Speaker 2:

Mm-hmm.

Speaker 3:

When it fails, it's you.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, and that comes with the territory. That's it.

Speaker 3:

That comes with it you have to be willing to accept it. Even though it may not have been your idea, it may have been not you out there doing it, you are the one responsible. Yeah, yeah, and do not lay it on anybody else's lap.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's true leadership, that's right so do you think your background in IT helped you with this analytical thinking to problem solving and freedom?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I definitely have my troubleshooting mentality because I like to go through every start with a basic and step your way through it.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, wait until you can get up to the point of the solution.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

You have to do a patient and again you have to take the emotion out of it. You just work the problem. It's hard to do because we see it all the time in Freemasonry.

Speaker 2:

No one's rarely is anyone getting paid to do this stuff. It really is a passion thing, because we believe in the principles so much and they're so important to us. It's so hard not to be passionate about things when they don't go your way. You know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

You get emotionally invested yeah because you are emotionally invested.

Speaker 3:

You are yeah.

Speaker 2:

And it's hard to cut it off sometimes when it doesn't, you don't get what you want or something bad happens.

Speaker 1:

For me. I try to defer so you can be passionate. Your passions are you. It's who you are. When somebody strikes at something you love dearly, like that and you're passionate about, you've got to defer. Yeah, I'm angry and what you did was wrong, and I'm going to deal with this in the right way. In a minute I'm going to defer the entire emotional package that I want to throw in your face. I'm going to defer all of it until I'm in a better place to deal with it. In a Masonic way, like I said. I just said it before. That's a very Masonic attitude. You're circumscribing those passions.

Speaker 2:

We saw it today and you talked about it with. I think we were talking about it with.

Speaker 3:

Richard.

Speaker 2:

Lin, because you proposed some. It was a ruling and decision. I believe that was out there about the genes specific.

Speaker 3:

I know it's not just genes, but that was the thing, Right right right, there was a dress code thing as well. Yeah, dress code thing.

Speaker 2:

Your intention behind it. Almost everybody that spoke against it agreed with you. I heard them all say. I actually agree with you.

Speaker 3:

That was a funny part, wasn't it?

Speaker 2:

Everyone agrees that this is a problem.

Speaker 1:

Everyone on this show as well. We totally do.

Speaker 2:

But at the same time they're like and I understand where they're coming from because I'm a sitting master and I had to read it to my lodge and I had to beg them to please comply, because I'm the one that someone could bring up on charges if something goes wrong.

Speaker 2:

So in my mind, that's where I'm going is whatever becomes law, I have to execute, and if there's unclear things, I get worried because I could be held accountable to this stuff and I know the spirit of it and I even told our lodge when I brought it up go ahead and bring me up on charges, and let's see how that goes that I didn't let a guy come in because he didn't have a tie on or something happened.

Speaker 2:

I'll gladly defend myself in that situation. But I think that's the hang up. Is people get caught into that? Oh man, that word could get me in trouble if I go this way or that way and you got caught in that semantic scheme.

Speaker 1:

So can you kind of, if you could?

Speaker 2:

He held his temperament, you didn't get angry, you weren't upset about the whole thing and even at the end we just moved on. There was no heart feelings. Absolutely not, and that was a great display of what you're talking about being able to kind of separate yourself a little bit, not get overly emotional about things as a leader.

Speaker 3:

Well, you have to accept the fact that not everybody's going to agree with you, because you're so smart. Why are you laughing at me with that?

Speaker 2:

Well, I get it all the time. I'm a master.

Speaker 3:

I still have access to that delete button.

Speaker 2:

Do us both a favor and hit that Do him the biggest favor.

Speaker 1:

Well what I was going to ask is, if you're willing, can you share with us a little bit of just the thought process, because I know that, regardless of how it played out and I think in the end it's going to end up becoming what it was- but the thought process because, I know Everyone agrees it's a problem.

Speaker 1:

What you were trying to do was from your heart, for the betterment of the craft, because that's what you always do. But what was the thought process through it? Can you share a little bit of that with us?

Speaker 3:

The thought process again. There's part of me that says thought about this, as this is not going to pass.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

It's just not going to pass. But Can I get everybody thinking about?

Speaker 1:

it. You certainly have, sir.

Speaker 3:

I will tell you again, I'm repeating it Of all the problems, we have the word genes.

Speaker 1:

Became right, right, yeah, the focal point for a month Lit a fire. I did.

Speaker 3:

I can not tell you the number of emails I got. Over genes right, yep, yep and accusing me of violating the Constitution in the United States which, by the way, Holy cow, I swear to you, they were going that far with it.

Speaker 2:

Some people were getting passionate Wow. That's crazy.

Speaker 1:

But I think what you were saying is you started a conversation, and I appreciate that, because I for one do want to see better dressed men in our lives.

Speaker 2:

That's the thing we all do. Yeah, we all do. Everyone, even that opposed this, literally said I actually agree with you. I feel like we all agree this is a problem that has to be addressed.

Speaker 3:

I think it gives the opportunity for something a little better written, a little more defined to come out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

It wouldn't surprise me if somebody didn't bring up legislation next year or two.

Speaker 2:

Oh, it wouldn't surprise me at all. In fact, if they're not working on it, maybe we should get working on it. Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

The conversation's not over, but it's a good thing to come to this. And the other thing I wanted to share with you is we have a young Mason brother his name Sean Cooney who was in there oh yes, he was in there during the discussion and he came out just absolutely starstruck over witnessing a representative government system that worked.

Speaker 1:

It really worked. The guy in charge was proposing an idea that the people were not necessarily in line with. There was discussion, there was passion and in the end everybody agreed on. Not everybody liked the ideas that came out, but everybody agreed that we're moving forward in this direction and we'll take it up again. And or what? That was a perfect example in his eyes, of representative government.

Speaker 1:

And for that I say, and the way you handled yourself was absolutely so, utterly Masonic to him and to all of us. It was a perfect example of a government that worked. It worked.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and those moments of contention are when you have the biggest opportunity to show who you really are to people, and you did it, you did it, you did it. He got chills. He said I literally have chills from what I just saw and I told him we were doing this before we had an American government, just like this.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, right, and you think about it when you look at how we change power. The moment he lifts, glenn, lifts his hands off that Bible. He is in charge Instantly.

Speaker 2:

There's no this transfer of power that you see happening all the time, recounting the hanging chat, whatever the situation is.

Speaker 3:

You are in charge. Right, I am now another brother on the sideline smiling and cheering you on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. Well, you'll never be just another brother. You're always going to be a forceful task. We hope not.

Speaker 3:

There's no, and it's probably wrong word saying just another brother, because every brother is super important.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

But I get a chance to be now watching the next leader take over.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And there is no former government in the world that falls as accurately as Masonry.

Speaker 1:

That's right, absolutely true.

Speaker 2:

Unfortunately that's, but we just need more Masonry in government. That's what we need.

Speaker 3:

That's another subject for another time.

Speaker 1:

That would be another topic for another show, for another three hour show, because that one could go forever and ever absolutely, but it's true.

Speaker 2:

So we need more Masons in the world. What?

Speaker 1:

positive thing? What one thing? I don't know. If I already asked you this, I didn't. What one thing. What positive thing Did you accomplish this year that you're proud of that you're going to look back on and say, I'm happy not necessarily you did, but your administration and you accomplished that was something that you're going to look back on fondly.

Speaker 3:

Wow, that's a tough one Over here guys.

Speaker 1:

We're doing a show, guys Over here.

Speaker 2:

The grandmasters need it in just two minutes for dinner.

Speaker 1:

OK.

Speaker 2:

So we can't keep them too much longer. Well, he is the grandmaster.

Speaker 1:

So that can happen and we're going to.

Speaker 2:

He trumps our needs. Trust me.

Speaker 1:

He trumps our needs, so all right. So in that case, in two minutes, can you say no, no, OK.

Speaker 3:

None of the legislation, none of the rulings. To me, that is not the focus of all this. It was an opportunity to show the brothers I'm your brother. I may be in charge today. I will be sitting in the audience with you tomorrow. I am your brother To me. There were so many people who have caught that I had a brother say you're one of us.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 3:

That was exciting.

Speaker 1:

Really yeah.

Speaker 3:

I'm like wow, because I don't need to be in the limelight. I don't need, when this is done, for people to pat me on the back.

Speaker 2:

You don't seem like a guy who enjoys the limelight terribly much like you need to have all the attention.

Speaker 3:

Well, granted, it's fun, but you have to also remind yourself constantly, this is going to be over.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And you are. We talked about Peeke Gym past, grandmaster. It means Prestige Gone man Past grandzill Prestige, gone man yeah. You have to prepare your mind for that.

Speaker 2:

And you've been to past DD Gym, past worship, so on smaller scales you've kind of been there and done that. And you had some help right, Some background in this process already.

Speaker 3:

You get some experience for that. I think that's one of the wisest things we do about being able to be on the grand lines. You have to be a past DD, because at that least that way we know your feet have been the fire.

Speaker 1:

Right, right. You've seen some of that.

Speaker 3:

You've seen some of that Two o'clock in the morning, call from the grandmaster saying I need you to sort of buy it, or tomorrow with a chain of luck, and please get that paper off the wall.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you have nightmares about it. Right, right, sure.

Speaker 3:

But it's just, it's that excitement.

Speaker 1:

Well, again, I know you got to go, and if we're big fans, yes, Jay, Thank you Most of all.

Speaker 2:

We're big fans. Thank you for everything that you've done for us.

Speaker 1:

I think it's a great. I think you're going to be remembered for your passion for the guys, your passion for the brethren, and I think that's a great way to be remembered. And it is my hope that you won't be on the sidelines, because your love for the brethren and your love for the craft needs to remain and it needs to continue into this new year, and I know that it will.

Speaker 3:

I will work at the will of the Grand Master.

Speaker 1:

There you go right, that's it. That's how you look at it.

Speaker 3:

Either way, it's gonna be exciting.

Speaker 1:

It's gonna be exciting here.

Speaker 3:

And Glenn Bishop. I wish him nothing but the best. It'll make me proud if he's super successful.

Speaker 1:

Well, maybe this time next year we'll sit in the seat and we'll talk about just how successful he was.

Speaker 3:

That's it. Well, being an ex-Marine, you might have found a whole other thing, but I'm sorry, there's no such thing as an ex-Marine. I keep working on that.

Speaker 1:

That's right, that's right All right.

Speaker 2:

well, I get the impression he's not a guy who's accustomed to failing, though, so I think he's gonna find a way to make it work.

Speaker 3:

He is a switchblade player. He will not switchblade, but switch Army knife player.

Speaker 1:

Switch Swiss or switch Swiss.

Speaker 3:

okay, swiss Army, I get a little tongue-tied once a while, but I think he has the skill to be able to change direction in an American sea.

Speaker 1:

That's critical Things going Right. Yeah, that's that you gotta refocus, right. You gotta change direction refocus, overcome.

Speaker 3:

That's right. And while everybody else is running around with their hair on fire, you gotta be the guy that sits down and say we'll solve this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, let's think about this, guys, we can make this work.

Speaker 3:

Don't worry, we will solve this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, most worshipful congratulations. We won't be here tomorrow we're taking off tonight to get back over to Sarasota but we are so blessed, honored and thankful that you came on the show.

Speaker 2:

It's an honor.

Speaker 1:

You're like I said, we're big fans. Anything you need from us ever as far as this podcast goes, it continues to grow we are at your will and pleasure. You just holler at us. The show is at your disposal.

Speaker 2:

Anything you need, try not to embarrass you or Grand Lodge.

Speaker 1:

We'll try our best, but we embarrass a lot of it. We embarrass ourselves. So that goes with the Mostly you, Mostly me.

Speaker 3:

I don't know or I don't feel embarrassing myself quite well, you're in good shape.

Speaker 1:

Well, you and I should talk. Yeah, all right, my brother Chris. Another great opportunity for us to talk about our favorite subject. This is crazy. And on the podcast, this was one for the records. This was great. I'm humbled.

Speaker 2:

We greatly appreciate you being here with us. Absolutely, I appreciate it.

Speaker 1:

I know how busy you are especially here at Grand. Lodge Right, yeah, they're calling for you.

Speaker 2:

They're probably standing right after right now. Oh God, yeah, there's probably 20 guys out there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's 20 guys out there.

Speaker 3:

We need our Grand Master. It's probably the crew right now wanting to know where I'm at.

Speaker 2:

Right, right they were polite enough to slip a note through the door instead of barge through.

Speaker 1:

Well, brother again, another great show for those of you who are listening. This has been our guest. If you made it this far along, you're our biggest fans. We're really grateful for you guys listening in and for all that you do. Shoot us some emails, fred at onthelevelwithfredandchriscom, and the coffee's wearing off. Or Chris at onthelevelwithfredandchriscom, and until next time we will see you. Don't forget, guys. Go back to your lodge and build it strong. It's still 2023.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh, oh, I think it started already.

Exploring Masonry With Florida's Grandmaster
(Cont.) Exploring Masonry With Florida's Grandmaster
Brotherhood and Leadership in Freemasonry
Leadership and Passion in Freemasonry
The Impact of a Government System

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