What Masonry Means to Me, by Bro. Keith Dancer

Ecclesiastes 3: A TIME AND PLACE FOR EVERYTHING.
If I wanted to lose weight and get in better physical condition, I would join a gym.
If I wanted to continue my education, I would go back to college.
If I wanted to be a better marksman, I would join a gun club.
If I wanted to become a better person, I would join a civic club or donate my time to a worthy cause.
If I wanted to become a better Christian I would become more active at my church, increase my prayer life, meditate, fast, etc.
IF I WANTED TO BECOME A BETTER MAN, I WOULD ENGAGE IN MORE TIME AND STUDY AT MY LODGE.
The Lodge is similar to other organizations in many ways. It usually has an organization chart, Board of Directors, a Charter, etc, with its largest asset being its members. The human element is contained in almost all facets of our organization, which is a blessing in our case, because our local lodge members are tremendous men.
The Masonic Lodge is an organization where a belief in Deity is our foundation; this presents a means to an end in many cases, such as becoming a better man, discovering and displaying love toward my fellow man, charity, hope, etc. While not a religious organization, it validates and supports my faith in God.
The Lodge is also fallible, being an institution made of humans and human shortcomings. It has its share of scandal, adultery, greed, hypocrisy, politics, local cliques, etc.
Am I perfect? NO! Am I close? Absolutely not! Am I halfway perfect? Not even close [especially if you ask those closest to me (HA)].
I attend Lodge to remain “grounded”. I feel that, if through nothing else but osmosis, it helps me be as good as I can be; its lessons teach me, if I would only listen. I find it to be therapeutic when I am struggling with life issues. The Lodge just happens to support (perhaps taught) most all of my core values, and at the same time has taught me how to grow outside of my comfort zones. The Lodge presents a non threatening environment, where status or wealth is not highly regarded. Without naming names, looking in the many faces of the great men around our dinner table or inside the Lodge Room brings comfort to me. The memory of so many past Brothers is so precious to me!
That, in a nutshell, is what Masonry means to me.