More Light – August 30, 2010

Mehr Licht!
More Light!
Number 293 – August 30, 2010

Another LEO message that I think will be of interest to Masons from Brother and Dr. Stanley Shapiro. Brother Stan is a retired psychiatrist, and the LEO if Albert Pike Lodge in Hopkins, Minnesota.

By Stanley Shapiro, Lodge Education Officer

As Masons, how do we deal with derogatory comments about others and ourselves?

Because we are human and make mistakes, we don’t always handle these comments well. Ideally, we judge each person charitably and use our best efforts to find a kind explanation for what appear to be negative comments no matter how suspicious we are of their motives.

There are many examples of derogatory comments. Sometimes the facts are false and the comments are told to put down another person. In other situations the facts are true, but told for no positive purpose. An example of a positive purpose: “Be careful if you are considering buying anything from Tim. He has been convicted of embezzlement three times.” An example of negative purpose (if it is merely tale telling): “Did you hear what he said about you”?

Often derogatory remarks are made accompanied with strong negative emotions such as anger or appear when we thought we had in the past favorably worked through the situation with the other person. When either of those is present, it is difficult but not impossible to respond without getting into an argument or damaging the self-esteem of either or both people.

Ideally we consider several things before judging negatively.

1. How are you thinking and feeling in response to what was said and what does that tell you
about yourself?

2. Have you or the person misperceived what happened? Are the details correct?

3. Did the person not think before they acted? Did the person intend harm?

4. Do you know the assumptions behind the person’s comments?

5. Were they under stress or in physical or emotional pain?

As Masons we are admonished to deal with each other on the level. When dealing with a negative remark in an equal relationship, clarify if you heard correctly what was said and then ask, “What prompted you to say that” or “How did you expect me to react to what you said?” Asking this type of question may help you (and perhaps the other person) to understand some of the above questions. Do not preface a question with “why” because the receiver may feel blamed. Also, you may try to tell them about how you are feeling in response to their comments (not what you are thinking because that can lead to an argument and blame). If that doesn’t stop them, sometimes changing the subject will. If we believe we are being treated as an unequal in a relationship, we are most likely not able to ask these questions or change the subject. That makes it more difficult but not impossible to consider if any of the above questions could explain the derogatory comment and thus help us judge the other person charitably.

Words to live by: “It is always in season for old men to learn.” Aeschylus

To view and participate in this week’s Masonic Monday Question, please go to  and click on the Lodge Education forum, or  When you have an answer, send it to The Masonic Monday Question for the week of 08-30-10 comes from our good Brotehr Glenn Kiecker – you’re going to like this question, and you’re going to especially like the answer you find- read on:

While in Minnesota during a school break a student explained to the Sheriff that he was in medical school in Michigan and needed to provide a cadaver to his med school for examination so that he could graduate. He asked for a body of one of the outlaws that had recently been killed during a bank holdup but was turned down. The Sheriff said to him that he would not break the law, but “I will see that the outlaws are buried plenty shallow”. A few days later a barrel labeled “pickles” was delivered to the school. It smelled strongly of formaldehyde. Go figure.

A festival commemorating this event is held the weekend after Labor Day. The community festival is among the largest outdoor celebrations in Minnesota. Thousands of visitors witness reenactments of the robbery, and related activities such as a championship rodeo, carnival, and parade, as well as discovering arts and crafts expositions, and attending musical performances.

Our Bro being mentioned here graduated from medical school and moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1881. He became a member of Acacia Lodge # 15 of the Grand Lodge of Dakota Territory and was elected as Master of that Lodge for three terms starting in 1883. In 1887 he was elected the Grand Master of Masons of the Dakota Territory.

In 1925 his wife presented a 71 year old, childless Masonic Brother with a healthy baby boy. When he got the news he responded by going to town and raising the courthouse flag. In his excitement, he raised the flag upside down, a universal sign of distress.

This MW Bro was given full Masonic honors in Grand Forks ND and also in Northfield, MN where he is buried.

So here is the Masonic Monday Question for this week…

Who is the Brother we speak of? What gang was involved in this attempted robbery?  Where and when is the festival mentioned above held?

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