“Must” not “Should”

Dear Brothers,

I hope you are all doing well this summer season. It has been a great summer, weather wise so far. There are days with severe thunderstorms but, I that is normal on summer days where itchange ahead is really hot.

Our Worshipful Master sent me a text last night asking if I have something to contribute to our revived website because he said, ” so that it would be worth the time to read.” I told him, I will send him something. Hopefully this will contribute to making our website “worth the time to read”.

One of the things I like to do is listening, reading or watching self improvement materials. If you are like me, the name Anthony Robbins or Tony Robbins would be familiar to you because he is one of the more popular personalities in this genre.

Recently, I saw one of his you videos where he was talking about how to change one’s life. He was talking about how we change our lives not in a long process but in a moment. He was saying that if me want to change our lives for the better, we have to make a decision to “raise our standards.”

Raise our Standards

So when Worshipful Rodene called me last night, I thought this would be a good topic to develop for our website.

Raising our standard as a lodge would be the best thing we can do for Jose Rizal Lodge because if we don’t our lodge would not progress, we will be doing the same thing and pretty soon, the lodge will be stagnant and that in my opinion will be the key to our downward path.

So how do we do it as a lodge? Do we all agree to raise Jose Rizal Lodge No. 1172’s standard? Yes, we can probably do it that way, but what assurance do we have that everybody will be on board. And if everybody is not on board, then it will not work.

So here is an idea we can all adhere to that we do in our personal lives whether consciously or unconsciously. We all individually must make a decision to raise our personal standard a notch. And according to Anthony Robbins, we make it a “must” not a “should”. For according to him (Robbins), a should is like a New year’s resolution that we plan to do, would like to do but eventually after a few weeks will fail to do and then we are back to our old routine. Like the famous losing weight. A lot of people has that as their new year’s resolution and work on it for the month of January, but by middle of February or March, the resolution is no more. But if we make it a “must“, something clicks in our head and we work to make it happen. We do everything possible to meet the “must” we created for ourselves.


I remember not too long ago in our lodge when we had a degree that was not up to par. A number of brothers pointed out the fact that it was pretty much unacceptable. The incident somehow created a challenge to the lodge. The brothers in the lodge up their ante and the succeeding degrees were performed above par. Why? The personal reason may be said in different ways, but I think the bottom line was each brother who performed told himself, that I “MUST” perform better than the last time. Each one believed he was better than what he did the last time. I other words, he raised his “personal standard” in performing our ritual. And it showed. If only one decided to do that, we would have just singled out the person who decided to rise his standard. And that was it. But since, everyone made a personal decision to raise his own standard, the result was the degree performance of the lodge was above par effectively creating a new norm which will in turn be the “raised” standard.

So there we have it. in order to raise the Lodge Standard, we “must” take it upon ourselves to raise our personal standard in the things we do in the lodge and for the lodge. We must take it upon ourselves to do the extra mile or half a mile or whatever we can to do a little bit more than we used to do. If we all do this in our own selves, the lodge standard raises by itself.

raising standards

Here are some things we can challenge ourselves to do.

  • Memorize another part other than what we are assigned to or appointed to. If we are the appointed Jr. Deacon. memorize the Sr. Deacon too. If we are appointed to give the Apron Presentation, memorize the Working tools also. What will this do to the lodge? It will help the lodge when in an emergency we need someone to perform a role.
  • If we are constantly unable to arrive on time (of course your length of cabletow allowing), let us challenge ourselves to arrive earlier than we normally come until such time that we arrive on time. If everyone decides to come say 5 minutes earlier than when he usually arrives, then the lodge can begin 5 minutes earlier than it usually does. Done constantly, the time will come when the lodge will be able to open on time because the brothers arriving early will be able to influence the brothers arriving later to come a little bit earlier. Does this mean, no one will be arriving late? No. That will be unrealistic. But the number of constantly arriving late will soon decrease.
  • If we have not given as much in terms of time or otherwise, as far the lodge or the brothers are concerned, maybe next time, we can push ourselves to do it. Just giving a little bit more of ourselves than we usually do will have a big impact if we all think that way. Say for example, we only have been giving, is the monthly duration of lodge meeting time, then try to stay 5 minutes or 10 minutes of collation time, etc. By giving our time, the brothers also give their time, we have more brothers to learn from because I believe each one of us has something to share that we can learn from.

There are a lot more other things you will be able to think of as far as challenging ourselves into being better or giving more or pushing ourselves into performing at the next level if only we make a conscious decision to do so.

So I challenge all of us in our own personal and Masonic lives to raise our own personal Standard and by doing so, everything around us will be influenced by the act and collectively raise their standards consciously or unconsciously including our Lodge Standard.

Until next time.

Be well