To me, the most important title is the first one you receive, Brother. This small word reveals the analogy by which Masonry, esoteric or exoteric, operates and achieves magnanimity.
During my first meeting sitting in the East, I tried to stress no one is Worshipful Master. No one is a Warden. No one is any office whatsoever. Each of us are but temporary custodians of these Offices, and if, in our execution we come to closely emulate the principles of the Office, and our Brothers choose to call us this or that title, then we are lucky.
But I received further instruction into bling from a phone call today
Bro) How’s it going?
Me) Just a little stress. Brothers not talking to each other.
Bro) There is a lot of that going around.
Me) More than you know.
Bro) It has to do with bling.
Me) You are so right. Brothers without bling, refuse to talk to anyone they think might have bling; and when the bling comes off, the Brothers without it, sustain the illusion that the bling is on.
Bro) Well, I don’t know anything about that.
This call illustrates the point that Masons are Bling-Goggled, but what I had not previously understood is this works bidirectionally.
Without a doubt there are Masons who seek titles and bling, just to hold it it over everyone else.
This I expect. It comes with any territory, and while I do not condone it, it is human nature, and therefore it can be expected. That it is expected means, it is not without a measure of control.
However, I never expected the number of Brothers who make assuming bling equals corruption; and that all Officers, even a Steward, are evil, corrupt, agenda driven, and incapable of Brotherhood.
I see this a underhanded. A Brother is called to serve. Does so. And is hated for their service, by the very Brothers who called him to serve.
So the conclusion is this, I guess: Some Brothers choose to condemn others because of a perception of bling. Some Brothers seek bling, and condemn those who don’t have it.
By this logic, everyone is corrupt and condemned, so can we just admit that everyone has violated their Oaths, rebuild bridges, and get on with the business at hand? Are we capable of admitting that the source of our heartbreak is within our own shortcomings, and not those of someone else?