On any given weekday I receive around ten phone calls that are Shrine related and directed to me personally. The same is true of emails which number about the same per day. They can be a question about the temple, dues, a rule, and even the occasional complaint. I try to handle them all with the same demeanor regardless of the Noble’s disposition. I’ve always felt one of my responsibilities as Recorder, often being one of the first people a Noble reaches out to, is to listen and do my best to resolve the question or situation. Sometimes that can take one minute on the phone and sometimes it takes thirty. I’ve never begrudged the time I spend dealing with a Noble’s question or their demeanor on the phone. It all goes to why I took this job in the first place.
I became Recorder because I wanted to use what skills I had to make a difference in the future of the temple. That future can be as near as the phone calls and emails I will receive and respond to tomorrow or as far as where the Temple will find itself in 25 years. I always have to think in short and long term ways because that is what we need to do to succeed as an organization – solve immediate issues and always keep the long game in mind.
As an individual Noble do you think the same way about your fraternal commitments? Are you looking at the short term issues and also thinking about what the future holds? Both for you as an individual Shrine Mason and for the Craft at large? How do you value your commitment to one versus the other? Are they ever in conflict with one another? I’m thinking about these issues everyday as I address the needs of the Temple. I don’t have the luxury or the desire to focus on just one of them. In doing so I think I would be doing them both a disservice. I visit a club or unit or answer a phone call or email from a Noble because I care about them and I think what the Shrine needs more than anything right now are Shriners who care about each other and future of our organization. I start each day thinking that I have the opportunity to make a difference for Saladin. Some may criticize and some may encourage and I try to take them all in stride and remember that I became a Shriner and the Recorder because I wanted to make a difference and so do you.