L. G. Rannie, Nechako No. 86
Prince George, B.C.
In a recent copy of The Readers' Digest appeared an article headed: "Care a little — care a lot". There was a sub-title: "There is no such thing as a SMALL act of kindness."
This attracted my attention and I began to think that one of our principles — brother love — seems to say the same thing: "Care a little — care a lot."
Ours is a troubled world — a rapidly changing society. Yet there is one basic reality which does not change. We humans are caring creatures. From the day we are born to the day of our death, we must care and be cared for.
Let us turn our thoughts to the things that we, as Freemasons, show that we care. Before, however, we do so, let us remember the large sums of money donated are impersonal gestures and do not indicate caring in the true sense. These, of course, have their place, but money alone cannot release a person from the prison of loneliness. More important are small acts of kindness which are bandages for the heart.
We think of the visitations by some of our brethren to sick brethren and their dependents at home and in hospitals. What better way than this of saying we care.
I think of the Masonic Service Association in the United States of America which is so well organized that they have field- agents all over their country to visit shut-ins, sick Masons and some of their dependents, and concentrating at the same time on veterans of recent wars — some of whom are confined in institutions because of their war injuries.
I have read of Lodges whose members donate blood to the Blood Bank regularly.
I read recently of the widow of a Freemason who communicated with the Lodge to find out whether they could recommend someone to paint her house at a reasonable cost, the result being that they did find someone who could do just that, and at the same time, they donated the materials.
In a recent copy of the proceedings of Grand Lodge, it was reported that the Benevolent Fund had granted relief funds, bursaries, etc., amounting to nearly a million dollars.
There is a story told of an old man who had lost his wife and was living with his daughter. His daughter's idea was that he should rest, take it easy, and she even insisted that her son do not bother the old man. The old man because very despondent when he was told just to sit there in the sun and enjoy it. One day she came home to find him and his grandson making a garden. The boy ran to him excitedly and reported very proudly that Grand-dad and he were making a garden. It was a revelation to her that all her Dad wanted was to be needed — to be useful.
There are so many ways in which we can say that we care. It is easy to say something complimentary each day, to praise someone, to comment kindly on a brother's work as an officer, or as part of a degree team. It gives such a lift. BUT when one is ignored or taken for granted; it is a real let down — not that one seeks praise, but being noticed certainly encourages and uplifts. It shows that we care. When searching for ways that say "I care', never overlook the magic words "I need you".
So whatever little we can do to show that we care makes a difference. Find opportunities each day to make someone happier - be impulsive in doing nice and kind things for others. Show that we care, for whether we care a little or care a lot, there is no such things as a SMALL act of kindness.