The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2009

North Carolina Mason

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The Mason NORTH CAROLINA Official Publication of e Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Volume 134 Number 4 Oxford, North Carolina July/August 2009 see BOTTOM LINE, page 2 see MEETING, page 4 see PIG JIG, page 4 The BoTTom Line By Dan C. Rice Grand Master Embracing Change When elected grand master last Sep- tember, I told the delegates at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge that I would be honored to serve as grand master. I also told them that I would give the office of grand mas- ter all the honor and respect that it deserved and that I would not forget from whence I came. Most of you know by now that I came from Oxford Orphanage, where the Masons paid for my upkeep for almost ten years. It was my childhood home, and it will always be from whence I came. When I arrived at the Orphanage in 1959, it was as if time had stood still for almost 50 years. e outside world had very little impact on the orphans at Oxford in the 1950s, and it was as if nothing ever changed. When I arrived at Oxford, many of the staff had been there a long time. Several of the key people that controlled what went on, had started in the 1920s and had been mentored by the orig- inal employees that had been there from the 1870s or 1880s. Many of these cornerstone employees, from the second wave, had lived through the great depression and had learned from those who they had slowly replaced at Oxford. ey were very careful and conservative in the way they lived their lives. Even to- day, I tell people that I am really a depression era baby because of the methods, emotions, and thinking those great teachers passed down to me at the Orphanage. Part of that old time training is to have an aversion to change and to always want to mentally resist any and all changes. Personally, I have always disliked change as it always shakes things up, and you never know exactly how it will turn out. Forest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get." Sometimes, I believe I would rather stay on a sinking ship rather than take the risk of getting in the life boat because that requires a change. My mind will tell me things like the boat will not actually sink and that everything will be okay. e life boat is smaller and will be crowded, and we will all just drown, so I think I will stay in the sinking boat and maybe, just maybe it will not sink. Change is defined as "To cause to be different." Change re- quires that we let loose of the sure thing and go after something that could be much better. But, that carries risk. Risk is defined as the possibility of suffering harm. Usually, we are scared of change because of the actual fear of what might happen when the change occurs. I remember the great fear associated with the change that would occur when 12-31-1999 ended and the year 2000 started. Y2K was feared by every government entity, and they were all sure that our computer gadgets were going to go haywire, and the world would not be able to function. ey predicted chaos would occur, and the fear forced most of us to update our computers so we did not have to fear the Y2K bug. All the fear was unfounded as Janu- ary 1, 2000 was just another day in our lives. Maybe all the fear of Y2K was actually being fed to the public by the computer makers who could profit from our fear and could drive all of us to update our computers with the combination of risk, fear, and change. e secret to living with constant change is that you have to simply realize that you are not guiding the boat of life. ere was a day, a few years ago when I started worrying about a particular business issue and what type of negative impact it might have on our business, if it actually happened. I found myself on the anxiety train riding along wherever it took me. I mentally rode into areas with gigantic problems that would surely spell the demise of our company. It was as if a monster were driving me through hell in my mind. At every stop was a new crushing issue, and the train just got faster and the problems were larger, and I knew it had to be over for us. All of the king's horses and all the king's men could not stop the dominoes from falling over in my imagination. en I caught my breath and opened my eyes and knew that what I was doing was stupid. e negative thought process, caused by the catalyst of a small change in my business, had kicked in the risk factor thinking, and the danger signal had gone off in my mind. e next thing I knew, I was sweating profusely, scared to death, and my anxiety was running wild. en it occurred to me that I was absolutely not in charge of any of those events. My preacher says that 80% of what we worry about never happens and that we have no control whatsoever over at least 10% of what is left. Our lives are operating with someone else at the wheel whether we want to admit it or not. Our United States coins say "In God We Trust." Do we really trust Him, or do we let our own sense of helplessness make us sick and miserable? Many times, I am certainly guilty of the latter as I tend to want to try to control my own destiny. I have realized that I try to take credit for driving the train when things are good, but when things start to get scary or out of control and fear and hopelessness stares me in the face, I realize that God is really driving the train and has been doing it even when I thought I had my hands on the controls. Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." He was pushing us to constantly look for the truth not in what we believed based on our experience and perception but instead on closer and constant examination of things. He taught us to con- stantly search for the truth through careful examination of the facts. We all think we know everything by the time we are 15. At 25, we laugh about the foolishness of our teenage years with our new found sophistication. By 50, we realize just how little we know. When I was twenty, I thought I had the world twirling on a string. In my blissful ignorance, I believed the whole world rotated around me and my life and that I had a sense of control over things. At 50, I found that I was just trying to hang on for all I was worth and not get thrown off the world as it spins in orbit, knowing that I have absolutely no control over life. Coming September 25–26 By Ric Carter WINSTON-SALEM — Grand Master Dan C. Rice will preside as 2009 Annual Com- munication opens in Winston-Salem. e 222 nd annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina is scheduled for September 25–26. e meeting will be at the Twin City Quarter here, the same hotel we used last year. It will be the headquar- ters hotel, the site of all committee meetings, and Grand Lodge business sessions. e hotel is large enough to house all delegates to the com- munication. Participants at previous commu- nications held here enjoyed having everything on one site. It will be a great chance to enjoy a classic convention atmosphere, with everyone spending a couple of days in close proximity. Amendment rundown By Ric Carter Here we go with our annual recap of the year's proposed amendments to e Code. is is an ef- fort at placing the proposals in plain language and sharing some of the arguments commonly expressed on the amendments. e discussion is far from exhaustive, but intends to give you a better understanding of the changes offered and their possible repercussions. A lodge cannot and should not attempt to bind its delegates to a particular vote on a par- ticular question. Very often, the amendments are changed on the floor before voting. More often still, arguments not thought of in analysis or lodge debate arise at the meeting, bringing a different outlook to the proposal. Discuss the votes and suggest the thinking of the lodge. Your By Ric Carter RALEIGH — Who cooks the best Masonic barbecue in the Tar Heel State? e 2009 Masonic Carolina Pig Jig Barbecue Cookoff got a major upgrade in this its fourth year. Word of its previous successes apparently found its way to the North Carolina Depart- ment of Agriculture. e Department wanted a sponsoring organization for the a barbecue con- test at its Got to Be NC Festival, a mini-state fair of sorts spotlighting our state's agricultural products. Raleigh 500 answered the call with no small amount of trepidation. e change meant moving the Pig Jig from September to May 30. While there were new problems to face, in- cluding longer lines than anticipated and run- ning out of barbecue earlier than expected, everything points to this being a giant step for- ward for the Masonic event. e 2009 Pig Jig was visited by 1,750 barbecue fans. e contest was described in the ads from the Ag Depart- ment: "Do you prefer [your barbecue] cooked over gas, charcoal, or wood? Eastern or western style? You're the judge, as the winning cooking team will be determined by your votes." Twenty- one cooking teams put their reputations on the line, though most seemed to be there for the fun and fellowship. e chemistry, cooking, and cultural mix made this a truly unique event for North Carolina and for Masonry. Raleigh 500 envisions the Pig Jig as an event for both of North Carolina's grand lodges. Of this year's 21 Masonic teams, several were f rom Prince Hall groups. The $8,000 netted f rom the event was divided evenly between the Masonic Home for Children and Central Children's Home. is year's Carolina Pig Jig Grand Champion was the Prince Hall District 27 team made up of Brent Gerald, Nate Degraffinreaidt, and Mil- Contest moves to May AgFest Pig Jig gets promotion from Ag Department Lines were long to sample the Masonic pork wares of the 2009 Masonic Carolina Pig Jig Barbecue Cookoff. At right, David Wicker of Oak Grove 750 chops pork for his version of the state's best barbecue. Grand Lodge meeting set for Winston-Salem Ric Carter photos The Grand Pavilion will become the state's largest lodge room again this year. see AMENDMENTS, page 4 Ric Car ter photo

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