Cervantes says:

Donquixote

“It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues:

— the knight’s sole responsibility is to
succour them as people in need,
having eyes only for their sufferings,
not for their misdeeds.”  

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Bethany St. John says:

11bsj“Happiness, Optimism, Charity and Compassion are all about choices —
— choices you make.

And after all is said and done,
it’s your choices that determine
who you really end up being.

So, try not to be an asshole. ” 

Odd Fellers and Fraternal Orders

masonicIn the 20th Century,
Fraternal Organizations
used to be all the rage —

At one time,
during the 1940’s,

over half the males
above the age of 21
-belonged-
– or aspired to belong to –

one of the many fraternal organizations in the United States.

There were several types of these groups–

for instance,
some were just lodges built ‘for fun’,

while others were:brotherelks
religious,
military,
ethical,
occupational,
or charitable in character.

A few were founded to sell their members life insurance.

Unfortunately,oddfellow
most fraternal groups have now been labeled
politically incorrect,
or worse,
as so-called “Secret Societies”.

Malarkey.

The only thing mysterious about these groups
are things that only members would care anything about.

And if they were really ‘secret societies’ ,
nobody would ever admit to being a member.

Never mind have an emblem on their car.

Heck,
I’m not ashamed to tell you
I belong to such an organization, myself.oddfeloow

They can do a lot of good inside a community,
and promote brotherly love and friendship.

Which is NEVER a bad thing.

Still,
some people get all hinked-out about ‘secret’ rituals and stuff.

While others mock it as just silly stuff.

But,
initiations are part of what builds a sense of belonging.

And usually,
there’s an important ethical concept
that is being reinforced by the group’s ceremonies and rituals—goat

— this mode of teaching has been used for thousands of years.

It’s got nothing at all to do with goats, man.

Not only is the initiation model effective,
but a shared belief system makes a group more cohesive.

Some say these groups are outdated,
and perhaps a few of them are,

But, many others still are doing work
that serves an important societal function —

Let’s face it —

You either stand for something,
or you fall for anything.
orderofowls
And, today,
we need to spread all the faith, hope, love, and charity we can,
however we can.

Still others comment on how insular these clubs might seem to folks outside the group.

Hey….
somebody gotta pay dues to support all the good work.makeher

Or kick about how much influence
certain of these groups have with their members ..

Well, duuuuh.

So many folks have so many misconceptions .

Awww….
…. phoooey.

Fraternal organizations are no different
than any other batch of people —

People are more likely to trust people they KNOW
and have shared experiences with.

Not really surprising, right?shrine

And using ones membership for mercenary motives
is contrary to any good fraternal orders’ basic principles and rules.

Does it happen?
Sure.

But the good we accomplish far outweighs the potential of that negative aspect.

Let’s see now….

There were/are so many organizations to choose from,
with a variety of mission statements:

There were:

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons,elks
(“Making Good Men Better “)

The Odd Fellows,
(“Friendship, Love and Truth “ )

Benevolent Protective Order of Eagles (BPOE),
(“People Helping People.”)

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR),
(“Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty” )

Fraternal Order of Elks (BPOE),
(“ Service and Fraternity” )

Knights of Pythias,
(“Visit the sick, relieve the distressed,
bury the dead and educate the orphan.”)moose

Fraternal Order of Moose,
(“One for all, all for one “)

Polish Falcons,
(“A Sound Mind in a Sound Body”)

Woodmen of the World,
(“Fly The Flag”)

Ancient Order of Hibernians,
(“Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity“)oddf

Kiwanis,
(“Serving the Children of the World”)

Lions Club,
(“Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nations’ Safety”)

The Improved Order of Red Men,
(“Freedom, Friendship, Charity“)

Rotary Club,
(“Service Above Self” )

Optimists,
“Friend of Youth“),

American Legion
(“For God and Country” ),  unitedworkmen

Knights of Columbus
(“In service to one, in service to all”),

Order of Owls
(“Through silent, he speaks“),

Ancient Order of United Workmen
(“Charity, Hope and Protection“)

not to mention a good many unusual
and more-or-less forgotten ones like:

Knights of the Maccabees,

Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles, hoohoo

Knights of Tabor,

Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm,

Even the International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo.

Man,
I couldn’t make THAT name up.

( I guess this picture kinda lets the cat out of the bag
about their initiation rituals, at least  ….  )woodmen

I love finding postcards about these groups….

As obscure as the meaning is on some of them.

Sometimes you can’t tell
if it’s making fun of the group,
or being used by it’s members.pythias

Sometimes it was both.

After all ,
something like this–

— ” Shall I Jump ” —
( a reference to a Knights of Pythias ritual)

only has whatever meaning
is given to it by the sender and the viewer.

Which of course,
is a good way of explaining the rituals
used by many of the groups as well.

And dammit —

——— there’s still no goats, man.

square