In this day and age, most of us have encountered a zero tolerance policy in some form or another at work, school, church, or even the groups we belong to. None of us wants to be around someone exhibiting immoral or illegal behavior, or worse, influencing children with such behavior. Zero tolerance policies go a long way in ridding us of that type of behavior, or at least removing it quickly when discovered. But is the word tolerance becoming lost in this frenzy of policy? Are there no more positive connotations left for this once venerated word? Has today's society, with it's head buried in the sand of escapism and narcissism, completely forgotten that tolerance can be a good and necessary ideal. Where is tolerance taught these days? You won't find it on any of the public school curriculums. You won't find it on your way to the top of the company ladder either. You won't even find it in the oaths of boy scouts or girl scouts. We see the effects of the ignorance of this word in our lives every day. Political parties hammering away at each other; none of them taking the time to listen to the other side. Neighbors coming to blows because they are so caught up in themselves they don't even think of looking at the situation from the other guys position. The benefit of the doubt is almost unheard of. Lawsuits are becoming the first option more and more frequently in settling disputes. If allowed to grow unabated, the disease of intolertion will destroy our freedom and our way of life. It has happended before. It has already taken over some parts of the world. Toleration, is simply something we must have to function as a free and productive society. That is why it is one of the two lessons we are taught in the DeMolay Degree. By observing the trials of Jacques DeMolay and the abuses he endured from an all powerful and greedy king that never learned the lesson of toleration or practiced it, we are taught that evil usually springs from the absence of toleration. It is one of the precepts that can be difficult to adhere to at times. I myself am guilty of intolerance on more than one occasion and have paid the price for it. I have also benefited from having my eyes and mind opened when practicing tolerance. We just have to think before acting. After all, God only gave us one mouth, but two ears. We must endeavor to practice this ideal, and preserve the great lesson of tolerance that was first taught to me by a young group of DeMolays so long ago.
8/27/2022 12:04:56 am
This is awesome
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I am proud to be an 11th generation American, 5th generation Texan, 3rd generation freemason, and 1st generation DeMolay. Suffering from dyslexia as a kid, reading and writing were never naturals for me. I began to compensate early on by memorizing things. That experience not only improved my memory skills, but gave me a strong will and the ability to deal with hardships. Some might even say I was headstrong or very opinionated. My grandmother noticed it right away, tagging me with the moniker "testaduda",or hard head in Italian. The good memory skills came in handy when I became the youngest DeMolay in Galveston Chapter three weeks after my 13th birthday, and competed in 4th Section (a lengthy ritual part) at the Texas State Conclave a few months later. I was instantly hooked on DeMolay, and still love it today. Though not always active in DeMolay, the 7 Cardinal Virtues of a DeMolay have been a guiding force throughout my life. I became active again last summer when my son turned 12. We soon found out to our horror that DeMolay membership had dropped significantly since I became inactive. While not the only one to let the ball drop, I am embarrassed that I was away so long. With my love for the order renewed by an energetic son, I find myself excited about DeMolay, constantly thinking of things I can do to share this wonderful experience with our youth. Today's result is this blog, so there you have it!