Three personal essays exemplify what is good in our
Masonic youth groups and in Americaís young men and women today.
What Being A Rainbow Girl Has Meant To Me
What has being a Rainbow Girl meant to me? I joined Rainbow in July of 1989, and since then it has been an important part of my life. When I first heard the words ďRemember your Rainbow Promise,Ē I didnít realize that they would play such an important role in my future.
Love, Religion, Nature, Immortality, Fidelity, Patriotism, and Service were the seven lessons taught to me when I first joined Rainbow. In the beginning they seemed insignificant, but as time wore on and I was able to give the lectures, I began truly to understand their meaning.
When I joined, I was young and extremely shy. Rainbow has helped me overcome my shyness and gain confidence, not only in the assembly room, but in everything I do. I am able to give a presentation in the front of a group and not feel apprehensive because I was taught and had a chance to believe in myself.
Rainbow has taught me to do things as close to perfect as I possibly can. I was able to observe the older girls in my assembly and learn from them. I strived to be just as graceful as they were, whether it was presenting a lecture, walking, or even just sitting. I am able to apply the grace and poise I learned in everything I do.
I was also taught leadership. My first true leadership position was in Rainbow when I was installed as Worthy Advisor. When I accepted that office, I realized being a leader was not just dictating, but involved responsibility, work, dedication, serving and planning, all tied into one.
Being on the state level, I have realized that hard work does pay off. I am not only being recognized for my achievements in my own assembly, but I am being given the chance to meet new people and make new friends. I enjoy Rainbow because it is a place where I belong, and it is a place where every girl can feel a sense of belonging.
I am very grateful for the experience of being a Rainbow. It has given me a chance to apply all of the lessons I have learned to my daily life. When involved in another activity, I remind myself of what I have learned and find some way to apply it to the situation.
Rainbow has meant a lot to me. I have grown up with Rainbow
and its teachings. I have learned the seven lessons of the Rainbow, and
I have also gained the knowledge of so much more by just being a part of
this Masonic youth organization.
What Being A Jobís Daughter Has Meant To Me
Being a member of the International Order of Jobís Daughters (IOJD) has taught me how to be a leader and how to be more responsible. When I was Honored Queen, I learned how much responsibility comes with being in a role model position. Through Jobís Daughters, I have had a chance to meet and become friends with many girls I might not have met if I were not a member of IOJD.
When I first became a member, I looked up to my Honored Queen, Deborah Nutter, thinking that it would be so much fun to be in her position. Well, I finally got my chance. I was elected as Honored Queen in the fall of 1994 and took on the leadership role that I saw when I was a pilgrim. I learned that being a leader for a whole group of girls my age or younger was a lot of work. To be a leader means to understand what each girl is feeling and how I can help her if she needs it. In this leadership experience, I was taught by 30 girls that to be a good leader you have to be able to understand and help each person with each of his or her individual needs.
Through IOJD, I was taught how responsibility is really important. I was being counted on to be on time, plan activities, and make sure that Bethel No. 6 followed through on its commitments. We tried to start all of our meetings on time and to be punctual for our activities. I was in charge of helping plan bunch (group activity) days, suppers, Founders Week programs, and go-to-church Sundays. When we made arrangements to help at a local nursing home, I had to make sure that we had enough girls assigned and that they showed up to help play bingo. Each of these activities and commitments has helped me become a responsible person.
Making new friends has been one of the most fun parts in Jobís Daughters. Through my Bethel, I have met many girls that I would not have known because there is such a big age range between us and because we do not all attend the same school. Through Grand Bethel, I made friends who came from a different town than I did. Every one of these friends has been someone I have held very dear to my heart. When a girl in my Bethel moves, it makes me sad to know she will not be there at every meeting, but it also makes me happy because I know I will still have a friend even though she is in a different town. I enjoy each friend I have met, and I am glad I had the chance to meet each one.
This organization has meant so much to me since I first
became a member. I have received many personal rewards---learning great
leadership skills, understanding how to become a more responsible person,
and having the opportunity to meet new people in Jobís Daughters. I am
very glad that my grandfathers were Masons and that my sister brought me
into Jobís Daughters. I have stayed active in it all of these years. Jobís
Daughters has been a big part of my life and always will be.
What DeMolay Means To Me
When some think of DeMolay and what it means to them, they might say the fun theyíve had, the thought of belonging, meeting girls, friendships they have created and, for some, the ritual. But, for me, itís different. When I think of what DeMolay means to me, I think of when I was younger, when my oldest brother was a DeMolay in Indiana. I can remember going to his potluck dinners, award ceremonies, and other activities, and seeing him along with the rest of the members of his Chapter, all dressed in ties and dress slacks and coats. But what I really remember was the brotherhood. The comradeship of the members of his Chapter was so great that it inspired me to become a DeMolay when I reached the appropriate age.
Unfortunately, before I became 13, my brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. I have now been in DeMolay five years, and can gratefully say that I have found the brotherhood I had seen when he was a DeMolay.
Throughout the five years I have been a member of DeMolay, I have seen brotherhoodís work in the actions of Brethren all over Nebraska. Itís a wonderful thing to see a DeMolay that is well-known and popular in the state come to a newer member who is shy and somewhat confused, and talk to him and make him feel more comfortable. In this Order, there are no levels of importance. Every DeMolay is needed to make things happen, get new members, encourage activeness, and do what can be done to make DeMolay stand high in their respective communities and all of the world. Without the acts of brotherhood, even to those one might not know, the shy, uncomfortable, and confused might decide itís not fun and lose interest. Thankfully, this never happened to me. I was accepted from the time I joined, and Iíve made a countless number of friends.
While attending the DeMolay Leaders Training Conference this past summer, I saw brotherhood even more than any time in the past. I met DeMolays from all over the Midwest, and no matter who it was, where they were from or their race, we all had something in common---DeMolay. I found it astounding that I could just start talking to someone, and instantly we could have a discussion on something. It was truly brotherhood at its best.
DeMolay does mean more to me than brotherhood, much more, but this quality sticks out. If it were not for the fun, I would never have come back after the first meeting. If it were not for the challenge to succeed, Iíd have to ask ďWhy bother?Ē If it were not for the trust of friendship, it would be nothing. I often ask myself, ďIf I were not a member of DeMolay, where would I be?Ē DeMolay has helped so much with coming of age, not just for me, but for thousands of young men all over the world. With DeMolayís stress on the importance of clean and manly living, so many young men have become leaders and great members of society in the years of their manhood. But for me, it all started with brotherhood. Itís why I started, and a big reason I am active now.
In August of 1995, I was installed as Master Councilor of my Chapter. This was a great time for me. I learned many things about what a true leader is. I also found that my way was not always the best way of doing things, but maybe someone inside the Chapter had an idea we could use, and by putting it all together, we could accomplish our goal. It was a successful term for me, as I raised my responsibility level to a new height, as well as for my Chapter. We became more of a unit, rather than just a bunch of boys.
Another great thing about DeMolay is its stress on filial love. The first ritual part I memorized for DeMolay was First Preceptor, which deals with love of parents. This part has taught me a lesson I use everyday and think about all the time. The great sacrifices our parents have made for us, sacrifices we donít always think about, were brought to my knowledge. As Master Councilor, I became even closer with my parents. This is something that many high school students donít stop and think about. Iím glad that DeMolay has given me the opportunity.
DeMolay is an Order filled with many brothers. They will never fill the hole left in me when my own brother was killed, but they have helped tremendously. Thatís what DeMolay means to me.