Tonight, I find myself reflecting on lessons I’ve learned thus far on my life’s journey. Some of the most important were presented early in life: keep your promises, be polite, listen to others, and do my best. I owe my family a great debt for their patience, love, and helping me with these values solidified in obvious ways, and occasionally warranting a crucial conversation or two. In hindsight, I guess I wasn’t always a quick study.

While the great lessons of life are often taught with purpose and directness, some of the lessons might be a bit more veiled in subtlety. For example, when I think back to kindergarten, I think about some of the subtle lessons. I’ve never gauged their importance until now, but some of the more memorable are story time, snack/nap time, and show and tell; the last of which teaches some pretty interesting (but subtle) lessons.

The structure is simple:  demonstrate something that is dear to us, explain why it is important, and share it with others in the class. Unraveling that a bit, I would propose that these are fundamental lessons that prepare us to build relationships, and to become leaders among our peers.

Before someone can empathize with what we tell them, they must ‘see it’. We all understand that talk is cheap, and the proof is in the pudding. Telling others without showing them does not install integrity or earn trust. We are trusted by others when we demonstrate good works that we can be proud of and invite others to experience them with us. We might inspire others when we show and tell.

In 2020, we have experienced a historical and logistical curveball. In the upcoming months, we will find more time to reflect. We will produce content that leverages technology to inspire and transform the script from one of hopelessness to that of inspiration and organization. We will re-learn that Lodges are not found in one specific building.

It is the nature of Freemasons to find inspiration in challenges. Recent global events have presented barriers in normal collaboration. Modern-era distractions and misinformation leave the public as a whole in the dark as to the mission and beauty of Freemasonry. One of the biggest distractors keeping men from attending lodge is also the greatest tool available to us in this time of social distancing. What better opportunity is there to learn how to harness it for the future, and for the purposes of bringing light to our fellow men?

To that end, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota now proudly announces the Show and Tell Challenge. Each lodge will have an opportunity to submit a video for each of the following questions:

  • What is Freemasonry [in Minnesota]? (Sponsored by the Membership Committee)
  • What will your life and legacy say about Freemasonry? (Sponsored by Leadership Committee)
  • How will you help others find their way to the rewards of the Craft? (Sponsored by the Mentorship Committee)

The videos will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Submitted in .mov format (which is the native recording format of Zoom)
  • Minimum 1-minute length, and maximum 3-minute length for each question answered.
  • Submissions must be appropriate for viewing by the general public
  • Submissions will be uploaded to the MN Masonic Show and Tell Website (coming soon)

Each Lodge that submits a video will receive a commemorative certificate from the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. Additionally, Grand Lodge will review submissions looking for favorite answers to each question. Judged by the questions’ respective committee sponsors, winning submissions (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for each category) will receive a commemorative plaque from the Grand Lodge of MN.

More information is available on the Show and Tell Challenge website (http://bythecompass.org/Challenge). An example submission can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zCe3T1Gh48. Submissions will be accepted until midnight on 12/31/2020, and winners will be announced in early 2021.

This challenge is presented to you, and for you. It is an opportunity to connect with your Brothers, reflect on your good works – show them, discuss them, and share them. It is an opportunity to inspire others with our greatest treasures, and we thank you for all the hard work you do, and for being part of our great history and good works.

Fraternally,

Bradley Phelps
District Representative 28
Show & Tell Challenge Coordinator