Let’s Talk Respect, or Initiatory Promises Translated
Why do we wear a coat and tie to our business meetings? We don’t dress so formally for fun night, or for rehearsals. Yes, it’s true, that dressing up seems to change us, and make us feel better about ourselves, and it makes us look good to outsiders, but I think we wear a coat and tie to our business meetings as a matter of respect toward DeMolay and the Ritual we perform.
Every one of you made promises when you were obligated into DeMolay, and you repeat them every time a new member is obligated. Do you remember any of them? I would be willing to bet that unless you have studied the obligation, you don’t remember any of the promises (you may have some vague recollection of the concepts…). I think there is a reason for this. It turns out that the Initiatory Degree Obligation, and the promises it contains were written a long time ago using words that are no longer in fashion. Let me give you an example. Here is a line from the Initiatory Degree Obligation: I promise that I will live a clean and moral life, keeping my body free from dissipation and my mind free from the uncleanness that defiles and debauches youth. Huh? Well, that is the way they wrote things back then.
So, let me translate the Initiatory Degree Obligation promises for you, into words that you may understand a little better:
You promised to try to be a good son and to do everything you can to let your parents know you love them, as much as they love you.
You promised to be a good person, and not get involved in stealing, using drugs or alcohol, or being a part of any gangs.
You promised that you would support God and your church and that you would treat others the same way you would like them to treat you.
You promised that if you had to fight for your country that you would do so gladly, and that the flag of our country is just as important and because of all of this, you wont break any laws.
You promised that if you ever found someone plotting against our country, you would let the police know about it, and that you believe your school and your schooling is very important to you.
You promised that you think that Jacques DeMolay (who kept his promises and paid for that by dying) is a good example of how to live, and that you would do the same for something you truly believed in.
You promised to treat all DeMolay’s as brothers, and that you will always be nice to them, help them whenever you can, and not speak badly about them to others.
And finally, you promised that you will NEVER treat any woman badly, or call them names, or let someone else hurt a woman if you could stop them from doing it.
And do you remember who you promised this all to? You promised it to God!
Every one of these promises deals with respect. Respect for your family, respect for your country, respect for God, respect for the promises you make, respect for your school, respect for your DeMolay brothers, respect for others in general, and respect (especially) for women.
So you can really sum up what it means to be a DeMolay in one word: Respect! Please remember that a DeMolay has essentially promised to ALWAYS be respectful, and let me give you a hint, if you can’t remember all the promises you made, it doesn’t matter as long as you always remember to be just one thing; respectful.
How respectful have you been today?
This blog post comes from Pennsylvania DeMolay and was created by Allentown Chapter Advisor, "Dad" Rich Shevalier. Thank you "Dad" Shevalier for your contribution to the PA DeMolay blog. A very important lesson that all should remember.
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