Beginning Tuesday August 9, 2022, all meetings will be held at 11807 N. 56th Street Temple Terrace, FL 33617.
Open Panel

"The Tragedy of the Commons" is a concept introduced by the economist and ecologist Garrett Hardin. The Tragedy of the Commons states that in a system where a common resource is shared, with no individual responsible for the well-being of the resource, it will tend to be depleted over time.

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle pointed out the problem with common resources:

'What is common to many is taken least care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than for what they possess in common with others.'

So, could it be that Masonry suffers because of this concept?

Consider these statements:
  • The common resource is Masonry
  • Increasingly no individual responsibility is taken for the well-being of the resource
  • The common resource, Masonry, is being depleted over time.
Maybe it's because some Brothers believe this:

"Masonry has survived for hundreds of years, and I am sure there are many Brothers who are looking out for the well-being of Masonry, so if I don't participate, it won't matter. I am very busy with my career and my family. Masonry will be there when I have time. I don't have the time now."

Or maybe you might hear:

"I don't go to lodge because it is boring; I wish someone would do something about it."

Or maybe just this:

"I supported Masonry with my time for many years. After that, it's somebody else's turn."

These statements reflect a disregard for the shared responsibility for the Fraternity we all have as Masons. If we all think in this manner, our valuable, shared resource diminishes over time.

Might I suggest we all think about these questions:

  • "What is it, even if it is something minimal, can I contribute to the Fraternity?"
  • "What small amount of time can I sacrifice to ensure the well-being and continuation of our common resource?"
  • "When can I begin?"

~ Written by Michael Clevenger (Masons Lead Better)