Buddy Was an Odd Fellow
The IOOF is non-political and non-sectarian organization founded in 1819 in Baltimore, Maryland evolving from organizations in England formed in the 1700s. It is a type of social organization of members, a brotherhood, whose purpose is to develop lifelong friendships and to “improve and elevate the character of mankind.” The aim of IOOF is to “provide a framework that promotes personal and social development.”
Membership is open to all regardless of sex, race, religion, political affiliation and social status – all bound by the desire to improve ourselves and the calling to live and promote the principles of Friendship, Love, and Truth which transcends labels. We believe that by developing close friendships among each other and by working together in our communities, we can make a difference in the world and among ourselves! Discussing political, sectarian or any other debate is forbidden in the Lodge, so it breaks down the social walls and labels used to view others and opens hearts and minds to start seeing people as Brothers and Sisters.
January, I shared a story about my grandpa (Buddy), Second Chances. After learning the truth about a community member, his friendship and love for the individual and the town he lived in embodied the ideals of this organization. He helped someone in a way that extended beyond himself and was for the betterment of the community. He displayed the character of friendship, faith, hope, and charity. I suspect that today Buddy’s efforts could categorized as a random act of kindness, an unexpected act of helpfulness; a way to be a better person, help others, and improve community.
The IOOF, to me, is about making the world a better place. It is about empowering society one person at a time AND that each of us can make a difference. We each need to find our purpose and accept the responsibility that we can contribute to making our life and our community a more joyful, happier, and safer place. Find a cause that is important to you and let your actions speak louder than your words. Lend a hand and be the change agent you are meant to be.
The purposes of the IOOF continues to be a guide to follow. IOOF “breaks down the social walls and labels used to view others and opens hearts and minds to start seeing people as Brothers and Sisters.”
Blooms to Blossoms
Wrapping Up & Looking Forward
I have Buddy’s Odd Fellows ring. The triple link symbol represents Friendship, Love, and Truth. The symbol of crossing axes represents that truth must persevere. The part of us that does not bear “good fruit” must be cut away.
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