I am not a Freemason but i have been asked more than once to don the apron and swear the oaths..
I have also been told that Freemasonry is not a secret society, It is a society with secrets.
Never-the-less, it was the thought of being admitted to a secret society that attracted me to the idea of joining the Freemasons. I have an unhealthy fascination with the unknown.
One thing I didn’t quite understand when visiting a Masonic Lodge during a recruitment meeting was the rule asking you not talk about work, politics or religion.
Now, arguments often accompany political and religious discussion, so i could understand why those topics may be frowned upon. But I thought this would be just the place for movers and shakers, the people in positions of power to ‘Get Things Done’.. Where deals were made and projects started. How can this happen if all you have is small talk?
Now I think I get it.
Perhaps In one way Freemasonry is one of the Wests first social networks. Albeit a little more exclusive than the ones we have today. The small talk like the kind we see in our online social media networks was and is vital to build trust.
I imagine the Lodge meetings to be formal in some ways. Packed with ceremony and learning and the bar/social time afterward, the place where I’ve been invited to sample the subsidised beer, is where you shoot the breeze and get a feel for those you are connecting with.
Some of us do the same online. Twitter is a good example of people getting involved in small talk before contacts and connections are formally cemented. It may be at a conference or a social media get together where things move on to the next level. A quiet corner is found and business is done.
Here is the five minute chat with A Knights Templar Priest that started me thinking about how we ultimately use small talk to feel around for those we feel we can trust. In business, in play, in life..
We all may appear to be ‘open and transparent’ but I’ll wager many of us keep the finer details of our business transactions behind closed doors.