I always say to my wife that if I ever find a toothpaste with a Freemason's mark on it, I'd buy it and will never let any other toothpaste touch my mouth again. Why? It's because of this one word- Trust
My story begins this morning. Our eldest have just left the house for school and our baby is still asleep. I no longer have to worry about getting late to work anymore because I quit my day job just a couple of days ago. So I decided to check my morning emails.
"You should not make money out of being a Freemason. This is not allowed."
I usually get very excited each time I get an email from someone, especially if the email was sent through our website. But this one is different. The subject says "complaint", it wasn't signed and the email address that the complainant have provided is not a valid one (email@example.com). The message reads "You should not make money out of being a Freemason. This is not allowed."
I was taken aback. The comment did not make me angry but it did hurt me a lot. I wanted to be heard and explain how this business came to be but how? The writer of the email didn't leave a name not even a valid email address. The writer was very quick to judge and I wasn't afforded the benefit of the doubt; and for that I can honestly assume that the writer is most definitely NOT a Freemason and is probably just another jealous businessman.
To firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are reading this, I want you to consider the following:
- I believe in the quality of my creations. I wear them myself.
- Only a few members of my own Lodge knows that I am in this business.
- I don't go out visiting other Lodges to promote this business.
- I don't sell ties to Masons in our district
- I have donated neckties to members of our Lodge and to certain Lodges for charity purposes
- Quite a number of our previous customers have asked me to send them my promotional materials so they may help promote my business but I always decline- my typical excuse is either a problem with the printer or that I have forgotten to include the brochure, etc.
Now it goes back to the toothpaste. If you know that your neighbor makes and sells toothpaste, would you still prefer to buy your toothpaste from mega corporations who don't know you, who doesn't care about you, who uses cheap labor and cheap raw materials so they may increase their bottom line, whose CEO is so busy and detached that the chances of you talking to him directly is somewhere next to impossible... would you still prefer to use the toothpaste from a soul-less entity over the one that is produced by someone who has the potential to be your friend? That's something for you to think about.
John Paul Gomez
W. Bro. John Paul Gomez (aka Paul, JP, JPG) is an artist by trade and a full-time father-of-4. He currently serves as the W.M. for Doric Lodge No. 316 AF&AM in Ontario, Canada. He is a Senior DeMolay and an honorary member of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 F&AM in Buffalo, New York. He likes to cook and is a big fan of Muaythai.