My name is Joe Ellis, and I'm a member of the oldest fraternity that exists.
One that is particularly careful, with the members it enlists.
A fraternity so broad, which for most strengthens the appeal,
Everyone meets as equals, making it quite ideal.
Worldwide there are 6 million of us, and 330,000 alone in the UK,
And everyone has their own unique reason, why they follow the Freemason way.
There are members from all walks of life, there's no discrimination of age or race.
With three levels of Freemasonry, each promotion means different responsibilities to face.
An organisation that prides itself on transparency, in contrast to popular belief.
We meet in Lodges that stand for harmony and tranquility, offering light relief.
Our traditional rituals are designed, to increase confidence and self esteem,
But following these rituals can often be difficult, more so than it may seem.
Some join to make new friends or acquaintances, or to help a deserving cause;
Contributions to family and society, make others follow our rituals and laws.
For some it's a journey of self discovery, the opportunity to push yourself to your max; For others' it's an enjoyable hobby, providing a quiet haven to relax.
Learn new skills, build lasting friendships, achieve your potential and have fun;
A forum for discussion; an open environment for debates to run.
Integrity, honesty, fairness and kindness are the values by which we stand,
With a focus on family and charity in the community, always willing to lend a hand.
A sense of belonging and purpose, are what many most appreciate;
For others it's the mutual acceptance and respect, the sense of purpose that they rate.
So everyone has their reasons, as to why a Freemason they came to be,
But this is my story, and this is what it means to me.
After a 10 year period of on and off research, gathering information.
I sent my interest online, was accepted, and six months later attended my initiation.
I have risen up the ranks and am now honoured and proud to say,
That I'm soon to become Worshipful Master of my mother lodge, but have battled many personal obstacles along the way.
As I have Asperger Syndrome, ritual has not always been my friend,
However support from my brothers in my lodge, Sharpers Hall, has helped me no end.
Freemasonry has given me a sense of comradeship, helped me to help others in need.
I have become a better person, helping me in both my business and personal life to succeed.
Helping an elderly brother and his family, is particularly close to my heart.
Ensuring and that others lives are also enriched, that they receive a positive start.
While ritual has been my biggest obstacle, the support I have received in return has got me through,
And having a wife who's a teacher, has definitely helped and been an advantage too.
But it's not just about being a member, Freemasonry has become my direction, my way of life,
Via ethical and moral enrichment and helping those in the community who face strife.
I am honoured to be a member, it has made me a better man.
Proud to promote the values of the fraternity, in any way that I can.
The person I've become stems from the brotherhood, my work keeps a smile on my face.
By working together for the greater good, we aim to make the world a better place.
A most rewarding life commitment, filled with inspiration, generosity and advice.
There is far too much pain in the world so "Isn't It Nice . . . Being Nice