Notes on the Solstice of Winter

Somewhere in Portugal the Grand Legal Lodge of Portugal meets for its traditional session of the Solstice of Winter. It is a unique occasion for the Masonic community to acknowledge those that will accompany the Grand Master in its tenure as chief of the Order. According with the tradition, the Grand Master is the head of a corps of High Officials that assist him in performing its duties and bringing the Order to new or re-emphasized aims and purposes. It is within its powers and competences to choose the best men for the job to assist him as leader of the Craft but at the end it’s the Grand Master responsibility how the duties are performed. 
Distant from Portugal but very close to the heart of the Order, the Brethren from Macau feel that we (regular freemasons) are in a peculiar crossroad as we are exposed to some temptations (or drifts). The first is by getting larger and more numerous imitating the most populous Masonic Obedience aiming to become a centre of power in Portuguese society, namely economic, financial or political. The second is turning to be a network to make business and money and exchange favors and cumplicities. The third is to be absent, by option, of the crucial problems of our society, themes such as poverty, lack of education, deficiency of competitiveness and professionalism. The abovementioned issues hold us towards backwardness, mediocraty, and dispensability.
Freemasonry needs to be more then a club of middle-age guys that spend sometime together on some odd perambulations, to occupy their time or divert themselves from the boredom of life. Freemasonry is obliged to be a field, a place where one may find answers (better answers) to the difficulties of modern life and the obsessive relativity of values, which as become a sort of urban doctrine. Societies and communities need values and need good examples to contrast with opportunism, careerism and unscrupulous ambition which are realities incurably dominant in our society. 
To make good men better men requires being attentive to their habits, to help people to improve them. It is not an easy task as humility is better preached then practiced. Masons are mostly exposed to the illnesses and vices of the profane society to take as granted the purpose of perfectness. Possibly, the way to reach this objective is to help lodges to act as carriages of a formation with their atomistic sense of communion and respect. We hear sometimes that lodges are to be a transmission belt of the desires of the Grand Master and are required no to have life of their own. If this is experimented litteraly– and we admit it only as a hypothesis– how can an Order, as a living being, perform its duties if the cellules are always expecting for the approval or the (positive) appreciation of the top leadership to act and progress? 
One would say that this is unfeasible in a complex society like the one we habit today. Any sort of organization needs hierarchy (sure) but also decentralization to be effective and accurate. If we may summarize the argument, the Order needs to act, at the same time, as a unified body and a pluralistic and diversified collection of oiled components. Like a car, a train or a human body.
Of course what is mention here may be out of importance. But if even for a short number of our members we take time to go through it we may assume that the Craft is creating conditions to go and work better.
We live in a time of cellular phones, of internet, of facebook, plaxo, linkdin and other societal communities. We don't need to travel miles and miles to join other groups or sense to be treated like a member of a family. Through these means of communication we feel more closed eachother, we share more, we unveil our intimicy, we look for people we haven't seen for ages. So distance is become a mere segment of time. Freemasonry needs to be akeen with all these transformations.