Lessons and Charges
From the Odd Fellows Companion, 1867, page 78-83
Updated language and syntax. Edited.
- Odd Fellow…go forth as a leader in the cause of the oppressed. Under such a cause, you may attack– with power and effect– the high, thick walls of Prejudice which shuts us away from our fellow humans; you may protect them from the enemies which would enslave and crush them…
- The messenger of peace, goodwill, promise, and hope, has a destiny more valuable than many! (…) Odd Fellow! Do not become weary in your progress. Go forward forever in the cause of Friendship—carrying the olive branch of Peace to the oppressed. (Remember that in your capacity as an Odd Fellow your job is to relieve, educate, bury, and visit. Not to lead violent rebellions. However, if you aren’t working as an Odd Fellow, your situation could be different –Conductor)
- But while you should be harmless as the dove, you should also be wise as the serpent. Allow no one—even if they claim to be an Odd Fellow—to cheat or fool you by lying. All are not Odd Fellows who take the name. All are not co-laborers who claim to be so. A person that is selfish or greedy or uncharitable is not your friend. Reform them if you can, but do not tell them your secrets. Do your own work—but do not make them a partner in it.
Page 82, paragraph four;
(…) To develop a generous spirit of kindness is one of the best things a person can do for themselves.
Anyone that would prevent a person from being kind cannot have learned the lessons of Friendship or Love. Anyone who is bound up in the iron chains of bigotry or, who is shackled to the influence of selfish human beliefs or, whose head is filled with self-conceit—has a heart that is cold and uncaring, and will not bandage the wounds of a stranger, or give shelter to an outcast, unless they are forced to do it.