And in a couple of weeks, I'll recite my proficiency lecture at my Lodge to be confirmed as a Master Mason. Once I'm confirmed, the Grand Master is talking about nominating me to serve as Lodge Chaplain.
All of this got me thinking about the importance of grassroots organizations and civil society in building confidence and leadership skills. Both of these things are seemingly ritual, ceremonial roles, carrying no real decision-making responsibility. But I think a lot of leadership is in the ability to appear in front of others with dignity and grace, learning to say the right words at the right time, learning all the secret handshakes (figuratively or in some cases literally), and feeling comfortable in front of a group of people.