I was tossing up whether to subtitle this one ” Or How I Learned To Find The Worm In The Apple ” but I’ve promised myself to adopt a happier mien in the future. And worms are generally useful protein – look at how cheerful robins are.
Every club I’ve ever belonged to had good times and bad times. With luck, many more of the former than the latter. Social outings, camps, friendships, achievements…all to the good. Activities that could not be undertaken alone – theatrical performances, sporting contests, trips and adventures – all very much to the good.
The bad? Well, personalities that clashed. Occasional financial hurt. Anxious moments of varying intensity. But there was never any official discouragement from the societies themselves – and indeed all of them were conducted on a club level with an eye to harmony. It was just the human element.
Every club needs members to put in something. It might be money, attendance, teaching, physical work, administration, or enthusiasm. Some can do all of these – frequently all at the same time – and should be rewarded with authority, responsibility, and the gratitude of the general membership. Those who can put in less should still do so but recognise that their share of the success of the venture is proportionately smaller. They should also quietly acknowledge to themselves that they occupy a smaller place in the minds of others.
As far as demanding things from a club…well demanding anything is a precarious business. ” Demand and be damned. ” is a pretty hard statement to get over – whether it comes from a club official or other members. You can’t have it your way all the time.
Gifts, on the other hand, are a wonderful thing. They come unbidden and unexpected, and certainly endear the organisation to the recipient. I’ve been in that position myself several times and am grateful for the regard of my friends. My studio is air-conditioned upon club kindness and I will ever acknowledge that.