Thursday, 29 September 2011

Being a 'joiner'

I am not by nature a ‘joiner’. In other words I am not someone who joins groups or organisations unless I can see that the organisation is going to benefit from my being a member and that I am going to benefit from being a member.

For example, I am a member of the Friends of the Imperial War Museum and of the Friends of the Royal Artillery Museum. They benefit from my annual subscription – which they use to enhance the work of the respective museums – and I benefit from free admission. Likewise I am a member of the National Trust and English Heritage. Within the hobby of wargaming I have been a member of Wargame Developments since its foundation and have benefited by gaining a wide group of friends within the hobby and WD has benefited – I hope – by me acting as Treasurer, Membership Secretary, and joint Conference Organiser.

I am also a member of an international fraternal organisation, and yesterday I attended the annual gathering of the provincial area that contains the group I belong to. I spent several hours, in what I understand is the largest and best preserved Art Deco building in London (and probably the UK), listening to various items of interest and seeing members of the organisation being rewarded for the work they have done. After the meeting I went with several members of the group to which I belong to a pub for a much-needed drink (yesterday was the hottest day in London for some months), followed by a very convivial meal in a restaurant.

On reflection I realise that this is the one organisation from which I think I get more benefit from being a member than it benefits from my membership … and I am sure that this is a view shared by many other members. It is true that I give money to help run the organisation, but a large part of what I give over and above my membership fee goes to various charities. In return I get the friendship and mutual support of a group of people who come from a wide range of different backgrounds and experiences. The organisation also strongly encourages me to continue to improve myself as a moral and social being, and to think more about what I can put into society than what I can get out of it. Membership and attendance at meetings also gives me a sense of spiritual uplift that I find is generally missing from day-to-day life in modern society.

It seems to me that I am getting the best of the deal, don’t you?

Oh, and the name of the organisation? Well it could be said that that is a secret ...

4 comments:

  1. Would that be the same organization Daniel Dravot was a member of?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fitz-Badger,

    I am ... as was Peachy Carnahan, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Winston Churchill, Edward VII ... and many, many others.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  3. Xaltotun of Python (Rob),

    It is ... and I shall be there again on Monday for another meeting.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete