A club or society exists to pursue a specific activity. The opportunity to participate in a particular activity is the main thing that attracts people to a club or society.
A camera club offers its members information and know-how regarding the art of photography, a scout troop pursues outdoor activities and a computer club allows its members to learn the intricacies and marvels of the modern-age computer.
Each person is a unique being. As such as well have different likes and dislikes. Some people would prefer to go swimming than staring at a video display. Yet other prefer to read a book quietly than to kick a football. Thus we have dozens of clubs and societies in school as well as outside that cater for our very varied tastes and fancies.
Besides being able to do the things that interest us, a club also provides the opportunities for us to meet others, to socialize and to develop our own character. For example, a martial arts’ club teaches its particular form of self-defense. There, a member, learns the skills and techniques peculiar to the club. More importantly he learns to discipline himself. The martial arts is not just learning how to knock down the other guy. On the contrary, it teaches him to exercise self-control and respect for his opponents. Those who learn this, remain long with the club. Those who don’t — soon become disillusioned and leave.
So it is with other clubs. Some members will learn and grow with the club. They are the ones who will benefit. Some inevitably leave to pursue other activities in other clubs.
I must admit that our age plays a great part in our decision to join a club. When I was a young boy, being a club member seemed like the greatest thing on earth. Later on the interest grew and being a scout became the most important thing in my life. Now, at almost at the end of my school days, those feeling have more or less vanished. Cubs and scouts are just happy memories, never to be relived again. Now computers and astronomy seem infinitely more interesting. After that I cannot even imagine what will catch my fancy.
A club that can carry out its intended purpose is a club worth joining. However, many clubs become the victims of squabbles and infighting among its members. The struggle for power is indeed a common thing. It is also the cause of the break-ups and failures.
To be with a group of people sharing a common interesting activity is the most pleasant experience, so long as the group keeps doing so. It is unfortunate that often, some members of the group will make a grab for power. The will to dominate others rears its ugly head. The moment somebody makes the move, others will follow and soon a struggle for power consumes everyone and the original activity of the club is forgotten. When this happens, it is time for me to leave. I will not involve myself in the club politics. I joined the club to pursue an activity that I like, not to quarrel with other people.
So as age mellows my attitude, I find that I can pursue a lot of interesting things on my own. I don’t have to necessarily join a club to do them. I can play badminton in my friend’s court with a few other friends. I can take pictures without having to join a photographic club. I can go swimming in the sea instead of a club’s swimming pool. Granted that I will miss out on a lot of things a club has to offer but at least I will be spared the agony of strained relationships.
The wisest thing to do then would be to join a club only when it is necessary to do so. Otherwise, it would be far better to do things on your own or with a few friends.