Friday, October 24, 2014

Single-Member Clubs

Single-member clubs?  Now that sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn't it?  How can one person be a club?
However, according to the following article, written by Mary Wood-Allen in 1903, it is possible. [I had to copy it because I couldn't make a link this time.]

This is the day of organizations, so I have decided to organize a new society. There are Don't Worry Clubs and Sunshine Clubs and Self- Improvement Clubs and Success Clubs. I will organize Happiness Clubs, with one member in each. Yes, that idea suits me. The organization may never grow beyond the charter society; but there will be at least one Happiness Club, and I its first member. Let me see! An organization must have constitution, by-laws, fees, etc. So we will begin in due order.
1. This society shall be known as the Happiness Club of __.
2. Its purpose shall be to promote the true happiness of its member, of all members of affiliated societies, and also of all who may not be members of the organization. (I think that is broad enough.) 
3. Its officers shall be president, treasurer, and recording secretary. (There will be no need of a vice-president, for the president will never be off duty.) 
4. These offices shall be hereditary and for life. (Therefore there will be no bother in the election of officers.) 
5. The duties of these officers shall be as follows : The president shall preside over the thoughts, deeds, aspirations, and general conduct of the member.
The treasurer shall carefully guard the treasures of the society, — namely, the honor, purity, and health of the member, — and shall make due report of the same. The recording secretary shall keep a record of the doings of the society, and make reports to the president and the organization, when required. 
6. The executive committee shall consist of all the officers, and their duty shall be to devise methods for carrying out the plans of the society.
7. The society shall remain in continual session, having watchmen appointed for duty even during the hours of the night. 
8. Special meetings of the executive committee may be held at the call of any one member. 
9. The dues of the society shall be in tithes of good deeds according to the ability of the member.
10. Any person may become a member of this organization by forming himself into a Happiness Club, signing the constitution and by-laws, and paying the dues.
 11. Any Happiness Club may add to or otherwise change its constitution by unanimous vote of the executive committee. 
12. (I have concluded to have a grip and password.) The grip shall be the helpful hand extended to all members and to all who may not be members. 
13. (There should be a motto. How will this do?) Motto: "In everything give thanks." 
14. The badge of the Happiness Club shall be a Happy Heart, reflected in a sunny countenance. It must be worn constantly, on all occasions, by night as well as by day.
15. The colors of the club shall be a threefold cord of the warmth of love, the serenity of hope, and the brightness of purity. 
16. Any member who fails to live up to the requirements of his own society shall take a new hold, and try, try again. If the offence is fre quently repeated, a special meeting of the executive committee shall be called to take action on the case, the only restriction on their action being that no member shall ever be expelled from the society.(Once a member, always a mem ber. You see, I believe that one who has really joined a Happiness Club can never really lose the secret of membership. He may grow a little weary, and seem to lose his grip, but a little timely help will enable him to renew his effort with fresh courage. Hence the executive committee must never let go of him.) 
17. Any Happiness Club may affiliate with any other Happiness Club by notification of desire to the same and acceptance of the desire, and such affiliation shall consist in interchange of kindly words and office or by united effort in some kindly deed to assist someone else. 
18. A course of study into the secret of true happiness shall be instituted by each club, and followed conscientiously by the members. 
19. Any number of clubs may unite in the pursuance of this study, either by personal association or by correspondence. The study may be pursued either with or without books. The chief text-book recommended is the Bible.

Do I agree with this article?  I like the points the author makes, and I believe that her tongue was at least partly in her cheek when she wrote it.
I wonder what she would think of all the online clubs in existence these days which consist of just one member!