Reprinted from the February 1935 issue of Doc Savage Magazine
THERE is a saying-and it is not entirely correct-that men must be molded in fire if they are to prove their worth. The adage claims that no one is of true-blue steel until he has been tested, been placed under the intense heat which shows what calibre is in him. Whoever begot that sentence did not know life in its entirely. He laid too close a parallel to man and material, not realizing that the one is an exact and measurable quality according to its physical appearance, while the other is a thing of human emotions, and cannot be judged by a measuring stick.
True, a man who has withstood the test can be certain of his ability. But it does not follow that one who has never had to face such a crucial period has not the quality. Bravery, consistency, loyalty, ability-all the attributes of man-can be built up, can be wrought into oneself by right living. They exist, even if they do not have the opportunity of proving themselves, and are shown by the past of a man.
And to build your character, to develop all your qualities to their highest extent, you must have a goal; you must have some guide according to which you can live, by which you can pattern your existence.
That is what hero worship consists of; that is what idealism really is. A man is your hero only if you want to be like him, and an ideal is an ideal only if you strive to attain it, or come as close to it as you possibly can.
In our case, we have the Code of Doc Savage as representative of the principles according to which our illustrious leader lives and wants to see others live. They are the principles which, if abided by, will develop character that will not flinch at any duty, and that will not hesitate to do any task which it is right to do. They are principles which will surely instill into any one who seriously adopts them all the qualities which will give him a sterling character, one that will stand the test any time, or, not being given a test, will retain the qualities anyway.
We hesitate to speak too highly of our Code, not because we do not believe its full possibilities, but because they will seem impossible to those not acquainted with our work. No man believes how high a mountain is if he has spent all his life on a plain. So it is with our Code. People are so accustomed to living in a world that is grossly materialistic. in which every one looks out for himself first, without any regard for his neighbor, that it becomes difficult to believe in an organization which does not seek its own benefit first. To most people, the Code seems like so much tommyrot.
However, if you doubt its work, look in the closing pages of this section, and see what our members think about it; see how it has helped them, and how effective it is wherever it is tried. That is the best proof we can offer, other than having you prove it yourself. If we had the space, we could print hundreds of letters as enthusiastic as those you see in this issue; and if we did not care to abide by the wishes of our members we could print more letters which reveal how the Code has changed the lives of many of our members entirely; how it has been the one thing which steered them away from the bottom road and put them on the path above!
We think a lot of the Code, and of the Doc Savage Club, and we have everything to support our opinion. We could go on for a long time giving you proof, but that is not the way our club has grown. We offer you another and better method of finding out what there is in the Doc Savage Club for you-that is in asking you to try it for yourself. There is no obligation, there is no expense. There is nothing you can lose, and a great deal that you can gain.
Here you find, in handy form, a couppon which will give you membership. Without any charge, merely with your signature to show that you are willing to abide by the Code, that you are willing to put to the test our theory, you will get your membership card for purposes of identification, and also to keep the Code ever before you. You will become one of the large family to whom this department is devoted; you will have the use of its columns for opinion and comment. There will never be an assessment, or a charge for dues or any such thing. Evervthing we have to offer is yours to take. It is your support that we want.
Remember only the coupon. You needn't get the insignia. That is only
an accessory for the convenience of our members. Just send in your name
and say you're willing to try Doc Savage's method of living in your own
way, and you'll never regret it!