Reprinted from the May 1935 issue of Doc Savage Magazine


A LOT of people would like to do away with the word "can't." They claim that this word brings more grief to the world than anything else under the sun. Perhaps it does-and perhaps it doesn't. Like everything else, it has its good points, and the one outstanding point in favor of the word "can't" is that it proves, in so very many cases, to lead to the discovery of the word "can." And when it does that, it certainly does more for the world than anything under the sun!

How many people who think they can't do something decide to try, and then find out they can do it! Once they learn this, there is nothing in the world that can stop them. They keep going on and on, ahead and ahead, always knowing that when they meet "can't," they are bound to reach "can," if only they work hard enough to get there.

More than one of our readers has come to us with the story that, upon looking over the Code of Doc Savage, and realizing what it actually means in life, he feels he "can't" fully live up to it. It seems so idealistic that it cannot possibly be practical.

What is the answer to that?

Well, instead of signing the pledge and thus making yourself in your own conscience bound to abide by it, try to live according to the pledge without signing your intention to do so. Spend a week, or a month, in this period of trial. And the answer will always be that you've changed the old "can't" to a "can," and that you've found out the Code is not only idealistic, but extremely practical, extremely modern, and especially enjoyable to yourself and all your friends when you really do live up to it.

It does not take a superman to be good; it does not take a man of unusual calibre to be considerate. Those are qualities which are inherent in our own make-up, no matter who we are. It is merely the task of bringirlg them out which becomes important, and when some means of arousing them is at hand, they respond readily, and with no difficulty.

Now, we do not wish to encourage those who feel that they cannot accomplish things. On the other hand, there is nothing to force if more can be accomplished by reasoning. Thus we suggest to those who might be considering the value of the Doc Savage Club, and the possibility of living up to our Code, to try it for several weeks, without sending in their signed application. Recite the Code to yourself; know its principles. Then see if you cannot abide by it for a week, or two weeks. After checking up on yourself, use the coupon and send in your name, adding yourself to the thousands of others who have found this club to be the greatest need in their lives.

Every one who comes in contact with you will benefit-and as in all good things, your benefit will be the greatest, for there will be more friends for you, more kind words to you and about you. The knowledge that you are doing your best, at all times, will be its greatest reward.

Remember, there is no charge for membership in our club. There is nothing commercial about our venture, any more than there is about the work of Doc Savage himself, or chief and guiding light. Membership, together with your identification card and pledge for your own signature, is absolutely free. Not even return postage is asked. The badge, if you desire it, requires a small charge, but a charge not sufficient to pay its cost to us. The rubber stamp, for those who wish it, is offered on the same basis. But neither of these is essential to membership; only the coupon and your card, both free, are things you must have. And of course, most important of all, you must have the will to abide by the Code, in every way you can. No one is perfect. You may slip here and there, but so long as you do your best and stick to the fundamentals, no one can say anything against you!

Previous Essay   |  Next Available


Site by Chris Kalb || Doc Savage © Copyright Conde Nast Publications