Reprinted from the November 1935 issue of Doc Savage Magazine
YOU can't bake a good pie if you use rotten apples; you can't do a good job of painting a house if the paint you use does not stick. These are two axioms which need no proof, for they have proven themselves again and again ever since man began to bake pies and paint houses. It means, in other words, that a group cannot be any better than its individuals; that the whole cannot be stronger than the sum of all its parts.
In the same way, when we consider a nation or a community, we judge it as a whole, but that judgment must be based upon the summation of each individual of the group. A complete story can be had only when every individual is studied, and the actions, interest and general conduct of the group will reflect the conduct of each individual.
Accepted as is this theory, it is never really considered when it should be. We judge a nation roughly. We wonder why this is done, or why that is done. We say to ourselves, "Strange that such intelligent people allow themselves to be hoodwinked in that manner," or some similar remark. We wonder why the country is led into situations which seem strangely out of line with the general impression we have of such a nation.
The answer is simple. The individuals of the country may be of the best type. Your personal experience with many of them may have been entirely pleasant. But you might have noticed, were you slightly observant, that they did not have the strong idealism, the strong interest, necessary to make their ideals felt as a nation. They were lacking in the quality of making their personal aims felt in the general purpose, and thereby lost half of the benefits of their nature.
There is a great deal more to thinking right, to believing right, than merely doing it. You must make it a point that others do not fail to get the contact; you must make others realize, not by your words, but by your actions, that there is something unusual about your thoughts and your ideals. You must live your ideals in such a way that every one coming in contact with you cannot help but benefit from them. Then you can be sure that your work as an individual will have an important bearing upon the activity of the group.
Most people would like to do the best thing possible at all times, but they lack the initiative, the zeal to do them. They must have some definite object to "shoot at," so to speak, before they can count upon success in any venture. When the object is one of an idealistic nature, they are at a loss as to what to do.
For such people--and for many of those who do not need such aid--the Doc Savage Club is the perfect organization. Every member of the Doc Savage club has his ideals set before him in every issue of this magazine. They appear in this department as the Code of Doc Savage; you can feel them in every page of the novel dealing with Doc Savage and his companions. You can see and feel these ideals as they are put into practice; you are constantly reminded of them. You cannot help but benefit from this persistent appeal to your better nature, and by having all this so constantly pointed out to you you will be more certain to abide by its ideals.
Of all the important things in life, none is more important than that you should live it as best you can, and every help to that effect is to be seized. Membership in the Doc Savage Club should be eagerly sought by all who want to make the best of things. True to our own ideals, there is nothing commercial about the club. Send in your name and address on the handy coupon; or drop us a note saying that you believe in our purposes, and a membership card will come to you promptly. The card has a reproduction of our Code for your constant guidance. There is no charge whatever for membership. We make it as ideal as we possibly can. For the bronze button and the rubber stamp we make a small charge, as these are extra accessories not at all necessary to membership. But in each of these, you get more than your money's worth.
This is our contribution toward making the world a better place. Members
of the Doc Savage Club are not absolutely perfect, we know. There are faults
in all of us, and always will be. But we feel that every member will be
a much better individual because of his membership with us, and we do all
in our power to make this world a better place in which to live. If all
of us would do that, would not everything be much better? So let's do our
share. Join to-day.