It is without question that, collectively, we are facing very difficult times. The increasing hardship that we face has bred an increasing insularity that has made for a poorer social experience and evolution in recent times. In an era beset with new strategies for the public to interact, we have seemingly lost the ability to make these interactions positive and meaningful. We need a renewed perspective on the concept of service. Service clubs could be the solution in this regard. With its capacity to provide leadership development, networking opportunities and a perspective beyond self while at the same time providing entertainment and enduring friendships, service clubs seem to be that missing dimension in a strategy for social change.
We have seen many examples in recent times where lack of leadership has led to failure and continued regression in our wider society. Unfortunately, the formal educational system does not effectively allow for us to cultivate the leadership soft skills required to combat this. Many of us flounder when placed in situations that require us to take charge and deliver. The reason for this is that many of the skills that are required to enable success are either missing or underdeveloped. With an ever-increasing project portfolio, many service clubs provide a variety of projects that allow for individuals to challenge and develop themselves in various leadership capacities. In addition, they are surrounded by enough professional expertise to provide a pseudo-formal development framework in which to evolve best-practice strategies.
That self-same professional contact that aids in personal development also aids and abets yet another necessity in today’s society: the need for a robust business/professional network. There is no better way of meeting and making those contacts than in service clubs. It is somewhat surprising that at a time when many are beating the employment pavement, we do not see an equivalent uptick in registration at these service clubs.
We tend to be consumed with our personal needs and are assaulted each day with every sort of crisis that you could imagine. Rarely can we find or take the time to channel something other than negativity. Many of these service clubs provide a welcome respite for its members from that constant attack. There is nothing more fulfilling than the good time spent with friends whilst engaged in a good cause.
Building enduring friendships
Aristotle once said, “Without friends no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.” Many of those contacts formed inside service clubs end up being enduring friendships that sometimes last lifetimes. This is the sort of interaction that reaps unquantifiable benefits all stemming from the camaraderie. Much can be said about building contact networks, but no network is more productive and positive than one built on the tenets of real friendship.
It’s difficult to collectively grow without altruism
A truism that seems to miss those absorbed in their self-centered cocoon is that a focus on the greater good makes for a better overall growth pattern. Many of us are incapable of seeing the big picture because we are immersed in our immediate crisis. A goal that sits beyond self, beyond our immediate situation, gives us a better understanding and appreciation of the big picture. Many of these clubs reinforce the need to be our brother’s keeper, a focal point in the discussions on the greater good.
At the end of the day, in a society that is overly reliant on governance structures to move us towards a better existence, we might find that taking the initiative in moving the society forward might actually bear comparatively better fruit. Not only action, but action as a focused collective may be the best way to improve our circumstance. Go out and join a service club today!