Clubs that don’t accept you

There are many who live by the Groucho Marx quote – “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” The principle here is that you should always be “reaching” for something better.

This makes sense in some contexts but, like most popular quotes, is horrible advice in many contexts. The principle underlying the execution of the idea is constant comparison. “Is associating with them going to make me look better?” And, the issue with this is that we’re always trying to find the next thing. That, in turn, means we’ll never stop to appreciate what we have.

My counter point to the Groucho Marx quote would be – “Look around, become aware of all the clubs that have accepted you (when they didn’t really need to) and make your acceptance count.”

Life is better when we commit to what we have and stop comparing. Better clubs will open their door for us when we do things of value. I think it is just important to realize that them opening their doors doesn’t just make us better. At that point, it makes them better too.

And, more than ever, it is those who took a chance on you when you got started who deserve all the credit in the world.

clubs that don't accept youSource

0 thoughts on “Clubs that don’t accept you”

  1. Very well said! Too often we tend to obsess over the things we don’t have, rather than making the things we have count. In doing so, we lose many an opportunity to contribute, learn, build and grow. This is especially true of people who are in high achieving environments, and leads to a great deal of unhappiness, dissatisfaction and regret.

    Which is why it is incredibly important to take a moment to reflect on one’s accomplishments, be grateful for what one has, and give oneself some credit for how far one has come – irrespective of what everyone else is doing with their lives. Easier said that done, because of how we’re conditioned, but the happiness and peace of mind it leads to makes it well worth the effort to un-condition and re-circuit oneself.

  2. A friend of mine said “Have you ever compared two things and have them come out equal?” This is especially true when comparing oneself to others. And as Stuart Smalley said “I’m smart enough, I’m good enough, and gosh darn it people like me.”

  3. Umm… I never thought Groucho was serious when he said [almost] that, so the way you interpret it struck me as strange. I’ve always heard it as more a statement of self-disparagement than a desire to stay in better circles.

    That said, you have some interesting reflections here! It’s certainly good to think about what we bring to the table when we join.

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