The Life-Saving Station

     On a dangerous sea coast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude little lifesaving station. The building was just a hut and there was only one boat but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of the work. New boats were bought and new crews trained. The little life-saving station grew.

     Some members of the life-saving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge for those saved from the sea. They replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it exquisitely, because they used it as a sort of club. In time, they lost interest in going out to sea on life-saving missions, so they hired life-boat crews to do this work.

     About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet people. They were dirty and sick and their clothes were quite ragged. The club was in chaos. The property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside.

     At the next meeting there was a split of the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club's life-saving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. Others insisted upon life-saving as their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. But they finally were voted down and told that if they wanted to discard the progress that had been achieved and go back to helping anyone who got shipwrecked, they could start their own life-saving station down the coast -- which they did.

     In time, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. It evolved into a club, and yet another life-saving station was founded. History continued to repeat itself, and if you visit that sea coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown!                                                Author Unknown

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