No 0    1988?   page 9

Three levels of involvement
Three ways of taking part

By Antonio Piccoli (actual[1] President)

There are several activities that an individual is not able to carry out alone, so there is a need to join together, to organise, to associate with other people, who have the same “common interests” such as reasons which have led us to create this instrument of association. It is implicit to think that those who associate, who pay for their membership, will have an interest in and feel obliged to participate in the association’s initiatives. Unfortunately this is not the situation, of 146 members, only about 30 (to be generous) can be considered to be active, that is they organise, go to meetings, write articles for the journal, involve themselves, and thus “they are the organisation”: without them the association would fold as it could not function.

Then there are more than 45 people, a large number, amongst the semi-active, from purgatory. They are those who live a long way from Rome or Torricella that make frequent use of the alibi that they live so far away, or those who, even though founder members of the association, are always ready to wriggle out of any involvement, hiding behind the excuse “I have so many things to do”. Then there are those who do not like the social origins of some of the members (this is noticeable even at the dinners) or those who fail to attend because they feel they’re not paid enough attention (they feel their importance is ignored). However, they do take part in the feste, they do read the journal, they would like to try to write for it and some day soon they will: their presence, for good or ill, gives a certain dimension to the association, it represents humus, fertile ground. A third group of about 70 people, the most consistent, seems instead just to be “on paper”. These are the members we never see, perhaps they only joined because egged on by an insistent friend, or else because they had believed they needed their membership cards to be able to attend the feste. They would never dream of writing an article or to go to meetings. They only remember the association when they receive a letter or a copy of the journal in the post. Or maybe they think that the 30 people of the first group are a branch of Valtour[2] that will organise their holidays and their meals, but then they’ll complain because it doesn’t turn out well.

It is sad, after only one year, to have to divide up the 146 people who had joined together for cultural undertakings into three levels of support, but I felt I impelled to denounce them. On August 10th there will be the summer General Meeting - let’s try to see that, in addition to the important part, election of the President and the Executive Committee, there will be a good discussion along these lines so that we can understand whether or not there is a real possibility for the functioning to improve and to discover which initiatives we need to make so that there will be greater involvement of members.

Translator's Notes:

[1] actual = refers to the year in which the article was written, about 1988
[2] Valtour – a group of travel agencies

  Translation courtesy of Dr. Marion Apley Porreca

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