I recently read an article that said all anyone needs is:
1) Work that supports you,
2) Pursuits that divert you,
3) Purpose that fulfills you, and
4) People who get you.
Okay, work that supports you is a must — we need an income stream to meet our basic needs for food and shelter. But the other three needs are all met by being a member of MSDC.
Mineral collecting is the pursuit that diverts us. I began mineral collecting as a 2nd grader and it has been a pleasant diversion all of my life. The various crystal forms, the colors, the diversity and beauty of minerals never ceases to amaze me. Some of you came to mineral collecting later in life, but aren't you glad you did? Is there a better way to spend time?
Mineral collecting provides purpose that fulfills you. There is so much to know and understand. There are books to read, courses to take, travels to be made locally and worldwide, all with the purpose of understanding more about the minerals and the geologic processes and formations that give rise to those minerals that fascinate us. The hobby provides a lifetime of things to learn and see.
Lastly, where besides MSDC are you going to find people who really get you? People who, like you, find minerals fascinating. I have friends who are not mineral collectors who cannot understand my interest in the hobby. They ask "What do you mean, you collect rocks? Why?" I try to make them understand and occasionally I will make a convert. But in MSDC, everybody gets me! You all are similarly afflicted with the mineral appreciation bug. Ain't it grand?
Come to think of it, I guess that even on of those basic needs: "Work that supports you" is part of being a mineral collector. We all need a source of income to buy the mineral specimens we can't collect on our own!