An article on the HowToCollectStamps.com website goes into the social aspects of stamp collecting which is often overlooked when talking about the benefits of the hobby.
The anonymous article points out, "Stamp collecting is a pleasure in which you participate, and an experience which you will share with other collectors wherever you meet. It is, in fact, an open sesame to companionship and lifetime friendship with people of importance almost everywhere in the world. Your own position in the scheme of life is of no consequence. A paper hanger, because of his great interest in his stamps, was recently elected president of a stamp society whose members were largely high-powered executives in the financial world. The stamps had given the paper hanger a common ground of interest with interesting people whom he could never have met by any other means. The relationship was, of course, a two-way affair. The executives likewise had met through their hobby a person whom they would never have had the pleasure of knowing except through their collecting activities. Strangely enough they had found each other to be sound and interesting fellows worth while knowing. "
It goes on to say, "This cutting across the lines of the 'social classes' is widespread throughout the world of stamp collecting. The doors of the most 'exclusive' stamp societies are wide open to everyone genuinely interested in collecting stamps. They are exclusive only in that to become a member one must possess the ordinary attributes of conducting oneself as a gentleman. I know of no stamp club in this country that bars membership to anyone of any race, creed, or color, nor do I believe that there are many philatelic societies anywhere in the world that make any such distinctions. This is not something widely publicized or boasted of. It is just a natural part of stamp collecting as a hobby that has always been so. In this respect stamp collecting is one of the great forces in the world that, in combination with other such universal activities, will eventually bring about peace and understanding among all the nations."
To read the entire article, click here