On this day – February 23 – 108 years ago, Paul Harris and three other men met for the first time in a small Chicago office.
Little did they know that from their association an international organization would grow to over 1.2 million members with 34,000 clubs in almost every country on the planet.
But that’s exactly what happen: Happy Birthday Rotary.
I love Rotary. I am proud of what Rotary stands for and what it does in this world and would like to share with you two reasons why.
We believe in our phrase: Service Above Self but we take it a step farther: there is an ethical component involved. This ethical component is summarized in the Four Way Test, of the things we Think, Say and Do.
First: Is It the TRUTH?
Second: Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Third: Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIEDSHIPS? And
Fourth: Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concern?
These four little questions are supposed to guide Rotarians in our everyday lives and in all of our business dealings. And you know what? We do! Rotarians take those four questions seriously and try to apply it regularly. I recommend you give it a try. Then next time you have an ethical decision to make or a hard one, remember the 4 Way Test. You will be pleasantly surprised how effective it is.
Another reason why I love Rotary is we are one of many. One member, in one small club is still part of the worldwide Rotary International. Every member is an active part in bringing hope and change to so many places in our globe. Here are six specific areas of focus for Rotary International.
- Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
- Disease prevention and treatment
- Water and sanitation
- Maternal and child health
- Basic education and literacy
- Economic and community development
Ok, one last reason why I love Rotary……Any money donated to The Rotary Foundation will NEVER be spent. That’s right, never. It grows in an endowment. Only the earnings are used. That means: Any donation will live on as long as Rotary is around. That’s pretty cool and, I will be hones, every time I think about it, it makes me gets me a little ‘Teary-Eye’. One of Rotary’s forefathers believed Rotary exists ‘for the purpose of doing good in the world”. Wonder how far my money – our money—will go for ‘Doing Good in the World”. Forever is a long time.
Happy Birthday, Rotary. May you live on, at least, another 108 years.