For the past few months we’ve been discussing the nucleus of Rotary. We’ve deliberated over what it means to engage Rotary, reflected on how reciprocity courses through the veins of both the “Golden Rule” and the Four-Way Test, and meditated on our collective commitment to conscience and goodwill. The fruition of these musings and contemplation has served to buttress our own philosophy, and hopefully left us a bit more adept at flourishing it. But, the time has come in my tenure as DG to shift the direction of my expatiation from the sublime to the utilitarian.

To pursue “The greatest good for the greatest number”, which was the basis for the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham, we need to SERVE WISELY and put our resources to best use. As our best resource is our philosophy, we need to be cognizant of the efficiency with which we channel the Rotary spirit. Whether it is a fresh idea or ardor for an existing project, before its vision can come to realization it must first be channeled through our organizational structure. Paul Harris expounded on the need to maximize the efficacy of Rotary’s organizational flow more than once, and in a Letter to the Board of Directors of the International Association of Rotary Clubs described it thus:

“The man who insists upon all power and authority flowing through his two hands, limits the accomplishment of his concern to the size of his own hands. The house that has a half-inch water pipe connecting it with the great ten-inch city main, will get half-inch service, not ten-inch. So it is with the vast main of power and progress in Rotary – if it must pass to the members through a half-inch pipe, then we shall never have more of it than can flow through that diameter. It may be too much to expect to find a single pipe of Rotary’s true diameter, but perhaps we may find two or three, each to carry a part of the load, and so release a vastly larger service to our world.”

The clear message here is that we can’t let ourselves get caught micromanaging Rotary or spreading the Rotary spirit too thin. I’m sure we’ve all seen too many times how easily good ideas wind up lost, passion fizzles out, and zeal gets tangled up in the bureaucracy. It has been in the spirit of removing organizational bottlenecks that we have restructured the roles of the District officers this year. By involving more people in the process, we should be better able to ensure that the service the world sees is closer to the true undiluted source of the Rotary Spirit. While a good start, we have to bear in mind that structural change is largely superficial without an underlying cultural change. What we have to ask ourselves now is how we can go about changing our culture to promote a decentralization of power and include a larger team of officers and members at the district, area, and club levels.

 

我們在過去幾個月討論扶輪的核心價值。 我們探思參與扶輪的真締,探究在『黄金定律』和『四大考驗』的脈絡中的相互作用,探求我們的對良知和信譽的集體承諾。這些深思冥想的結果是拱托出我們的哲學理念,並希望能夠不斷繁衍。身為地區總監,我認為此時此刻應該開始把崇高的理想轉化為實踐。

我們追求實用功能大師Jeremy Bentham的核心理論﹕『數量值最大就是美』時,我們要靈巧地善用我們的資源。我們最好的資源就是我們的哲學,我們需要有效率地傳揚扶輪精神,不論是新的想法或實行多時的項目,在推行前一定要確保這些活動是在我們組織框架之內。保羅哈里斯不只一次地強調要將扶輪組織效率化,他在致函國際扶輪理事會時提到﹕

一個人堅持用自己雙手獨斷獨行,其成就也只就臂掌之間。一間屋子有半吋水喉管連接城市的十吋渠道,也只能是半吋的入水量。這就是扶輪的巨大能量,假如我們只能通過半吋管道傳遞信息給社員,我們不能祈望這個直徑的管道能做的更多。相反,我們應該多建立管道,集腋成裘,為世界提供更多更大的服務。

非常清晰的概念就是﹕扶輪不能太小,宣揚扶輪不能太輕。相信我們都看過不少非常好的想法最終失敗。今年,我們重組地區幹事的角色以避免工作出現瓶頸。我們有更多的人手提供服務,以確保扶輪精神在運行時不會失真。一個好的開始是,我們在架構作出大改變時不致做成文化的改變。我們目前要探討的是,我們應當如何去改變我們的文化來推動權力下放,不單是地區層面,也包括分域以至每個扶輪社。