There are times that I, as a Rotarian, and on account of being particularly inspired, manage to stand so proudly that I am capable of achieving a height surpassing any record ever taken by a certified physician. This is not to say that I cower at the thought of the doctor’s office, or that I am insinuating that non-physicians are incapable of taking an appropriate height, nor would I be so boorish as to call into question the professionalism of un-certified physicians. There are simply Rotary moments in which I beam with pride, and which I am not ashamed to say, are often subsequently followed by effusive sentimentality. I’ve noticed that these moments have greatest tendency to occur while addressing the new generations, with the effect achieving its climax during my reflections shortly thereafter, and the ‘beaming’ staying with me for some to come.

Regressing back to what underlies and drives Rotary, we find conscience and zeal. ‘Rotary’ is merely an avatar for the collective commitment to conscience of Rotarians and the zeal with which we flourish our ethos. Our commitment is a commitment to Service Above Self. And each time I have the chance to meet with the new generations, and look out across them, I know that I am peering into the eyes of young people with whom we share the same commitment and zeal. I am looking into the future of Rotary. But while our starting point is the same, and I can hear echoes of myself in them at that age, I also know that my time in Rotary has changed me as a person.

No one can deny that Rotary is a meeting ground for professionals, not to mention a premiere outlet for fellowship and social interaction, but, behind the banners and bands, posh dinners, lights, and performances, Rotary is a service-driven club that seeks to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. Across the globe Rotarians are digging wells and providing clean water, planting trees and improving the environment, and distributing vaccines and eradicating polio. But through service and club activities we learn, embrace, and incorporate Rotary ideals into our own personal ethos. So, Rotary isn’t just about making the world a better place; Rotary is also about making us better people. It’s a bidirectional dynamic. Paul Harris recognized this early on saying that, “It is man’s job to be a good Rotarian, and he who lives up to the precepts will be a good neighbor, a kind friend, a loving husband, a companionable father, and an asset to the community in which he lives.”

While many of us of the old guard have earned our salt and know first-hand how Rotary has made us better neighbors, friends, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and members of our communities, we have to remember that not everyone on the Rotary mission is a Rotarian. In fact, I’m more than happy to report that we’re hopelessly outnumbered!

Here in District 3450, our Rotaractors outnumber our Rotarians by four-fold. If we include the Adopt-a-School and Interactors, we have over 10,000 young not-yet-Rotarians engaged in Rotary. While committed to the cause and equipped with bright eyes brimming with zeal, these new generations haven’t yet had the chance to fully reap the edificatory benefits of Rotary service or club activities.

So, in this month, I hope that we can reflect on the new generations, and think about how we can help them to develop into better people the Rotary way.

地區總監九月文告 (摘譯)