I have not long been in, having just spent an enjoyable evening in pleasant surroundings, along with congenial company, as the guest speaker (my subject was my work as a community activist) at my local Rotary club, this being one of the 34,282 such clubs with over 1.2 million members worldwide.
From my early days as a community worker, I became aware of the good Rotarians do and have valued their support in some of the community activities I have been involved in. I am not best qualified to discuss what Rotary clubs do but check here for the big picture and here concerning the activities of the particular club I visited.
While circumstances etc. have meant that this is not an activity I have felt inclined to be involved in on a regular basis, I have discovered that besides various charity / community related activities undertaken, these clubs tend to meet weekly and usually do so over a sit down meal, where enjoying good company is an important part of what goes on. Checking out from the web, Rotary’s primary motto is “Service Above Self“; its secondary motto is “One profits most who serves best”. I especially like its philosophy: The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular:
- The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service
- High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
- The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
- The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
While Rotary clubs are not my regular line of activity, and I suspect we live in an age where the sort of people that once were attracted to join such clubs do so less now compared with the past, these have an important part to play when it comes to serving our communities. As so often is the case Rotary have adapted to the times we live in. There is a more informal approach and it accepts members from the wider community irrespective of their business credentials, and it accepts women. The work individual clubs do raising money for charitable causes (home and abroad), and practically supporting local community activities, is considerable, and deserves mentioning as an important aspect of the bigger picture, when it comes to improving our communities and serving others.