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Rotary develops character and brings out the best of the human spirit. It teaches people ethics, humanity, cultural awareness, people skills and the desire and ability to serve. Rotary creates a more positive environment for promoting world understanding and peace.
Rotary always benefits two people. The child who is sick, who is hungry, who is thirsty, who has no clothes, no shelter, no education, no future, no hope . . . that child is the beneficiary of Rotary’s outreach. That child is Rotary’s business.
But another benefit comes to the Rotarian, the one actually providing the service. The Rotarian grows and fulfils the real reason for his or her existence, which is to serve others. The Rotarian becomes an emotionally and spiritually healthier person, a better professional, a better parent, a better citizen, a better human being.
Yet there are millions of men and women around the world who are Rotarians at heart but who have never joined because of one simple reason – they haven’t been asked. We must ask them now!
One night I sat wondering why I was a Rotarian. I came up with 20 answers to the question Why join Rotary? They are:
- Friendship: In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs – the need for friends and fellowship.
- Business development: Rotary consists of a cross-section of every business community.
- Personal growth and development: Membership in Rotary continues one’s growth in human relations and personal development.
- Leadership development: Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education in leadership.
- Citizenship in the community: The average Rotary club consists of the most active citizens of any community.
- Continuing education: Each week at Rotary there is a program designed to keep people informed as to what is going on in the world.
- Fun: Rotary provides fellowship, social activities and fun in service.
- Public speaking skills: Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication.
- World citizenship: There are few places without a Rotary club, which means friends around the world. Assistance when travelling: Rotarians who travel can quickly find a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, etc., through Rotary’s network.
- Entertainment: Rotary offers conferences, conventions, assemblies and institutes that provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education and service. Development of social skills: Every week, members have an opportunity to develop their people skills through Rotary activities.
- Family programs: Rotary provides one of the world’s largest Youth Exchange programs, opportunities for spouses and activities to assist family members in the development of values.
- Vocational skills: Every Rotarian is expected to contribute to the development of his or her vocation.
- Development of ethics: Rotarians practise The 4-Way Test, which governs one’s ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and personal relationships.
- Cultural awareness: Virtually every country, culture, religion, race, creed, political persuasion, language, colour and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. Prestige: Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks include people who influence policy.
- Nice People: Rotarians, above all, are nice people. They are important people who believe in the adage that while it is nice to be important, it is more important to be nice.
- Absence of Official Creed: Rotary has no secret rituals. It is an open society of people who believe in helping others.
- Opportunity to Serve: Rotary’s business is mankind and its product is service. This is perhaps the best reason for becoming a Rotarian – the chance to do something for somebody else while experiencing self-fulfillment in the process.
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- The article above is credited to Richard D. King, Past President Rotary International (2001-2002)