Change begins with you


Recently I was present at a training event where a very senior Rotary leader asked the members of the audience a seemingly simple, yet powerful question. He asked them if they would join the same club that they are in today, should they be prospective Rotarians now.

This question set me thinking as it did many among the participants. How often do we see something in another club that we wish was also done in our clubs. The nature of fellowship, a project that kindles passion, a fun activity, membership referral system…. However many of us do nothing beyond lamenting. Mahatma Gandhi has famously said, “Be the change you want to be!” This could well apply to us, Rotarians, as well.

There would always be some members who might have similar concerns, but in the absence of any visible change, may choose to be indifferent which leads to disenchantment and finally leaving the organisation. If we care for our club and our organisation, the least we can do is to be a champion of change in our own clubs. Let us begin with making a list of things that we would want to see in our clubs, but aren’t there presently. If each one of us does this exercise, we may have a large pool of ideas to sift through and with the collective wisdom of our members, we may be able to zero in on a set of changes that are most suitable and relevant for our clubs.

This also has the added advantage of greater buy-in from our stakeholders, thereby leading to ease in implementation. I urge each one of you to set the ball rolling. By the time this Rotary year ends, we should all be members of a club that satisfies our vision of a dynamic club that combines the best of all that is possible. As is often said, spectators make noise, players deliver! Let us stop being spectators and become active players in our clubs.

A S Venkatesh
RI Director, 2021–23

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