The happiest people I know are the ones who have discovered the true meaning of happiness. Much of a person’s abilities have to do with his/her understanding their vocation, and success in their chosen field brings them more happiness. The real secret of happy and successful people lies in their applying ethics in daily life in everything they do. He profits most who serves best. People who follow the Four-way Test know the meaning of truth and its successful application in their lives. Look for opportunities, in your vocation, to serve others. Many of us plan to initiate a new life after retirement. Many people work hard for 30 or 40 years of their career but put little thought into what they will do when that work is done. Our call to work remains even if all of our financial needs are met in retirement. In fact, in retirement we will have more time than ever to serve others. We must take the initiative now to thoroughly plan how to avoid idleness, and remain active in the years following our retirement.
Some months ago, a Rotarian sent me a story about a 76-year-old librarian Palam Kalyanasundaram. No words can describe the beauty of this man’s kindness and generosity. Kalyanasundaram, who worked as a librarian for 30 years, is a gold medallist in Library Science and also holds a Masters in Literature and History. Apart from working as a librarian, he has also worked as a waiter in a hotel for two meals a day and a small salary.
Kalyanasundaram donated his entire monthly salary for the welfare of orphans till his retirement and continues to donate his monthly pension to the needy. He was motivated and inspired by his mother to help the poor and needy. He believed in the doctrine: Don’t bother about how you speak. Strive to make others speak well about you. Here comes the interesting part of his life. He was awarded by an American organisation a very large sum in recognition for his work to benefit orphans. But he donated the entire amount to charity. Kalyanasundaram donated everything he had and subsisted on earnings from doing odd jobs. I truly admire this gentleman for what he has done to help those in need. His immense kindness has created awareness among many people. We will take him as an example and serve through our vocations.
This American Association honoured Kalyanasundaram as the Man of the Millennium and presented him with a sum of ₹30 crore which he donated to charity. We learn from such role models. Let us, through Rotary, improve the lives of others.
Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 2018!
Director, Rotary International