Love the world around you


Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) is celebrated every year as a day of adoration and friendship. It is a day for communicating your appreciation to your friends and family. The day is celebrated in honour of St Valentine who taught the world to spread love.

Love should be like breathing. It should be a quality in you — wherever you are, with whomsoever you are, or even if you are alone, love should continue to overflow from you. It is not about being in love with someone — it is just about being in love. Love is not dependent on an object, but is a radiation of your subjectivity, a radiation of your soul. And the vaster the radiation, the greater is your soul. The wider you spread the wings of your love, the bigger is the sky of your being.

Our joint family culture has taught us to love and share. Our service/seva makes us share everything and get happiness. Our organisation’s motto, ‘Doing good in the world’ teaches us to love the world as one family — which we describe as: ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.

The goal is to promote peace and restore love and hope to help the world heal from destructive conflicts. Rotarians should offer love and hope to those affected by various challenges exacerbated by the Covid pandemic or due to natural disaster or war. People have lost their dear ones, many have found their societal networks uprooted, and young people, especially, have had their educational and developmental paths interrupted. As a result, more people around the world are facing mental health issues. And yet, seeking assistance is often perceived as a sign of weakness.

Medicine and meditation come from the same root. Love needs the medicine of meditation to be purified. And the more purified it is, the more ecstatic it becomes.

Love yourself and love the beautiful world around you.

Mahesh Kotbagi
RI Director, 2021–23

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