The recently concluded Rotary Zone Institute, Dare to Dream, at Indore, India’s cleanest city, was attended by a very large number of past, present and incoming RI officers of Zones 4, 5, 6 and 7. Not only a galaxy of senior Rotary leaders led by RI President Mark Maloney and his gracious partner Gay were present, but it was also notable for recognising ordinary people with extraordinary achievements. As the convener of the Institute, I am thankful to all who attended and all who worked to make it an enriching and satisfying experience.

January is Rotary Vocational Month. Over the years, Rotarians have often struggled to succinctly define vocational service. We enjoy the camaraderie of club service; get satisfaction in serving our community and hope that our international service promotes world peace. Though vocational service often seems difficult to define, in reality there is nothing more simple than vocational service. If there is one thing that clearly and sharply differentiates Rotary from other service organisations, it is that our membership is based on our vocations. Through Rotary we have the opportunity to use our vocations to bring hope, dignity and better life to people everywhere. Now is the time to initiate a vocational project, sponsor youth for vocational training, organise a vocational tour or plan a career development project.

There is an intangible part of vocational service, the part dealing with our own daily lives, our own standards of behaviour, the part where we are answerable only to ourselves. Simply put, the part dealing with applying the precept of the 4-Way Test to our lives. Integrity and a sound value system are intrinsic to our life. Integrity in words and deeds is timeless and has to begin with ourselves.

Integrity and leadership are closely linked. Leadership involves trust and integrity inspires trust. Good leaders do what’s right and not something that just makes them more popular. Mahatma Gandhi had no guns or money but he had the power to move millions of people. He had their complete trust in his integrity and they walked behind him. I believe, in the final analysis: God won’t ask us how much money we earned; but He’ll ask if we compromised our character to earn it. God won’t ask about our victories and achievements; but He’ll ask about our integrity and character.

Lead the way with character and integrity as Rotary connects the World.

Enjoy Rotary, enjoy yourself.

Dr Bharat Pandya,
RI Director, 2019-21

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