RI Director’s Message – Vocational Service

Manoj_300Essence of Vocational service

Once I heard a speaker at a Rotary club meet saying that vocational service is ‘occasional’ service! Since then I have been thinking is this really the truth? We have shining examples of Medical Missions to Africa, PRIP Rajaji’s brainchild, which I believe is the truest Vocational Service. From 1999, Rotarians of Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Madagascar, Lesotho, Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Cambodia have seen him and others in these Medical Mission camps scrubbing the feet of patients, feeding them, carrying stretchers and wheel chairs and doing things rarely seen done by a past president of Rotary International! Does it not reflect how important Vocational Service is? You know the impact it has created? You have to see it to believe it.

The Concept of Vocational Service

The Object of Rotary is a philosophical statement of Rotary’s purpose and the responsibilities of Rotarians. The concept of vocational service is rooted in the Second Object, which calls on Rotarians to ‘encourage and foster’:

  • high ethical standards in business and professions
  • the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations
  • the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society.

As a Rotarian, how can you put these ideals into action? Consider these suggestions:

  • Talk about your vocation in your club, and take time to learn about fellow members’ vocations.
  • Use your professional skills to serve the community.
  • Practise your profession with integrity and inspire others to behave ethically through your own words and actions.
  • Help a young person achieve his or her career aspirations.
  • Guide and encourage others in their professional development.
  • If you do any of these things, you are performing vocational service. And if vocational service motivates and energises you, then you’re in the right place, because vocational service is the very essence of Rotary. It is what sets Rotary apart from other service organisations.

So many Chartered Accountants are going for 3-H Cadre to monitor, evaluate or audit all the major grants. Is not this a great example of Vocational Service? Rotarians from all classifications and sections of society can serve humanity. It is just a change in our mindset that is needed. Please give some of your time in the service of humanity and you will feel contentment you have never felt before.

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Manoj Desai 

Director, Rotary International

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