Sharing our Rotary stories from the heart

Being asked to Imagine Rotary can seem like a big, heady exercise, but the most important element of it is something quite small, even personal.

Not too long ago, Rotary members were expected to perform our acts of service quietly. I understood and appreciated the thought behind that — humility is a wonderful trait, and we should continue to nurture it in other ways.

6

But keeping Rotary to ourselves has a cost. And by sharing our Rotary moments, we are being generous with others and giving them an opportunity to understand the impact of Rotary.

It brings to mind that wonderful aphorism that poet Maya Angelou was known for: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So how do we make people feel Rotary? The best way is to share our Rotary moments. We have all had them — when the ordinary collides with intention to create something extraordinary.

Some people have those Rotary moments the first time they go to a meeting. For others, finding such a moment can take years, perhaps when seeing the joy in the eyes of someone we serve. Or in hearing from another member something that hits close to home.

As Nick and I share this journey, we are amazed at the work you are performing and the lives that are transforming. Throughout the year, I’m going to share with you the sights and the stories that made those tours meaningful for us.

November marks the 60th ­anniversary of Interact! I want to express my fondest wishes to our Interact members and the people who support them. Thank you for everything you do.

I hope you can do the same in your corner of Rotary. It can be something you share in meetings or on social media. For the most savvy and ambitious, it could be an event you publicise through local media. Even telling your stories to friends has impact.

We need ambassadors for Rotary’s message and our dreams for a better world. The best ambassadors are our members. The more you share stories — and share them from the heart — the more you encourage others to partner with us, to join us and to stay.

To give you just one small example, in the months ahead, I will be turning over this column to Rotary members who will share their personal stories as they relate to diversity, equity and inclusion in our organisation. It’s important that we hear these stories directly from the people who experienced them as a way of feeling the importance of DEI for the future of Rotary.

In everything we do, what people feel about Rotary will shape our future. I can only imagine what you will inspire through the stories you’ll tell.

Jennifer Jones
President, Rotary International

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shares
Message Us