‘Rotary Serving Humanity’-2016/17 Presidential Theme

theme-2016---2017RI President-elect John F. Germ chose Rotary Serving Humanity as his theme for 2016-17. Noting Rotary’s unique ability to bring together committed professionals to achieve remarkable goals, Germ believes that “now is the time to capitalize on our success: as we complete the eradication of polio, and catapult Rotary forward to be an even greater force for good in the world.”

Germ reveals ‘Rotary Serving Humanity’ as 2016-17 presidential theme

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Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris, believed that serving humanity is “the most worthwhile thing a person can do,” RI President-elect John F. Germ said, and that being a part of Rotary is a “great opportunity” to make that happen.

Germ unveiled the 2016-17 presidential theme, Rotary Serving Humanity, to incoming district governors on 18 January at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.

“I believe everyone recognizes the opportunity to serve Rotary for what it truly is: not a small opportunity, but a great one; an opportunity of a lifetime to change the world for the better, forever through Rotary’s service to humanity,” said Germ.

Rotary members around the globe are serving humanity by providing clean water to underdeveloped communities, promoting peace in conflict areas, and strengthening communities through basic education and literacy. But none more important than our work to eradicate polio worldwide, he said.

After a historic year in which transmission of the wild poliovirus was stopped in Nigeria and all of Africa, Germ said we are closer than ever to ending polio.

“We are at a crossroads in Rotary,” he added. “We are looking ahead at a year that may one day be known as the greatest year in Rotary’s history: the year that sees the world’s last case of polio.”

Last year’s milestones leave just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the virus still circulates. Polio would be only the second human disease ever to be eradicated.

When that moment arrives, it’s “tremendously important” that Rotary is ready for it, said Germ. “We need to be sure that we are recognized for that success, and leverage that success into more partnerships, greater growth, and even more ambitious service in the decades to come.”

Germ, a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, encouraged attendees to return to their clubs and communities and spread the word about Rotary’s role in the fight for a polio-free world.

“People who want to do good will see that Rotary is a place where they can change the world. Every Rotary club needs to be ready to give them that opportunity,” Germ said.

Enhancing Rotary’s image isn’t the only way to boost membership. “We need clubs that are flexible, so our service will be more attractive to younger members, recent retirees, and working people.”

He added: “We need more willing hands, more caring hearts, and more bright minds to move our work forward.”

Looking forward to a Better, Educative, Fun year in all our activities to Serve Humanity

#CeO

 

 

President’s Message April 2016

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K.R. Ravindran

President 2015-16

Many years ago, in Kolkata, India, I had the chance to meet Mother Teresa. She was an incredible woman with an incredible force of personality. When she walked down the street, the crowd parted in front of her like the Red Sea. Yet when you talked to her, if you mentioned the tremendous things she had done, she almost did not engage in this topic at all. By many reports, if you asked her what her greatest achievement was, she would answer, “I am an expert in cleaning toilets.”

The answer was both humorous and absolutely serious. Her business was caring for others. Toilets had to be cleaned, so she cleaned them. There was no question of a job being beneath her. Helping people who needed help was her work, and there was nothing higher, nothing in the world more important than that.

So one day, when an elegantly dressed man came to Kolkata looking for Mother Teresa, the nuns who answered the door informed him that she was at the back of the house, cleaning the toilets. They pointed the way, and indeed he found Mother Teresa scrubbing the toilets. She said hello, assumed he was there to volunteer, and began explaining to him how to hold the toilet brush correctly and how not to waste water. Then she put the brush in his hand and left him standing there, in his expensive suit, alone in the lavatory.

Later, the man came out, found Mother Teresa again, and said, “I have finished; may I speak with you now?” “Yes, certainly,” she said. He took an envelope out of his pocket and said, “Mother Teresa, I am the director of the airline, and here are your tickets. I just wanted to bring them to you personally.”

That airline director told that story again and again for the rest of his life. He said those 20 minutes spent cleaning toilets had filled him with the greatest joy he had ever known – because by putting his hands to Mother Teresa’s work, he became part of that work. For those 20 minutes, he cared for the sick just as she did: with his own hands, his own sweat.

That is exactly the opportunity that Rotary gives us. We might not do what Mother Teresa did – give up our lives, our homes, our families. But for 20 minutes, 20 hours, 20 days of the year, we can be like her.

We can do the work that others will not with our hands, and our hearts, and our sweat, and our devotion – knowing that what we do is the most important work in the world.