To me Rotary is a network of people who are working to the same Objects and ethical ethos. Rotary is about how you engage and what you are prepared to put in, Rotary calls this Service above Self, by putting in you can get so much more out. Having joined Rotary when I was 27 years old and at the time working as a Divisional Youth and Community Officer, it gave me an instant network into my community, that could help me in my job. It gave me an opportunity to have some social life outside work and some fun doing community projects that helped others. I had at that time to pick and choose what I got involved in due to time and capacity issues.
Thirty plus years on and after 9 different Rotary Clubs I love being a member of Click 4 Action eRotary. Why? Because instead of being in a Traditional Club, I belong to a flexible network, where I can still do the same things, meet people when I want to, when I have the time and I’m not burdened down with those meetings of committees going around in circles. What’s exciting about our eClub is that when someone has an idea, we have a bit of a chat and then we try it, if it doesn’t work out so be it, but we’ve had a go, the ideas that work are so exciting because we are helping other members to achieve their passions.
At a District Assembly two years ago I told those gathered I wouldn’t still be in Rotary if it hadn’t been for Social Media. ‘Why?’ you may ask:
- It gave me a chance to mute the ideas I have for change in Rotary and I was surprised others wanted to see similar changes;
- It increased my network of Rotary friends and I became a real fan of Rotary International and how the world becomes a smaller place;
- It certainly has helped me and Janice see the world, with help from our Rotary friends, learning about cultures and customs, seeing places and enjoying family life;
- I love doing online Service through spreading messages related to eAwareness;
- It has helped to developed ideas around how we can continue to develop eRotary.
Plus I’ve loads of great friends because of our contacts in Sweden, Canada, USA, Italy, Australia, Singapore and so many more countries. Who would have thought through Facebook I would have met one of my heroes Micky Mouse thanks to the Rotary Club of Orange County who arranged our visit for a day to Disney Land.
I’m still in Community Development Work and Rotary is still helping me to do that networking, both as part of the work or as part of my voluntary work to the community. I love my involvement in Let’s Loop Swindon, in the Uplands Educational Trust and now I’m using the skills I’ve learnt through Rotary to be involved in other different projects.
So ‘What is Rotary?’. It’s my hobby, it is something that helps me undertake my employment, it gives me opportunities to meet many many different people both in my community and throughout the world, it helps me learn so much through the ideas of others. Above all it helps to continue to give back and celebrate my life so I can feel valued and of help to others. Indeed it is my way of life and living.
When Paul Harris started Rotary he wanted a network built on an ethical ethos that did good in the world and helped towards greater understanding. We still do and we develop Rotary to suit our modern needs and how it fits our lifestyles. Do listen to Paul himself, although we are now men and woman in Rotary, we are moving Rotary forward and his vision is still important today.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy8_OFEVOmI?rel=0]
In a nutshell Rotary is what you make it, how much you put in, you will get out. Enjoy it, have fun….