Vision Statement Reflection 7
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
The seventh, and final, in a series of brief reflections on the Rotary International Vision Statement
across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
Having grappled with the issue of “lasting change” we turn to find that this change cannot be isolated let alone ignored for it touches us in every corner of lives first as human beings and secondly as Rotarians. In this final reflection on our Vision Statement we see how that “lasting change” of which we spoke before is clearly all encompassing. Change is all around us but at the same time we are a part of the change. Everything about our lives is subject to change beginning with our physical nature as we grow and age but also moving to the world around us as we see in our rapidly changing cultures, the transformation of roles in society, the upheavals in our political and social landscapes and so much more. Very little is stable and much is in flux. But then we Rotarians come along and add to the change. We have already said that we are not content to simply live in a world where things are wrong but that we roll up our sleeves to change it, fix it and make it better. We have already said that we are not content to live in isolation, separated one from the other but rather that we unite together to take action and change many situations so that it makes a better life for many. And we are not constrained by the distance of space for we see the whole world as that which offers us the opportunity to serve.
That is why this change we seek is first of all across the globe. Whether in the more remote parts of this world or in areas teeming with life, we Rotarians have sought out projects, programs and missions that will enable us to make a positive change in the lives of so many. There are no boundaries that can hold us back, although political strife and conflict makes it difficult at times to finish projects such as our fight against polio. But where there is a need, where there are people who cannot live full lives because of disease or bad water or the lack of economic development anywhere in the world, we Rotarians are willing to step in and bring about lasting change.
But we are also firm in our commitment to our local communities. One of the things I like about Rotary is that we do not say, for example, that I am from the York Rotary but rather that I am part of the Rotary club of York which means I am part of the community. We live in communities; many of us love the communities in which we live. So we also want to make our communities better, bring about lasting change in them as well so that the lives of those who live in that community are improved in so many different ways.
And finally there is change in us. We Rotarians cannot do what we do without it having an impact on our very being. Many an author has pointed out that volunteering, giving of ourselves, or helping others is a powerful, life-changing experience. When we understand the power of such service to others above ourselves we provide an opportunity for that lasting change to take place in us. Having been touched by the work we do in schools, community programs to serve those in need, or clean water projects in a land we may never see, we are changed and we can never ever go back to being complacent. We are changed forever.
In has been said by the prophets of old that “where there is no vision, the people perish” and that is most certainly true for us. Rotary has given us a vision of what we can do, what we are called to do, what is indeed at the heart of our very identity. I am proud to be a Rotarian with a vision for the future found in this statement. May it guide us all in our Rotary journey and in our Rotary lives.

The Rotary Four-Way Test

The Four-Way Test (of the things we think, say or do):
  1. Is it TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

The Object of Rotary

The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and , in particular, to encourage and foster: 
  • First - the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
  • Second - High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his occupation as an opportunity to serve society; 
  • Third - The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to his personal, business, and community life;
  • Fourth - The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. 
Pints for Polio
January 2020
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