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Rotary as Family

Part of our SJC Rotary family. From left: Mike Carmichael, Penny Behmerwohld, Jerry Neve getting ready to serve the Swallows Day Parade team at the 2023 SJC Rotary Pancake Breakfast
Part of our SJC Rotary family. From left: Mike Carmichael, Penny Behmerwohld, Jerry Neve getting ready to serve the Swallows Day Parade team at the 2023 SJC Rotary Pancake Breakfast

The first time I stepped into a Rotary meeting, I was hit with a sense of genuine camaraderie. I didn't find any secret handshakes, funny hats, flamboyant regalia, or fancy titles. Instead, everyone was wearing a simple pin, that symbol of service that granted me access to a global network of clubs filled with individuals who value service over ego.

The Rotary pin represents more than membership; it's a passport to more than 40,000 clubs in over 160 countries, making Rotary's 1.4 million members your new friends. And these aren't just casual acquaintances; they are business and civic leaders who go by their first names because in this family, friendship and service outrank ego and status.

The foundational values of Rotary—fellowship, global understanding, ethics, and vocational expertise—become the bedrock of relationships formed within the organization. You're not just connecting with people who are good at what they do; you're connecting with people who are good, period. We honor our commitments and tackle issues that matter with sincerity, fortitude, and compassion.

Rotary clubs are particularly discerning when selecting members. It's not an accident that some of the best citizens in a community end up becoming Rotarians. The organization looks for individuals who not only excel in their respective fields but also demonstrate a genuine commitment to service and ethical conduct. When you're surrounded by people of such caliber, it elevates the entire family, fueling us with purpose and pride.

The concept of family extends beyond genetic ties or last names; it embodies a sense of unconditional support and enduring connection. In Rotary, we build these lifelong relationships through our shared vision and values. What sets this family apart is the diversity it brings to the table. Members from various vocational backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs come together with a unified aim to make a difference. The fusion of these diverse perspectives is where the magic happens. Whether we're discussing how to solve water scarcity or strategizing to eradicate polio, our collective intelligence is our greatest asset.

Rotary is not a solitary endeavor; it's a team sport. The sense of community is bolstered by our shared goals. Whether it's local projects like literacy programs and food banks or international initiatives like combating diseases, our objectives align with Rotary's mission, bringing added meaning and purpose to our actions. When you contribute to these goals, you're not just making a difference; you're fulfilling a role in a family that thrives on collective achievement.

As in any family, the bonds in Rotary go beyond official gatherings. You'll find members sharing success stories, extending business opportunities, or even lending a compassionate ear during tough times. The mutual respect, support and fun that flow freely among us are what truly define our sense of family. It’s no longer about the weekly meetings or the annual conferences; it’s about the day-to-day interactions that solidify these bonds.

Being a part of the Rotary family enriches your life in ways you might not have anticipated. It adds layers of meaning and purpose that elevate your everyday experiences. The feeling of satisfaction in knowing you're part of something bigger than yourself, something that positively impacts communities near and far, is beyond measure. In conclusion, Rotary isn't just an organization; it's a family that anyone would be proud to be part of—a family that values fellowship, upholds ethical standards, and applies vocational expertise to solve systemic social issues. And that’s not just inspiring; that’s transformational.




Love your articles Ray!

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