Kalyan Banerjee’s theme for 2011-2012 asks us to Reach Within to Embrace Humanity. Embracing means to welcome and take advantage of something eagerly like embracing an opportunity. The embrace I want to discuss is the one in which you adopt or take up something such as a new belief or way of doing things. When we believe something, we usually act on that belief. Let me explain.
Your thought creates an avenue from which to act. When you believe that work should be done before play. When you believe that work should be done before play, you study before going to the movies or you do chores before you watch television. When you believe smoking causes lung cancer or breathing problems, you either never start smoking or you do your best to quit. When you believe that an education gives you better job opportunities, you go to college or take technical training. Your belief causes you to take action.
A belief can begin to create of new way of doing things. Let’s take the smoking issue. When you want your life to be smoke free, you ask for seating in a non-smoking section of a restaurant. You ask guests in your home to please smoke outside. If in the past you went to places socially where smoke filled the room, you may start to choose to go to places where it is smoke free. If you smoked before and had a hard time exercising, you might take up exercising four times a week, starting slowly and building up to forty-five minutes whereas when you smoked, that may not have been an option due to difficulty breathing. Your belief has created a new way of life for you.
What is your belief about Rotary? Do you believe in the Rotary motto: Service Above Self? If you do, then you take action to volunteer to do a service project instead of playing golf or shopping on a Saturday afternoon. Do you believe in the 4-Way Test? If you do, then you consider if the business deal you are about to make is Beneficial to All Concerned. Or before you answer that question, you consider whether it is the Truth. Sometimes our Rotary motto and our 4-Way Test get dusty and we need to again Embrace them as a way of life.
Let’s now look at embracing a new belief. One of the new beliefs that Rotary is embracing is that there may be other types of memberships in a Rotary club. For instance, a corporate membership, an associate membership, or a satellite club might be an option in the future. The Jefferson City Breakfast club has been accepted as a pilot club for Associate Membership. With this new belief about membership, can Rotary clubs thrive and become vibrant?
How about those beliefs that keep you from growing as a club? Is your club on Facebook? Does it have a Twitter account? Do you create awareness in social networking groups that would attract the new generation members? What new ideas will you embrace so that your club can challenge the ideas that keep your club from expanding and becoming bigger, better, bolder?
So you can choose to embrace a new belief that makes your club grow or not. If you choose to develop new beliefs or change an existing belief that is unhealthy for your club, then you will have new opportunities to create a new vision for your club, to expand your membership, and to develop new service projects. When you change your beliefs, then your club has the opportunity to expand and grow. So choose to Embrace a new belief.