R. I. President Message

RI President 2018-19 Barry Rassin - Dec. 2018

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Dear Fellow Rotarians,


It's traditional that the first Rotarian magazine of the Rotary year carries a profile of the incoming RI president and his or her family. I've always read those profiles with interest, never giving much thought to the possibility that one day, I might be the one bringing a writer from the magazine to my Rotary club meeting! I have never liked a lot of attention, and the idea of having my picture on the magazine cover made me a bit uncomfortable. But when I saw the photo the editors chose, I smiled. Because the star of that picture definitely isn't me, or even my wife, Esther. It's the flock of flamingos, none of which could care less about Rotary, all strutting past us in the same direction. All of them — except one.
I couldn't think of a more appropriate image to reflect the message I want to convey to Rotarians. That one flamingo, going the other way, represents so much of what we need to do in Rotary. That flamingo knows everyone's going one way. She sees it. But she also sees that maybe the path they're on isn't the best path. Maybe, just maybe, there's a better path over there, and she wants to get a good look before she goes marching on with her friends. And if, when she does stop and look, that new path does seem better, she'll call the rest of the crew to come over and check it out with her. And maybe, just maybe, they'll all choose that better path together.

Change is hard. And the longer we've been going one way, the more friends we have with us, the harder it is to be the one who turns around and does it differently. But change — not change for its own sake, but careful, considered, goal-directed change — is essential for any organization that wants to evolve, stay relevant, and move forward in the right direction.

So take a look at that picture, but don't look at me. I'm not the one that cover's about. That cover is about the flamingo. It's about having the curiosity, the courage, and the conviction to look at different paths that might be better — whether you're out for a stroll on a beautiful Bahamas morning, or helping chart the course for our organization.

Barry Rassin
President 2018-19

 

Trustee Chair's Message - Dec. 2018

Ron D. Burton, Trustee Chair 2018-19


Trustee chair's message

For many of us, December is a time of reflection about the year that is about to end. We think about the things we resolved to do and compare that with what we actually got done. Many times we surprise ourselves when we realize we achieved even more than we had hoped. We also start thinking about the new year and, with the best of intentions, commit ourselves to even greater accomplishments.

It is a time when our thoughts turn to the things that are important to us — and nothing is as important as family. We are grateful for those we love and for those who love us. For Rotarians, that encompasses a large number of people around the world, because our concept of family includes not only our immediate relatives but also those many friends we have made over the years sharing Rotary. Each of us is much like a stone thrown into a pond, creating many ripples. When our ripples intersect with the ripples of our family and friends, we truly have an impact on our world.

We also think about the organizations that are important to us and that exist because of our generosity as well as the generosity of others. We voluntarily support these organizations and generously contribute our time, talent, and treasure to further their work and make our world a better place for all. And through this work, our family gets even larger.

Our family and our impact continue to grow each year through our commitment to and support of our Rotary Foundation. Working together creates a synergy that allows one person to truly make a difference. And when we all work together and commit ourselves to a cause, there is no limit to what we can accomplish. In that process we are bound together and become an even more close-knit family.

So at this special time of year, as you reflect on your family and the good things in your life, think about your Rotary legacy. Now is the time to make your lasting commitment so that the important work of our Foundation will continue in perpetuity.

Ron D. Burton
Trustee Chair 2018-19

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