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1460: RI President's February Message

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  • Sunil K Zachariah
    February 2008 In the last few weeks, as I considered what I might write on this page, I thought again and again of the words widely attributed to the American
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2008
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      February 2008

      In the last few weeks, as I considered what I might write on this
      page, I thought again and again of the words widely attributed to the
      American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Peace cannot be achieved through
      violence; it can only be attained through understanding."

      In Rotary, we work toward peace through understanding, and we work to
      build understanding through service. In our travels throughout the
      Rotary world, Joan and I have seen very vividly the kinds of projects
      that genuinely create understanding and bring people together. Most
      often, they're the projects that involve both Rotarians and
      beneficiaries. They're the projects that allow everyone to work with
      each other toward a common goal and to share in the pride and benefit
      of a job well done.

      When we come together in friendship with the people we wish to help;
      when we communicate goals, needs, and expectations clearly; when we
      approach our work with a spirit of cooperation, not charity – this is
      when we truly build understanding. This is how we begin a process of
      change that will endure far longer than our involvement in any one
      project.

      In the years since Rotary International chose to take on the goal of
      global polio eradication, we've seen again and again how working
      toward a common objective can bring people together. We've seen an
      unprecedented level of international collaboration as governments and
      agencies around the world have built new channels of communication
      and cooperation. And we've seen how the openness and trust that were
      developed through this effort have endured, allowing for other
      projects, more cooperation, and greater understanding among nations.

      Rotary will never be able to solve all the world's problems or meet
      all its needs. What we can do, and what we try our best to do, is to
      help where and how we can – and, through our service, to bring people
      together in peace to help each other.

      All of Rotary's projects, no matter how small, have the potential to
      build understanding and bring peace. As we enter World Understanding
      Month, I ask all of you to remember that every project has a twofold
      purpose: meeting its practical objective and building goodwill and
      friendship. If we plan and serve well, we'll also build lasting
      bridges to a better future. As Rotarians, we truly believe that peace
      is possible.

      Wilfrid J. (Wilf) Wilkinson
      President, Rotary International

      Source: The Rotarian
      Courtesy: eFlash_Rotary
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