Rotarians everywhere know the value of community service.
Since joining Rotary, I have observed the power of words fulfilled through action. Civic principles are not philosophical concepts for Club 29; instead, we put theory into practice, and I suspect that is the case at chapters everywhere. The concept of “Service Above Self” is carried out in far-reaching ways, but most importantly, where it matters most: in the places our members call home.
Those words have been Rotary’s motto for decades, an inspiring refrain for Rotary members united for progress throughout the world.
Rotary Magazine often features glossy photos of vaccination campaigns, food distribution and education projects abroad, programs dedicated to helping others. These efforts are noble, necessary and worthwhile. The work done in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas may be less visible on a global scale but its impact is felt locally. Neighbors in need benefit when we dedicate ourselves to serving our fellow Oklahomans.
Through Rotary, we are able to do more than offer a kind word. Year in and year out, service above self has informed the way we work together. When Rotarians gather at meetings or for special events, it is consistently to champion that guiding principle. Helping others or finding out about how like-minded organizations offer aid is what we know to expect from our membership. Rather than stopping with good intentions, the results are seen in tangible ways that elevate the group while we lift up others.
Words are powerful. They inform and inspire. Most often, though, they influence our mindset, sometimes without us even realizing. The benefit of attending Rotary meetings, for me, has been an intentional pause, time out to hear good things. Positivity translates to collective action. I would venture to guess many Rotarians are better citizens, at work and at home, because of their affiliation.
Service above self has a way of giving back. Conscience, consistency and compassion come to mind for me when I think of what Rotary offers, words to live by.