Rotary’s role in bringing peace to the world

12395874070?profile=RESIZE_400xRotary International – along with members of Rotary clubs everywhere – has a vital role to play in advancing peace in today’s conflict-torn world.  That’s what RI President R. Gordon McInally told District 7620 Rotarians during a recent meeting in Washington, DC, noting that “we need to work towards peace as aggressively as others work towards waging war.”

He said Rotary has three different “personalities” in peacemaking practice.  First, there’s the personal and emotional side of Rotary, where we’ve experienced firsthand the lives transformed by good works of charity and service above self.  But emotion and personal experience alone is not enough.  For an organization like Rotary to have its greatest impact on the world, we must be systemic and evidence-based in sharing the peace imperative.  

This leads to our second peace personality – that of a highly professional and international humanitarian/development organization working with similar partners.  In this role, Rotary is a practitioner of fighting disease, providing clean water and sanitation, improving the health of mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies, all of which fosters optimal conditions for peaceful societies.  

Acting as a respected and impartial presence within communities afflicted by conflict and division, we might achieve the simple act of bringing people together and getting them to talk to one another.  Rotary members can promote communities that are connected, inclusive and resilient.  Combining our personal and systemic approaches has tremendous potential. 12395873895?profile=RESIZE_584x 

That opens up room for our third personality – aspirational Rotary – a vision of our organization as something more than just the people we see right in front of us or the direct results of service projects.  In dreaming big – like our commitment to eradicate polio from the world – Rotarians acknowledge that we can’t solve all the world's problems at a stroke.  But we can take the first brave, humble steps toward understanding and appreciating each other a little better.

President McInally closed with this thought: “It is in times of greatest crisis and despair, that we need empathy.  Most of all, let us find a way to share each other's outreach, share each other's heart, and share with each other the seemingly hopeless cry for justice and peace.  Let us be brothers and sisters who join as one … to see a world where people unite and take action for lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and then ourselves.”

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