I wish each of you and your families a great Rotary New Year! Together, let us make it the best year of our lives, by making it a year to grow more and do more. Let this be a year of changemakers, and let us begin with our membership.
That is precisely why the Each One, Bring One initiative is so important. During this year, I urge you to dream of new ways in which Rotary can expand its reach into your community and therefore the world. If each member introduces one person to Rotary, our membership can increase to 1.3 million by July 2022. So, let’s just do it!
Imagine the change we, as Rotary members, can make when there are so many more of us! More people to care for others, more people to Serve to Change Lives. Think of the impact we can have through grow more, do more. More members will enable us to embark on bigger and bolder service projects. And each of us can also continue to serve in our own personal ways, responding to needs in our communities.
The beauty of Rotary is that service means different things to different people around the world. One element, however, that we can incorporate into all of our service initiatives is empowering girls. Unfortunately, even in this day and age, girls and young women face disproportionate challenges all over the world. We have the power to lead the charge for gender equality. Empowering girls and young women to have greater access to education, better health care, more employment, and equality in all walks of life should be embedded in every Rotary project we launch. Girls are future leaders, so we must ensure that we help them shape their future.
The biggest gift we are given
Is the power to touch a life,
To change, to make a difference
In the circle of life.
If we can reach out
With our hand, heart, and soul,
The magic will start to happen
As the wheel begins to roll.
Let’s turn the wheel together
So all humanity thrives,
We have the power and the magic
To Serve to Change Lives.
These are challenging times, and I compliment each of your efforts in grappling with COVID-19. No challenge is too big for Rotarians. The bigger the challenge, the more passionate the Rotarian. Look at what we can do when we take on a colossal challenge such as eradicating polio. Look at the millions of lives we improve by strengthening access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. Look at what we do every year to promote peace in places where it seems unimaginable. Our basic education and literacy programs have nation-building impact.
This year, let us challenge ourselves to do more such projects and programs that have national reach and impact. This year, let us Serve to Change Lives.
Rotary International President 2021-22