We’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving and the holiday calendar is in full swing. This is a time of tradition when we enjoy foods and family activities that only happen during this time of year. For me, as a child, it was playing Scrabble with three generations of family after the Thanksgiving meal was cleaned up and put away. It was a time of love and laughter. Today, playing Scrabble brings back those warm feelings of a by-gone era. Traditions have a way of connecting us over time and developing a sense of community.
Rotary is in the process of creating new traditions and a more modern image to appeal to current generations. This fresh approach is captured in the new vision statement. “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change—across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves”
So, I was surprised when the board of my new Rotary satellite club decided to uphold a long-standing Rotary tradition. The board, which includes two young professionals, wanted to meet every week and strongly supported encouraging members to have 100% meeting attendance. Given the discussion within Rotary about the importance of flexibility to attract younger members, their response was unexpected. But perhaps, when I consider one of the essential benefits of Rotary membership—connection, I shouldn’t have been surprised. The board members described that they were committed to investing the time and energy needed to strengthen the club and develop effective community projects. They were willing to live ‘Service Above Self’ in a way that was both refreshing and traditional.
Rotary’s vision statement captures the essence of being a Rotarian, and underscores the importance of enhancing the member experience. What Rotary traditions should your club uphold, or change?