A Note from Pep - This letter from our District Governor resonated with me because I also believe that Rotary is something you must experience, an emotional connection.  For me it was a little 3rd grade girl who kissed the dictionary I gave her.  That was my Rotary 'aha'  moment.  I carry that picture in my heart.
For others it's the drop of polio vaccine or seeing a family take their first drink of clean water or watching a child put on a new warm winter coat.  For others it's traveling to assist communities to build computer labs, or pioneering conservation projects and community development and for others it's moving us towards peace.
Having just inducted two new members into our Rotary family I also feel responsible for helping them find the Truth of Rotary to enrich their lives.
Have YOU had an 'aha' Rotary moment?  Please share it on our November wall.
Dear Rotarians, 
The truth is more important than the facts…
This is a very interesting saying by Frank Lloyd Wright, and I think it offers some insight into the Rotary experience.  In the broadest of strokes, when we consider the work being done around the world and here at home by Rotarians there are many facts which point to the Rotary experience.  We are being asked to catalogue our service hours, and we spend lots of time considering our membership statistics, our donations to The Rotary Foundation, and various metrics to assess the quality of our club experiences.
But here’s the truth which is more important.  We do these things, these hours, these projects, these club activities, these donations, not so that we can earn recognition or even meet a target.  Instead we do them because it is the right thing to do.  We want to make a difference and leave the world better than it has been, and bring joy to the people we engage.  We embrace service above self because it makes us feel good and brings us into a constellation of people who believe as we do – that we can make a difference.  The facts are just the roadmap we follow to find the truth, and we come to know that as we deepen our experience in Rotary the facts become secondary.
In some ways this is why it’s so difficult to explain what Rotary is.  One of the most recent branding statements - Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas, Take Action – talks about what we do, and it is designed to engage a person who doesn’t yet understand the truth of Rotary.  They can see themselves getting busy with leaders and ideas and action.  And, they can begin their journey with Rotary accessing these roadmaps (leaders = membership; exchange ideas = fellowship; action = service). 
And eventually (if they stay on the road) they will arrive at some version of the more important truth; that Rotary is a state of mind, not a thing you do, which is why it’s so hard to explain.  This truth creeps into the new Rotarian’s experience slowly, and it is worth understanding what kinds of things help to nurture the transition from doing Rotary to being Rotarian, because we all benefit if we can bring a new member along more quickly.
How about taking a special interest in a new member?  Have you taken someone “under your wing” recently?  What can you offer them; better, what can they offer you?  Have you trusted a new member recently?  What would happen if the most critical element of a service project was entrusted to a new member?  Would he/she step up?  And, if she did, would that move her from “merely” doing Rotary to being Rotary? 
Here’s a challenge: take a close look at the last couple of members who joined your club.  Pick one and make him a special project.  Bring her into your constellation in a meaningful way.  Trust him with something.  She will benefit and move towards the truth of Rotary more quickly. 
But who will benefit more?  You or him?  I bet you know what I think…
This week I will be busy working with the Peace Summit team, getting ready to host at least 75 high school kids on Sunday the 12th.  Planning for PETS training starts this week, and on Wednesday the second District Membership meeting happens.  Plus I will attend several club meetings where awards and celebrations will take place.  And, next week is the Foundation Dinner!  If you haven’t bought your tickets, please hop online today.
Have a great Sunday.  YIRS, DG Fred