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This is an incredibly exciting time to be a Rotarian. This Rotary year can be one of the greatest years we have yet experienced in Rotary – but it is up to each one of us. We are now writing the last chapter in our fight against polio. While it has been a long, hard journey, we have learned many valuable lessons. We have learned that as a group we can move mountains, we can change people’s lives for the better, and we can honestly make a difference in our world. Perhaps the greatest lesson has been that the more we challenge ourselves, the more we can achieve.
It’s time for us to recognize that the real challenge we face isn’t just bringing new members into Rotary. It’s turning all members into true Rotarians. It’s helping members get engaged in Rotary – helping them realize the potential they have, and how their Rotary service can change lives. We need to make sure that every member is active and contributing, and making a real difference – because when you’re doing meaningful work in Rotary, Rotary is meaningful to you.
When we realize what we can achieve in Rotary – when we really engage Rotary – that’s when lives change. We change the lives of the people who need us. That is inevitable. And along the way, our lives are changed as well. That is also inevitable. That’s what our theme is all about in 2013-2014 “Engage Rotary, Change Lives”.
It’s time to open our eyes to the potential each of us has through Rotary. Rotary lets us reach higher, do more, and be a part of something larger than ourselves. No matter how much we give to Rotary, we get more in return. And that, too, is inevitable.
In 2013-14, let’s turn all of our potential into reality. It’s up to us. We can do it by engaging in Rotary service, by getting involved, by staying inspired, and by remembering every day the gift we have in Rotary. Together, we will Engage Rotary, Change Lives.
Ron D. Burton , RI President, 2013-2014