During this upcoming Rotary Year, I urge you to dream big, guided by our shared vision for Rotary. You will plan and set goals, inspire and motivate Rotarians to reach goals — goals to expand the reach of our organization by increasing membership, and goals to increase the impact of Rotary by serving the world.
Friends, this will be our guiding mantra. “Do more” as in bigger and impactful service projects, and “grow more” as in increasing our membership and expanding the participation.
Membership, friends, continues to be our biggest challenge. So, friends, the dream is to increase our membership to 1.3 million by 1 July 2022! We need to grow more to do more.
I have always hugely been inspired by the motto of Rotary — Service Above Self. It has taught me to care for others and share with others. Service, to me, is about thinking of others even before I think of myself. I am sure each of you also has found your opportunity to serve. You too may have provided eyesight to the blind, food to the hungry, homes to the homeless. They may have been small opportunities for service or large projects. More than just the size, it is the attitude that defines service.
Rotarians keep serving because we want to change lives. Many of you have been an important part of service projects, and you have changed the lives of people. There was a need to serve, and you served. Today the need to serve has become even more necessary and apparent. I urge you to lead by example and inspire Rotarians to participate in projects that have a sustained impact. Join hands with other Rotarians, other organizations, corporations, and do projects that impact your community, your city — projects that can change lives of people across the country and around the world.
As we all serve, we change the lives of not only others; we change our lives, too. Friends, to live for others, to care for others, to serve others and change their lives is the best way to live our own lives. Just as Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
And friends, as we go about our service initiatives, our special focus this year will be on empowering girls. We will serve all children, but our focus will be specially on the girl. There are many issues that girls face in different parts of the world, and you as leaders will ensure that we try and mitigate the disadvantage of the girl that they may have. The task ahead is challenging. And that should excite you. Rotarians love challenges. A ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are meant for. They need to go out in the high seas. Life, my dear change-makers, is about adventure and not maintenance.
WE HAVE THE POWER AND THE MAGIC TO SERVE TO CHANGE LIVES
Therefore, the theme for our year is: Serve to change Lives.
President, Rotary International, 2021-22