Rotary District 5440 2016 District Conference
 
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When someone asks "What is Rotary," or when we talk with a person that we feel might make a good Rotarian, we very often explain that Rotary is a service organization and then talk about the projects that occur in our local or international community. One thing we often don't stress is what people get out of joining our great organization.
From my observations throughout my Rotary life, I believe there are three main items we receive when we join and become engaged within our club:

Personal growth
Professional development
Family values

Personal growth comes about through the opportunity of acquaintance. We meet people we might otherwise never would have come in contact with. Through these relationships, we learn what others do in their vocation, along with their hobbies and interests, and those interactions enrich our own life. That bond of friendship strengthens as we work alongside our fellow Rotarians to complete our mission of service. These relationships and networking opportunities expand even more when we attend district assemblies and conferences. Also, personal growth happens as a result of the programs and speakers that are a part of all Rotary meetings. Our knowledge of local and international issues increase, which we then use to share ideas with the intent of taking action.

There is no shortage of professional development when we are a member of Rotary. There are many opportunities to hone our leadership skills through the Rotary Leadership Institute program, District Assemblies, and the President Elect Training Seminar (PETS), or from simply observing others in Rotary. Leading a project allows us to learn about project management, salesmanship, fund raising, and volunteer management. Many of our fellow Rotation have those skills as part of their career but are always happy to mentor a fellow member in order to achieve success. One thing that is pretty universal with Rotarians  is that they never want anyone to fail.

There is an inherent value system that we get front Rotary based on our two tenets of our motto, Service Above Self, and our 4-Way Test. By accepting and trying to live up to these two things, others, including our families and people we associate with, see us as individuals who are walking the talk by doing things to make the world a better place. Our children learn by observation and what a better thing to teach them than the idea of paying it forward. That life lesson will hopefully manifest itself into an ever increasing population of people spreading peace and understanding around our world.

Many people give quite a bit in Rotary but we also get a lot in return. As we do our Rotary job by giving others hope, opportunities, and saving lives, we, as individuals, grow, learn, and share our values. These things are what fuel our Rotary Passion. These things are what future Rotary members can expect by saying "Yes" to an invitation to join.
 
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