The network's purpose and objective are so elementary that they are seldom discussed in seminars, assemblies, or institutes. Before telling you what they are, let's diverge for just a moment and allow the Hopeful Rotarian to reminisce about what he considers the greatest benefit of being a Rotarian - developing friendships with other Rotarians. Staying in touch, regardless of the means, maintains these friendships. Every once in a while, because of who Rotarians are, someone comes up with an issue they believe should be addressed. Through similar relationships worldwide, many other Rotarians, often working with Rotary associates and utilizing Rotary International (RI) attributes, have created parks, playgrounds, schools, school supplies, water systems, medical supplies, generators, safe stoves, wheel chairs, artificial limbs, the worldwide polio eradication initiative, and a legion of other local and international projects and programs.
But let's get back to the Rotary network's basic purpose and objective. RI did not intend to be instrumental or influential in producing local and/or international projects. Rotary clubs were not organized to perform community service projects. Yet the world is a better place because each entity, pursuing their purpose, created and sustain the Rotary network. The network's history is saturated with examples of the world becoming a better place because Rotary clubs' members pursued its common objective. To keep these interconnecting relationships occurring RI must prioritize and continually pursue its only purpose: Chartering New and Strengthening existing Rotary clubs. Rotary clubs must prioritize and continually pursue their only purpose: Retaining and Attracting Members. Of course, the common objective of both is the Object of Rotary.
These are simple Rotary basics, yet seldom are they even mentioned, much less is their importance discussed, at institutes, seminars, or assemblies. Rotary leaders at all levels change frequently. Without an effective, continual Internal Marketing initiative centered on WHY these basics are important, many clubs will continue to drift like ships without rudders. It should be considered unforgivable for Rotary leaders, at any level, not to be able to intelligently discuss the purpose and objective of each segment of the Rotary network.
On many occasions, immediately after club officers have attended seminars and assemblies, they are not able to verbalize, much less communicate, their club's purpose or objective. To bluntly put this into perspective, as one Rotarian said, "No members, no clubs. No clubs, no Rotary. 'Nuff said." Using past RI President Ray Klinginsmith's Cowboy Logic, the Rotary network's only purpose is to create Rotarians; its only objective is to advance the Object of Rotary. Practicing these basics, Rotarians make the world better. . .one community at the time.
The Hopeful Rotarian wishes all of you a Happy Holiday Season. If all goes well, we will be in touch next year.