Be a Gift to the World

Be a Gift to the World is a noble aspiration for Rotarians
Rotary International Theme for 2015-2016 is Be a Gift to the World

“Everyone has something to give—whoever we are, whatever our place in life.  We can give our talent, our knowledge, our abilities, and our effort; we can give our dedication and our devotion.  Through Rotary, we can take these gifts and make a genuine difference in the lives of others and in our world.” These are the words of the newly installed Rotary International President K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran, the first Sri Lankan to serve in this capacity. Rotary International Presidents tend to be highly successful motivated and civic-minded individuals.

Ravindran is CEO and founder of Printcare PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest printing and packaging company, with a worldwide clientele. The business is highly successful, publicly listed and provides design-to-delivery printing, packaging, and digital media solutions. The company’s claim to fame is that it is “arguably the No. 1 producer of tea bag tags and sachets in the world”.

I have been a Rotarian since 1990, and was one of the first women to be asked to join the Louisville Rotary Club, the 26th largest club in the world. In 1998 I was elected the very first and only woman to ever serve in that capacity. Next year Alice Bridges, the second woman ever elected president will take office. And, in the past almost 20 years since I was president, there have been a lot of changes in the world, and many people have tried to be a gift to the world by volunteering their talents to make this world a better place.

The new leadership in my local Rotary Club has a great group of past presidents from which to get insight. The new leadership is bringing new insights, new energy, and new ideas to bear so that we can continue our social based work. Our local club is not suffering from the malaise that other clubs are finding an issue with dropping membership. Our club is maintaining its numbers, growing its local foundation base, serving up many man hours in local volunteer projects, contributing heavily to the Rotary Promise Scholarship Program that is guaranteeing college attendance for those who are disenfranchised, but willing to go to high school and maintain a good grade average and keep out of trouble. Our local Rotary Club is a gift to the world, and looking at the district leadership, Mike Kull and Stewart Alexander, we are continuing to give gifts by keeping that Rotary fire burning in our bellies, and working to make the world a better place.

Take stock this morning. Are you officially retired? If so, what are you accomplishing each and every day? Are you still working? If so, at what capacity are you working? Do you make the most of each and every day? Do you hone and work on polishing and enhancing your talents? What gift do you bring to the world each and every day?

Will you take the Rotary challenge and bring your talents to play by being a gift to the world? Think on that, and make it a great day!