Posted by Paddy Rooney on Oct 03, 2019
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
The sixth in a series of brief reflections on the Rotary International Vision Statement
To create lasting change
In the last reflection we spoke of taking action because we Rotarians are people of action. But this next phrase is a little more difficult because it contains that O so difficult word “change.” Now I live in South Central Pennsylvania in the USA and around here the word “change” is not one that is easily accepted. I have a neighbor who still refers to the road at the end of the one on which I live as the “new road”… and it has been there now for almost 50 years! Moreover, as a pastor, I live my life in the church and I learned long ago that the word “change” in our congregations is often to be avoided unless you want a mini battle on your hands.
Yet we Rotarians are not called to take action if we are not willing to do it for the sake of making a change…and a change hopefully for the better. When we install a well in some far distant land, we are making a change in the lives of the people who use it and improving their lot. When we sit with children and help them learn to read we are changing their lives for the better. When we undertake a community project, we change that community for the better.
Yes change can be difficult to accept at times in our lives; none of really likes things to change. But, even in this 8th decade of my life, I have come to believe that death and taxes are not the only two confirmable truths in our lives because the reality of change is also true. Change is all around us and it cannot be ignored. We live in a world today which is subject to change not by the decade or the year or the month or even the day but by the minute. To refuse to accept change, deal with change, even embrace change, is to condemn ourselves to living in the shadow of the past which has no meaning or bearing for us. Yes we can hold to our traditions and sometimes to our structures for the mooring they give us in a time of change. But as Rotarians we can both value those traditions and still embrace the change around us.
So let us not be afraid of change. Let us use the change to create something new, something better, something wonderful so that our world, our communities and we ourselves are better for it.