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The Philosophy of Rotary

Our four RGHF features "What Paul Harris Said," "Frank Talk Gems," "Our Foundation Newsletter," and "Why I am a Rotarian," are emailed once each month. Get your free copy www.historycomment.org

What Paul Harris Said 2002 Archives

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Below are the issues of "What Paul Harris Said," as distributed in 2002, with the most recent below. All may be copied and re-used for Rotary Clubs without permission. Links to sections of our larger website have been inserted where appropriate.  Also see our section on "The Founder of Rotary," "This Rotarian Age" and "My Road to Rotary"

What Paul Harris Said Comments from the 1916 Convention – for 12/29/2002

After Paul Harris left the presidency of Rotary, in 1912, he rarely attended its conventions, often due to his health. However, he rarely failed to send a message; as this one recorded at the History convention website for the 1916 convention: 

As always, the President Emeritus sent a carefully crafted message to rally the troops. Harris talked about the "progress of Rotary rapidly gaining momentum". He went on, "Indefinite, inarticulate Rotary is giving way to a Rotary definite and describable".

Rotary was beginning a new future - "Faith, hope, charity and clean business, these four, and the greatest of these is clean business." Good business would naturally produce by-products - namely - civic and charitable activities.

Paul Harris, in a letter, paid tribute to the Seattle Club who were a wonderful example of the new philosophy. He wrote, "The Seattle Club by reason of the tendencies of some of its leaders, and also by reason of special conditions which existed there, evolved the idea that Rotary's great usefulness would be, not in vying and competing with organizations, but established for the purpose of studying business, elevating its standards and increasing its efficiency". Harris had been converted to the Seattle thinking by, amongst others, Past President James Pinkham.  From http://www.rotaryhistoryfellowship.org//presidentsconventions/1916/  

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

Next week we’ll begin our second year of this feature

 

What Paul Harris Said “1930 Christmas Message” 12/22/2002 

 “As my Lassie Jean and I were strolling around the yard one summer afternoon, our minds reverted to the blessings which were ours. We listed our home, perched on the hilltop midst friendly oaks and with evergreens in plenty to give impression of warmth when cold winds blow; we also listed books and household goods, sacred accumulation of years and representing many sacrifices. An impulse suggested the question: Would life be worth living without these things? It did not take long to answer. Yes, life is even more sacred.

“Then came another question: Is there anything more valuable than life? We thought of the touch of vanished hands and the sound of voices stilled and realized that there are things without which life would be so sterile that it might well end. If there were no such things as fellowship with friends and communion with loved ones, life would be darker than starless nights. Friendship can hurdle national boundary lines, religious and political differences; and with love all things are possible.” Paul P. Harris, The Rotarian, December 1930

Paul Harris’s holiday greeting in 1930 and with it our best wishes for the season from Rotary Global History.

In two weeks we begin our second year of publication.

And that’s a History Minute from The Global History Fellowship

Watch for an exciting change at http://www.rotaryglobalhistoryfellowship on 1 January 2003

 

CHAPTER XI - THE MEANING OF THE SERVICE IDEAL Part Seven 12/15/2002

PAGE 145

“But Ruskin goes on to say that to obtain profit is no more the function of the merchant than that of the clergyman; that the stipend is a necessary adjunct, but not the object of the life of either the clergyman or the merchant.

Ruskin does not attempt to point out to the professional politician his due occasion, but we find the professional politician, as a rule, most desperately in earnest when he is building his political fences; perhaps that is his due occasion.

The results obtained by Bar Associations and Medical Societies have not all been attained at once. They rep’ resent the cumulative effect of years of vigorous action.

Is there an essential reason why the work of the professional societies should not be paralleled by organizations of business men? Some one may answer, “Business cannot be placed on a plane with the practice of law and medicine, because the practice of law and medicine is personal ser’ vice; the lawyer and physician have themselves only to account for, while business employs hundreds and even thousands of men and women.

Business is already becoming professionalized. Since the state of California passed its licensing law regulating operations in real estate, thousands of real estate sharpers have been put out of business and many other states are following suit.

What is there about business to render it immune to the service ideal? Even labor organizations are now proclaiming the dignity of labor, and why should they not?

The writer is convinced that business of the future will jealously guard its good name, even to the point of driving its crooks into tall timber to keep company with the shysters of the legal profession and the quacks of medicine. Organizations operating under the name of “Better Business Bureaus” are in fact already doing effective work to that end.” Paul P. Harris, page 145 from “This Rotarian Age” 1935

And that’s a History Minute from The Global History Project

Watch for an exciting change at http://www.Rotary Global History on 1 January 2003

 

CHAPTER XI - THE MEANING OF THE SERVICE IDEAL  Part Six  for 12/8/2002

PAGE 144

“A business man is not called upon to refuse to sell his customer the goods he desires, while the professional man frequently is. To institute a lawsuit merely because a client demands it and is willing to pay for the service would be a violation of the lawyer’s oath and the lawyer cannot justify himself for the acceptance of the mandate on the theory that if he does not accept it some other lawyer will. A lawyer must not for’ get that he is an officer of the court, that the court is sup’ ported by the public for the purpose of dispensing justice and not for the purpose of working injustice. The machinery of the law may be used to prosecute under proper conditions but never to persecute.

The minister of the gospel frequently faces conditions which make it necessary for him to choose between preaching his own doctrines and preaching the doctrines of his supporters. Frequently, the temptation to surrender his own views in favor of others probably less intelligent and less conscientiously, thoughtfully, and prayerfully arrived at, is almost overwhelming. The interests of his family tempt him to surrender his leadership or at least to corn’ promise it. Many a poor minister has refused to do either, preferring to resign his post to another willing to obey orders.

Frank Lamb in “Rotary, a Business Man’s Interpretation,” quotes Ruskin in “The Roots of Honor”— who, writing of the soldier, the pastor, the physician, the lawyer and merchant, said that it is the duty of each, on due occasion to die for his profession; the soldier rather than leave his post in battle; the physician, rather than leave his post in plague; the pastor rather than teach falsehood; the lawyer rather than countenance injustice. What the “due occasion” for the merchant is, has not been so clearly defined; it’s for him to decide.” Paul P. Harris, page 144 from “This Rotarian Age” 1935

And that’s a History Minute from The Global History Project

 

CHAPTER XI - THE MEANING OF THE SERVICE IDEAL Part Five

PAGE 143

“To be sure there is special reason why the practice of law and medicine must, in good conscience, be kept pure the relationship of lawyer and client, doctor and patient, are essentially trust relationships. In order to benefit from the lawyer’s advice the client must have implicit confidence, both in the ability and in the integrity of his lawyer; if he lacks faith in either, the purposes of the employment are impaired, if not entirely destroyed. A lawyer who betrays such sacred trust is an enemy of society and it is the duty of the authority granting him license to with draw his privileges through disbarment proceedings initiated by his fellow practitioners.

The trust involved in the relationship of doctor and patient is even more sacred, if such thing is possible. The duty motive and the profit motive frequently are in conflict. The surgeon who would unnecessarily operate upon an afflicted patient would merit the anathema of his fellow surgeons, and if the circumstances were known, it doubt less would be visited upon him; and yet surgical operations have undoubtedly frequently been performed, not because the patient needed the operation, but because the doctor needed the money; and it has probably as frequently been the case that law-suits have been started not because the clients’ interests were best served by so doing, but because the lawyer could thereby assure himself of a substantial fee.

It is the Chinese custom to pay the physician while the patient remains in good health rather than during ill ness, from which fact one may make his own inferences.

Professional men frequently encounter one difficulty which business men seldom have to face, and that is the opposition of their clients.” Paul P. Harris, page 143 from “This Rotarian Age” 1935 

And that’s a History Minute from The Global History Project

 

What Paul Harris Said – THE MEANING OF THE SERVICE IDEAL  #4 11/24/02

The philosophy of service is important to Rotary. Chapter eleven of “This Rotarian Age”, from page 139 to 156, deals with Paul Harris's thoughts on service. This is part two of this series.

".....happiness comes from unselfish service. Lives of service are lives of happiness. Take two children of the same family: for one reason or another, one is taught to serve the other. Though the parents may not realize it, the one who learns to serve will have all the advantage in later years. In service there is happiness. In the vast number of human activities there are opportunities for all types of service. This from Anthony Adverse:  ' One never realizes the fulfillment of life until he loses the sense of self in service.  ' 

The professional schools teach the student that character is the most reliable foundation upon which to build a successful future; that success must depend upon the quality of service rendered." Paul Harris, page 142 “This Rotarian Age.”

Why do we join Rotary?  We join for we know that collectively we can make a difference.  Like minded individuals joining together to serve society.  Paul Harris envisioned that premise and from there onwards provided us through Rotary the vehicle and the road map.

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

CHAPTER XI - THE MEANING OF THE SERVICE IDEAL  Part Three PAGE 141 11/17/02

“Humane societies have frowned upon the use of dogs, cats, monkeys, guinea pigs, and rats for experimental purposes. To medical men the practice seems amply justified in the advancement of science. That they are sincere in their viewpoint there can be no doubt. Many of the profession have jeopardized, and even sacrificed, their own lives through performing experiments upon themselves. If the doctrine of “Service above Self” seems to some too Utopian for practical purposes, they will do well to think of these high-lights of the medical profession.

The practice of medicine and the practice of law have had the benefit of time-honored traditions. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, promulgated on oath to be taken by his followers which rings true to the highest concepts of the present day, and the Justinian standards for the practice of law were no less idealistic.

Emerson’s cryptic utterance: “All men are as lazy as they dare to be,” will stand considerable dilution.

Vocational training has accomplished much in the direction of enabling young men to find the work for which they are best adapted. The entire outlook upon life can frequently be changed for the better by shifting an employee from work he does not like to work that he enjoys. Progressive employers now recognize this fact and make the most of it.

The writer recalls the case of a man, a lover of the outdoors, who found himself working listlessly from morning to night in an indoor occupation; he had not been able to achieve success. He took himself and his prospects into account one day. Six months later he was engaged in work in his natural environment and success was soon attained.” Paul P. Harris, page 141 from “This Rotarian Age” 1935

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

CHAPTER XI - THE MEANING OF THE SERVICE IDEAL  Part Two 11/10/02

PAGE 140

“While there are all too many professional men whose service fails to measure up to specifications, it is nevertheless the case that students of law, medicine, and theology are taught that the privilege of practicing their professions entails certain obligations which must be borne. The lawyer must remember that he is an officer of the court in the administration of justice. The physician, that he is first of all a servant of mankind. The preacher, that his is a sacred trust.

Lawyers must respond to the call of the court to defend gratuitously, impecunious prisoners; the physician must give a percentage of his time to patients who are unable to pay; the tradition of the ministry permits no discrimination between the prosperous and the indigent; and other professionals have their responsibilities.

A young lawyer recently, referring to an intricate law case which had been in progress for three years, said to the writer, ‘That was a wonderfully interesting case. I would have been willing to have handled it for nothing, if it had been necessary,’ It was the tradition of the bar which made the viewpoint possible. The young man loved his work. What wonders could be achieved if all men were in love with their work. The service ideal would quickly prove its practicability. ” Paul P. Harris, pages 140 from “This Rotarian Age” 1935 

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

CHAPTER XI - THE MEANING OF THE SERVICE IDEAL Part One 11/3/02

PAGE 139

“Work’s a grand cure for all the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind – honest work which you intend getting done.” – Thomas Carlyle.

“What is meant by the service ideal? The author of the ‘Meaning of Rotary’ quotes several versions varying in word, but identical in spirit.

The Egyptian expressed it: ‘To seek for others the good one desires for oneself.’ The Persian: ‘Do as you would be done by.’ Buddha: ‘One should seek for others the happiness one desires for himself.’ Confucius: ‘What you would not wish done to yourself, do not unto others.’ Mohammed: ‘Let no one of you treat his brother in a way he himself would dislike being treated.’ The Greek: ‘Do not that to a neighbor which you would take ill from him.’ The Roman: ‘The law imprinted on the hearts of all men, is to love the members of society as themselves.’ The Hebrew: ‘Whatsoever ye do not wish your neighbor to do to you, do not unto him. This is the only law; the rest is mere exposition of it.’ Lastly, Jesus of Nazareth: ‘All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.’

Clearly it cannot mean that whose who are wedded to the service ideal believe that wealth has no legitimate uses.

 

PAGE 140

The Rotary conception of the service ideal, as the writer understands it. Is placing service first in the sequence of events; in other words, he who professes to be a devotee to the service ideal must fix his eye on the service he is to render and not on the dollar he is to receive. When the dollar is place in proximity to the eye, it is difficult to see beyond. Dollar cornering per se is stupid procedure.” Paul P. Harris, pages 139-140 from “This Rotarian Age” 1935 

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

What Paul Harris Said 10/27/2002 Religious Differences and Understanding 

“Rotary’s program of promoting better understanding between different racial groups and between devotees to different religious faiths, so simply and yet so auspiciously begun in the year 1905, has met with greater success thus far than the negotiations of diplomats. It has been the way of Rotary to focus thought upon matters in which member are in agreement, rather than upon matters in which they are in disagreement. Rotary has satisfactorily demonstrated the fact that friendship can easily hurdle national and religious boundary lines.

One’s religion is one’s own possession and (he) has a right to it. One’s nativity is not of (his) own choosing, but whatever it may be, it is entitled to respect; and all nations have an honorable place in the world’s family.” Paul P. Harris, page 61 from “This Rotarian Age” 1935

The focus of Rotary may have seemed to some to be simplistic, but even after the great world wars, Rotary was still seen as one of the real forces for peace in the world.  

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

10/20/2002 “They banned dissentious subjects”

“The 1905 members of the Rotary Club of Chicago, so valued the friendship of their fellow-members that they put a ban upon religious and political discussions, fearing that they might become disturbing factors, and they were richly rewarded for their foresight. There was plenty of dynamite in questions which might have been raised; but they were not raised. The formula was very simple; it read, ‘Go about your common tasks together, avoid discussions of dissentious subjects, and your reward will be friendship.’ The formula was worthy of adoption in much wider circles.” Paul P. Harris, Page 59 from “This Rotarian Age” 1935 

Now 97 years later Rotarians still follow this tradition. There are many traditions, born of inspiration that brought about one of the world’s greatest organizations. In Paul Harris’s 1935 text book on Rotary, “This Rotarian Age,” there many such examples to share with our readers. Next week, how Rotary dealt with religious differences in the early years.  

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

10/13/02 "General Secretary Ches Perry 1910 – 1942"

"Ches' vision has always been wide enough to comprehend the possibilities. His devotion during the score of years has made Rotary what it is. If ever one has been blessed with the capacity for singleness of purpose, it is he. Morning, noon and night; day in and day out; year in and year out --- always the same indomitable will to carry on. Be believes in the eight hour shift, but he works
two of them; he believes in holidays --- one can do some many things on Saturday afternoons, Sundays, on Christmas and New Years --- so many little things that one finds difficult to reach when one's office is full of fellow workers, when there are so many callers and the telephone so frequently interrupts." Paul P. Harris, Pages 99-100 from "This Rotarian Age" 1935

In May of 1912, Perry began issuing charters to new clubs on the first of the month. Occasionally that day fell on Sunday. Now we know why charters were issued on a Sunday, he was there working. March 1, 1914 there were 8 issued and it was a Sunday. That group included Phoenix #100. Not much has been known about this hard working man, but now we've posted six pages of "This
Rotarian Age" at http://www.earlyleaders.org/ then click on Ches Perry. We now have much of his life covered here.

And that's a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

The following three weeks are in reverse order so that they will read in the order they  were issued. This subject is also covered at our section on women and Rotary.

September 22, 2002 - Women’s Clubs  (part I)

 “It is heartening also to know that the wives, daughters and mothers of Rotarians in many cities, impressed with the value of Rotary have organized clubs of their own and are doing effective service in charitable enterprises. The women’s movement has gained greatest momentum in Great Britain where their clubs, nearly one hundred in number, have already established a national unit which is doing extension work in British dominions.” Paul P. Harris, Page 133 from “This Rotarian Age”

In this three week series, we’ll present a passage from Harris’s third autobiography, written in 1935.  Rotary’s Global History Project has just opened a full website devoted to the issues of “Women and Rotary,” at women and Rotary. where you may read history, some never available before, about women and Rotary. We make no judgments on the subject. That was done by the US Supreme Court, Rotary International’s Council on Legislation and clubs around the world. Among the sections of this new project are the personal recollections of the first eight women district governors. One of them, recently deceased, knew Paul Harris when she was a child.

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

September 29, 2002  Women's Clubs are needed (part II)

"The writer is convinced that women who can spare the time from family affairs, need contacts with other women more than men need increased opportunities to meet their fellows. Business provides men with contacts and also with a form of discipline of which women, by reason of their sheltered lives, are deprived. If women are more critical then men, it is because they have had less experience with their kind. Inexperienced men are suspicious and difficult to deal with, while women whom circumstances have compelled to enter the field of business generally become less suspicious, broader in their outlook and more understanding." Paul P. Harris, Page 133 from  "This Rotarian Age"

As http://www.rotarywomen.org/ continues to add to the remarkable story of "Woman and Rotary," it would appear, in this second of three passages, that Paul Harris is very supportive of women. It is a different time than today and that must be taken into consideration. At our new site, we are bringing together many of the conflicting and agreeing issues that started almost at the beginning of Rotary. It was at the 1912 convention that Rotary first made a formal position on women's clubs. Indeed there had been some already organizing.

And that's a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

October 6, 2002  Harris hopes that everyone has a club  (part III)

“Considerable effort has been made by business and professional women to have the doors of Rotary opened to them. Lady Astor, appearing before a Rotary conference in Great Britain in their behalf, made her usual strong appeal. While the business and professional women have been unsuccessful in their efforts to gain admission to Rotary, they have not been unsuccessful in their efforts to embrace Rotary principles. They now have several strong and growing organizations of their own.

The writer hopes that the organizations of the Rotary type now in existence will increase until the time arrives when there will be clubs for all business and professional men and women and youths who are imbued with the ideal of service.” Paul P. Harris, Pages 133-134 from  “This Rotarian Age”

Though it would be more than half a century before Rotary admitted women, Paul Harris does not appear to be intolerant, but only “of his time.” He is not critical of women, but  noticeably complimentary.  It was still a world where men of Harris’s time saw women in business “forced” to be in that situation. You may learn more, on your own, by spending some time at www.rotarywomen.org.

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

Agreement – September 15, 2002

“It has been the way of Rotary to focus thought upon matters in which they are in agreement, rather than upon matters in which they are in disagreement. Rotary has satisfactorily demonstrated the fact that friendship can easily hurdle national and religious boundary lines." Paul P. Harris, Page 86 from “Adventures in Service” 14 printing.

This approach represents the technique of the simple act; the small man-to-man acts of service and fellowship.  Rotary offers no magic formula, no quick solution. Its method does not make headlines.
But it does make friends.

The genuine approach to Rotary fellowship--the firm handclasp and the warm, informal greeting--speaks in inaudible eloquence: "You don't pray or talk the way I do, but you are a fellow human being and I like you.

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

Selfish or Unselfish? September 8, 2002

“The purposes of early Rotary have been frequently described as selfish, and so indeed they may seem to have been.

Whether a member was selfish or unselfish depended, of course, upon where he found his happiness. If he found it primarily in gaining advantage for himself, he was selfish. If he found it in helping friends, he was unselfish. Naturally both types of mind were represented in the early days of club number one, as is true everywhere.”  Paul P. Harris, Page 15  from  Adventures in Service, first edition, 1946 Rotary International.

Many early clubs were very active in the practice of “boosting” or sharing business leads, a practice that was wide spread in the early years. Examples of research on this subject are being worked on at Rotary Global History. There is no record of Paul Harris condemning this practice, but rather emphasizing other positive areas in which the members might find interest.

His writing, speeches and leadership all point to inspiring Rotarians to accept challenges to meet needs in the world around them. If you read his many speeches from the conventions, found at Rotary Global History, you’ll find a gentle leader ever guiding Rotary to more responsible actions.

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

How Rotary Was Founded - September 1, 2002 

“During the course of the life of the movement, many misconceptions as to its origin and as to its motives have arisen, not the least persistent being the belief that Rotary is an offshoot or auxiliary of the Masonic order.  There are, of course, Rotarians who are Masons, but there are also Rotarians who are Catholics. Whatever they may be outside of Rotary, inside they are friends.” Page 91, “This Rotarian Age” 1935

Harris also makes it clear that the inspiration for an organization of men from individual occupations, regardless of race, religion or national origin was from his conversation one evening with a friend in 1900 and that he did spend quite some time with his own thoughts. Paul Harris was clearly the founder of the idea and a forward proponent of the ideals. His work inspired many others whom you may learn about at http://www.earlyleaders.org.  To grasp the genius of his vision one must read more than a few lines.

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

Privation and Suffering August 25, 2002 

“Pen could not describe the hardships of that first voyage; the privation and suffering was unbelievable. The seas were rough and the boat had the reputation of being the worst boat of the worst line in the trans-Atlantic service. In this experience, Paul learned much of the need of human sympathy which greatly affected his own life and indirectly the life of Rotary. Without this experience, he never could have believed that human beings could sink so low.” Page 51, “The Founder of Rotary” 1928.

From 1891, at the end of law school, until 1896, when be began his law practice in Chicago, Paul Harris traveled the world, often with little more than what he could carry.  In order to see England, Paul’s only affordable method was to ship out as a cattleman on a cattle ship. He describes sleeping on deck with no mattresses or blankets and their only food was a form of soup made of potato and water with tiny bits of meat and moldy sea biscuits. They were constantly being washed over with sea water and bothered by rats. Because he took to the task without complaint he was made foreman on the return voyage. But it is small wonder that he had such a desire to try to create programs for those in the world who suffered.

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

Lords and Commoners August 18, 2002

What a pity if would be, for instance, if the colorful lives of the various European nations were blended into one. Where then, could be found the fascination of travel? Who would be interested in a garden containing flowers of one species or one color only? Variety has been truly said to be the spice of life. Sameness is monotonous, depressing. Paul P. Harris, Page 87, “This Rotarian Age” 1935

As Rotary made its way to Winnipeg in 1910, Paul Harris saw England next. Harris was concerned. “Fancy Sir John being chummy with a retail tradesman, his greengrocer, for instance.” Harris found this not to be the case, and as Rotary found its way even to non-English speaking countries, the fellowship of Rotary prevailed. Different cultures and, Harris remarks, even different climates affected the temperament of the personalities of the clubs. But Rotary was proving to be international.

And that’s a History Minute from Rotary Global History

 

August 11, 2002 This Rotarian Age

Mr. G. K. Chesterton, whose references to Rotary have revealed no inclination to flatter, has on one occasion at least, referred to the present period of the world’s history as ‘This Rotarian Age.’ To Rotarians there is some consolation in the thought that he concedes that the movement is making imprint upon the times, even though he does make it manifest that he considers the step from the Victorian age to the Rotarian age a step backwards”  Paul P. Harris,  Page 1, “This Rotarian Age” 1935.

Rotary did soon become known world wide. Presidents came to meetings to see the “men” off to conventions away from the US. Kings attended those conventions. And, authors such as Chesterton and Sinclair Lewis took shots at us. It was a sign of our high visibility. We were on a path to be the most important influence in the world and stay there. As you read the writings of Paul Harris and learn of the other great early leaders, you’ll find out how we became such a sought after organization. There may be clues in our history as to how we can again be of such world wide service.

And that’s a History Minute from www.rotaryhistory.org

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – An Integrating Force August 4, 2002

"When Rotary holds its convention ten years hence, the skies will be full of planes from all the cities throughout the world. [The year was 1947] Nothing but good can come of such meetings of men united in the common ideal of service. Rotary is an integrating force in a world where forces of disintegration are all too prevalent; Rotary is a microcosm of a world at peace, a model which nations will do well to follow." Page 269, "My Road to Rotary" 1948

.....An integrating force. What wonderful words.  It is the responsibility (make that the mission) of every Rotarian to believe in and live those words. 

Rotarians by participating in projects in their own communities and communities throughout the world --  make a difference.

Rotarians by participating in the programs of and supporting the Rotary Foundation - create world peace and understanding.  Rotarians change the world.  Yes, we are an integrating force!

Martin Luther King, Jr., on the subject of human rights said…  "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.   Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

By sowing the seeds of love we continue Paul Harris's dream.

And that's your Rotary Minute from www.Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – Paul's Love of Nature July 28, 2002

"Even before the dandelions and the cowslips had sprung up from the cold earth, water-cress was green along the flowing brooks. Parsnips planted in the fall and imprisoned in the icy tomb during the winter, managed somehow to gather nourishment from the cold soil and
were all the sweeter for their hibernation." Page 87, My Road to Rotary.

When you read his books and other writings, you'll find that Paul Harris loved nature and knew the names of every flower, tree and animal at Comely Bank, their home in Chicago. That home was alive with nature. His many dimensions can be studied at our website.

And that's your Rotary Minute from http://www.Rotary Global History

 

What Paul Harris Said" – "Tolerance" July 21, 2002

"Friendship was the foundation rock on which Rotary was built and tolerance is the element which holds it together.  There is enough atomic energy in every Rotary club to blow it into a thousand bits were it not for the spirit of tolerance." Paul Harris, "Honoring Our Past: The Words and Wisdom of Paul Harris"  (This quote, used in the RI book, was abridged, follow this link for the actual language from Paul Harris's "My Road to Rotary" to obtain the full and significant meaning, ed 18 Feb 2003)

It was unheard of at the beginning of the 20th century to make application for almost anything without filling in the lines that asked for your race and religion.  When the original application form for membership in Rotary was designed those two questions (Your Race?
& Your Religion?) were not included.  Rotary's application form was unparalleled at the beginning of the last century.

And that's your Rotary Minute from www.Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – July 7, 2002

With apologies to our many readers: This excerpt from Paul Harris's first autobiography cannot be told in "A Minute." Also, the book is out of print and rare. So indulge us over the next two weeks, as, without comment, we tell the story of Paul's first friend.

 

The First Friendship

"One day after Cecil had gone [Paul's older brother], Paul met a boy of his own age who had the reddest hair anyone had ever seen; hair couldn't be any redder than Fay's – his name was Fay Stafford; it was the red of a fiery flame and to him it was a source of considerable
humiliation. If there ever was a boy who deserved the friendship of another boy, that boy was Fay and the friendship of another boy is what he got, the friendship of Paul. Before Paul could speak the name of his boy friend plainly, he used to call at his house and ask his mother if `Pay' could come out and play.

Fay suffered a great hardship; his folks compelled him to wear shoes even during the long hot summer days when going barefooted was such an exquisite pleasure; the two raced the fields and hills together.

They knew no single-blessedness; they shared each other's joys and sorrows. Paul's life would have lost half its zest had he been deprived of the companionship of his redheaded friend." Pages 21-22, "The Founder of Rotary" 1928

The conclusion next week: "A tragic loss"

And that's your Rotary Minute from www.Rotary Global History

 

What Paul Harris Said" – July 14, 2002

The conclusion of a touching story from Paul Harris's first autobiography. This is the story of Paul's first friend.

"The First Friendship.  "One day years later, Fay told a neighbor that it seemed at times to him that he was losing his mind. He became mentally unbalanced within two days thereafter and was taken to the insane asylum at Brattleboro, where after spending several hopeless
years he died. He was buried in the granite hills of old Vermont, and thus ended Paul's first friendship.

Of life's charms what is comparable with friendship? One may possess the wealth of a Croesus and yet, if friendless, how empty it all is.

The red-headed Vermont boy was the first of a long list of friends who have enriched and sweetened Paul's life. He feels deeply indebted to them for the happiness they have brought him. They have indeed made life worth living and if there is any message which of all
others he would send ringing down the aisles of time, it is the message of friendliness, the message of which mankind stands most in need.

The foundation upon which Rotary has been built is friendship; on no less firm foundation could it have stood. Perhaps when future generations think of Rotary and of the power of friendship, they will give passing thought to the red-headed boy of the granite hills."
Pages 22-23 "The Founder of Rotary" 1928

And that's your Rotary Minute from www.Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – The End of the Rotary Year For June 30, 2002

"When male humans turn the corner from childhood to boyhood changes take place, biological of course but diabolical as well; at least it seems so to unprejudiced observers. Even loving papas and mammas frequently doubt whether, after all, Junior has the makings of a preacher in accordance with their cherished hope, or whether Junior's talents are not better suited to some other vocation, gangster or racketeer perhaps. In some cases doting parents come to see that their chief concern is not to educate Junior but rather to keep him from educating them." Page 61, "My Road to Rotary" by Paul P. Harris.

Paul Harris had a remarkably normal childhood including what he describes as a bit of the "Rapscallion." He had a great mind and the New England people, his grandparents above all else, prepared him for a road to something truly grand. Next week, our new leaders start another chapter in their "Road to Rotary" and we wish them well.

And that's your Rotary Minute from www.Rotary Global History

 

“What Paul Harris Said” – Paul’s Father Depends on Grandfather Harris June 23, 2002

“The extravagances of father were less conspicuous than those of mother but certainly more personal. Cigar bills and kindred expenses could hardly be considered necessities of life. However no one with a knowledge of the facts could have spoken of father as a good provider; in fact, he left that honor to grandfather for whom there was no escape. Grandfather simply had to be a good provider or the clock would run down.” Page 59, “My Road to Rotary” by Paul P. Harris.

However indulgent Howard Harris had been with George Harris, Paul’s father, the senior Harris provided comfort for Paul but expected that he do something with his life. In later years, Paul witnessed his grandfather’s emotional suffering over Paul’s father’s misfortune, but also felt his grandfather’s strong desire for Paul to succeed. It was the fortune of Rotary for those relationships to have been as they were.

And that’s your Rotary Minute from www.Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – His Mother Returns  6/15/2002

"One summer afternoon when grandfather, grandmother, the hiredgirl and I were living along, I was walking along the principal street in the village, a scant block from home when I saw a lady crossing the street. She was leading a child and carrying a satchel.

… She inquired, `Are you little Paul Harris?' … `Then I amyour mamma, my darling Paul' Page 57, "My Road to Rotary" by Paul P.Harris.

There were attempts by Paul's parents to bring their family together, but the several, brief attempts didn't work. Paul's father's inventions and schemes always failed. It's interesting that Paul Harris does not speak badly of his parents, just fondly of his wonderful grandparents to whom we in Rotary owe so much, and thusly so does the whole world.

And that's your Rotary Minute from www.Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – A Happy Childhood 6/8/2002

"Yes, the jolliest of all bells were the dancing, rollicking sleigh bells of winter. Would once again I might experience the ecstatic joys of boyhood as they sprang up in my heart on the mornings of late autumn after the first fall of snow." Page 36,"My Road to Rotary" by Paul P. Harris.

Another gift to Rotary was that our founder had a happy childhood, one that his own parents might not have afforded him. Though his grandfather might have over indulged his father, he certainly gave Paul the ideal environment for a secure childhood. One might suppose that a happy childhood somehow helped him withstand serious illness in his mid-forties. Perhaps this is true. Being born in 1868 when life expectance was not more than 45, he did live to nearly 80. That happy childhood was an important part of his "Road to Rotary."

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

“What Paul Harris Said” – A frugal grandfather, every stitch. 6/1/2002

“Grandfather’s every day clothes were well sponged and mended though they bore evidences of wear and were faded. His every day overcoat was a familiar sight about town. An older and bigger boy once sneeringly remarked, ‘Here comes old Harris with his mouse colored overcoat.’ Had I been big enough to do so, I would have smitten him down. No one knew better then I why grandfather made his clothes last so long. No one knew better than I that the frugality that characterized his life had a purpose back of it … the purpose of serving them whom he loved.”  Page 27, “My Road to Rotary” by Paul P. Harris. 

Another example of the powerful influence of Paul’s grandfather and evidence of what he carried into Rotary. Another reason why his vision of Rotary went beyond what many early Rotarians saw. But, there’s much more.

And that’s your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

“What Paul Harris Said” – The Downfall of my Father 5/26/2002

This is a continuation of our series from Paul Harris’s autobiography.

“Father had been given a drug store and a house of his own by grandfather Harris, a thrifty New Englander, whose indulgence of his son was one of the reasons why my father found it so difficult to keep income up and expenses down.”  Page 4 from “My Road to Rotary” by Paul P. Harris.

Paul Harris seeks to explain why his own parents would not be able to raise him and his older brother and so leave them in the care of his grandparents. One of the miracles of Rotary was Howard Harris, who as a grandfather acted quite differently during Paul’s childhood, teaching him the values that started him on his Road to Rotary. We will explore this remarkable story and Paul Harris’s life in the weeks and months to come.

And that’s your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

“What Paul Harris Said” –  5/19/2002

“The most urgent need at the present stage in the development of Rotary is not ‘more clubs’ nor ‘larger clubs’; it is the evolution of a truer and stronger philosophy.

It is not only necessary to the permanency of the success of Rotary that its philosophy be idealized and standardized. It must also be practicalized and trued.

Rotary presents even now after several years of existence and after all of its wonderful growth, many problems which reach to the very center of its being, and the rarest of opportunities for definite constructive work.” The National Rotarian, November 1911 (from “Honoring our Past” copyright Rotary International}

Rotary’s Global History Project has been informed that Paul Harris’s autobiography, “My Road to Rotary” will be reprinted this summer. Though it is not for sale at this time, we understand that copies will be available by fall. To acquaint you with the excellent writing of Rotary’s founder and the values he brought to Rotary, this feature will take a slight detour. For a while, “What Paul Harris Said,” will be from his autobiography. We will continue this until we can announce that the books are in plentiful supply. Paul Harris’s book is a good start to understanding how Rotary became such a great success.

And that’s your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – 5/12/2002

Robert Burns was Harris's favorite poet. He is probably best remembered throughout the world for his popular version of the song Auld Lang Syne. This particular song was performed for Paul Harris at The Rotary Club of Glasgow (#60) in 1928 led by the famous comedian/singer and Glasgow Rotarian Sir Harry Lauder.

Lauder, a personal friend of the founder, coined the phrase "Rotary is the golden strand in the cable of international friendship" which is the basis for the title of Oren Arnold's analysis of Club #1.

Paul was clearly moved in this musical tribute and remarked to the President of Glasgow Rotary Club that it would be a lovely gesture for the Club to sing "Should Auld Aquaintance be forgot..." to all visiting Rotarians. The President replied with a frosty disdain "We dinna sing songs like that for everyone".!!

It may be a coincidence, but our international convention is always closed with the singing of "Should Auld Aquaintance be forgot..."

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – A statement of international philosophy 5/5/2002

"We are engaged in a great experiment, that of encouraging international good will and understanding. The history of the world to date is a revelation of the delicacy of our task and the magnitude of our undertaking. We are not organized for religious or political propaganda. Should our practices not be made to conform with our ideal?" Paul P. Harris

This is the last paragraph of a two page essay on how Paul Harris sees patriotism in light of Rotary's international scope. The full text can be found at www.Rotary Global History/paulharris/international,and comes from his diary of their Australian journey in 1935. It was the discovery of a here to for unreported "Friendship Tree," in Parramatta, Australia, which brought this to light. In his 1935 essay, Paul makes a case for singing songs of "international" acceptability rather than of any one patriotic entity. It is too long for printing here, but highly recommended for those willing to seek it out on our website. And, isn't this posting the date of "Cinco de Mayo" in Mexico? Paul's point would be that, as Rotarians, it should be a celebration of freedom and good will the world over. Not to detract from local patriotism, but to emphasize our "international" goals.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – Paul Harris on Tolerance 4/28/2002

"If by interposition of Providence I someday were to find myself standing on a platform in some great coliseum looking into the eyes of every living Rotarian, and were to be told that I could have one word to say, without an instant's hesitation and at the top of my voice, I would shout `Toleration!'" From "Paul Harris and His Successors," "Profiles in Leadership" page 10, copyright Rotary International.

Tolerance was certainly a virtue Paul learned every day in word and deed from his grandfather, Howard Harris. You'll find that in "My Road to Rotary." That book should be in every club library. While there are an astounding number of books on Rotary, the ones, in our opinion, with the most value are the ones of our past. They show Rotary's founding values and give us a foundation for the future.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – Paul Travels alone to Europe in 1932 4/21/2002

Paul Harris's thoughts on ending his two weeks on the European continent: "To begin with, I feel that it is the duty of all who can do so to broaden their perspective of life. It is especially the duty of Rotarians to do so. The sixth object can not have much meaning to us if we persist in remaining provincial in outlook. Nor do I see how one can be truly patriotic without being intelligently patriotic. I think that I love my country as dearly as anyone. I yield precedence to none; but I prefer that my love be not blind. I want to know my own country not only in itself, but also in relation to other countries. I do not return to my country with diminished devotion; I return to it with greater devotion." Paul P. Harris, in his unpublished diary of December 1932. Courtesy of the Rotary International Archives.

It was during this trip when Paul planted Friendship Trees in Berlin, Germany; Tallin, Latvia; Goteborg and Stockholm Sweden; and Bergen, Norway. He kept up a hectic pace which would tire a much younger man. Paul Harris was 64 years old, with a history of heart attacks and ill health. Ahead of him lay 15 more years and trips to Australia, South America and Asia. Though often exhausted, he never tired of telling the Rotary story.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – The little club that reached the world 4/14/2002

"If the Rawlins Rotarians will subscribe to the London Times, the Manchester Guardian and the Scotsman, they will be able to get carefully considered presentations of view points which are the generally accepted view points in Great Britain."  Paul P. Harris, writing in his diary in 1934.

In a remarkable and most sincere effort, the tiny (31) member Rotary Club of Rawlins, Wyoming, USA sent a questionnaire to every Rotary club outside of the USA in 1934 (1600 clubs) asking for "political" opinions. The purpose was to find common ground that might bring about the "end of warring." However, the use of this survey may have caused our president emeritus to recommend that Rotary, as it is to this day, become a "non-political" organization.  The story is posted at Rotary Global History in the "Paul Harris" section under "Rawlins Survey." Rawlins today has 36 members, but remains one of the few occasions in Rotary Global History when one single club contacted all of the clubs in the world.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – 1912 and we almost lose our founder. 4/7/2002

"On a never to be forgotten day, I was standing at the speaker's table at a great meeting, having just finished an address, when my lights went out. The last that I remember was of falling across the table and of being surrounded by folks. Heart attack, they called it. The specialist said it all when he said that I had over drawn my account; that I was bankrupt and must liquidate my account with nature."  Paul P. Harris from My Road to Rotary, Page 289.

"At the end of his second term of office (1912) he suffered a serious physical breakdown from which he recovered only because of his indomitable will to do so. He has constantly retained a deep interest in the movement, together with a keen desire for its successful development." Ches Perry, General Secretary of RI, in the forward to "The Founder of Rotary" by Paul Harris in 1928.

Paul Harris often described himself as too exhausted to attend events in his lengthy overseas travels. Regardless, his remaining 35 years, after his 1912 "breakdown," were his most productive. He leaves a legacy that we will be discovering at Rotary Global History for years to come. The entire forward by Ches Perry is now online in the "Paul Harris" section of Rotary Global History.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – 31 March 2002

"Having no children of our own, Jean and I have adopted Rotary International. While our cup of joy at `Comely Bank' has consistently overflowed, we have also had our share of sorrows. For instance: The city fathers established arc lights on Longwood drive. No longer need God pin the curtain of night back with his stars; no longer need the harvest moon shine; no longer need the commuters of our community grope their way back through the darkness, to the warmth and good cheer of their firesides. The city fathers take care of all such matters. Night has, in fact, been banished forever." "My Road to Rotary" by Paul Harris, Page 274 Copyright Rotary International

Paul Harris was a complex man of great energy, gentle spirit, one of Chicago's top attorneys, a brilliant leader, outdoorsman, lover of nature, gifted author and, with his wife Jean, a man who did indeed have Rotary International as his family until his death in 1947. To understand this man and the genius of Rotary, read "My Road to Rotary" available from Rotary International.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – 24 March 2002

"My wife and I have tried to make the best possible use of `Comely Bank.' We have entertained scores of Rotarians from all parts of the world, sometimes seating at our table guests from as many as eight different countries at tone time. In honor of our guests, we have planted many trees in our friendship garden, and, in many instances, guests so honored have passed to the Great Beyond, but the trees still stand, as memorials to our friendship." "My Road to Rotary" by Paul Harris, Page 274 Copyright Rotary International

Paul Harris named his wooded Chicago home, Comely Bank (see www.comelybank.org, ) after a road in his wife's home of Edinburgh, Scotland. The Rotary Heritage and History International Fellowship is seeking to preserve that home and garden for Rotary. Meantime Jean and Paul also planted Friendship Trees throughout the world and Rotary Global History is helping to preserve them at www.friendshiptrees.org . We will have more about the Magic of Comely Banks and his trees in coming weeks.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – Sunday March 17, 2002

"Silvester Schiele, my most intimate Chicago friend, and one of the three who first met with me, was made our first president, and has been a constant member. Gustavus Loehr and Hiram Shorey were the other two but they failed to follow through. On the other hand Harry Ruggles, Charley Newton, and others who were quickly added to the group, with hearty zest joined in developing the project."  (My Road to Rotary, by Paul Harris, page 231, copyright Rotary International)

Paul's Rotary club lost half of its first members. It's a fact of life in many new ventures. In fact, Room 711, the office of Gus Loehr, our "birthplace", none the less important to Rotary, was not the office of a Rotarian. Does that matter? It was where Paul introduced the idea. Ideas are what matter. The people, in fact, are all gone. Only their ideas remain. Besides Paul, Ches Perry's understanding of Paul's global vision is the most lasting contribution to Rotary and perhaps to the world. Now those ideas are being preserved, daily, at Rotary Global History.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – Sunday March 10, 2002

"One of the lecturers on the commencement program of his graduating class, a practicing lawyer who had graduated from the University ten years earlier, stated that it might be a wise plan for each graduate to go first to some small town and make a fool of himself for five years, after which he could go to the city of his choice and really begin his practice."  (My Road to Rotary, by Paul Harris, pages 216-217, copyright Rotary International)

Paul's father had been a failure in many business ventures and Paul worried about a similar fate. Regardless he took five years to "make a fool of himself." From San Francisco to Liverpool; Jacksonville to Norfolk and New Orleans to Denver; Paul was a cowboy, reporter, teacher, actor and merchant seaman. At times, from 1891 to 1986 he was homeless and hungry. However, on 23 February 1905, at the mature age of 37, Paul Harris was gifted, worldly and ready.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – Sunday March 3, 2002

"I think I inherited something of grandfather's broad spirit of tolerance. Grandfather was an ambassador of good-will in the eyes of the youngster who sat at his table during his impressionable years; he never spoke evil of any man nor of any man's religion or politics."  (My Road to Rotary, by Paul Harris, page 208, copyright Rotary International)

The world knows little of Howard Harris. When he took his son's three year old child into his home, he helped form the United Nations and end Polio. Paul Harris was a gifted human being, but his grandparents were the early stewards of that gift. The grandson made "The promotion of international understanding and goodwill," his life's work.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

An editorial note: After just two months of publication, we have nearly 350 subscribers, thousands more from forwarded copies, plus the international convention website posting. And, we would like to pause to give credit to Norma and Lynn Hammond for the original concept. Lynn is chairman of the executive committee of RI and Director for Zones 25 and 26. Lynn is also a recipient of Rotary Global History's "1905 Coin" http://www.rotaryfirst100.org/library/1905/index.htm#Lynn

 

"What Paul Harris Said" – For Sunday February 24, 2002

"The importance of placing and maintaining Rotary standards and ideals aloft cannot be overestimated. The star of hope in the Rotary ethical firmament must be high. It is hardly possible for it to be too high. May it be high enough so that there will always be something to strive for."  Paul Harris in The Rotarian, September 1912.

Paul had just finished his two years as president of the National Association of Rotary Clubs. Now as President Emeritus of the International Association of Rotary Clubs he was beginning 35 years of stewardship of those high ideas. It is appropriate that we salute those whose ethics prevailed in Salt Lake City, where Rotary International will shortly be a sponsor of the Paralympic games.

And that's your Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History (From Honoring Our Past: The Words and Wisdom of Paul Harris, copyright Rotary International)

 

What Paul Harris Said -  2/17/2002

"If we are not above indulging in flights of imagination, we may perchance find our usually staid and unemotional selves raised to a sense of exaltations as we contemplate the coming of the day when the genius of men will all be directed to constructive undertakings and the roar of cannons heard no more. merely a gesture to be sure, but dire have been the consequences of gestures of ill will and there have been an abundance of them. it is high time that there be more gestures of good will, and what better or more appropriate than the planting of trees, the living, growing hope of the realization of the highest concept known to man -- universal peace?" Paul Harris

Paul's comments were written after planting a "friendship tree" in Valparaiso, Chile. The planting and the growing collection of Paul's travels can be found at Rotary Global History.

And that's a Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

From Peregrinations, Volume III "Our Neighbors on the South" by Paul P. Harris, President Emeritus, Rotary International - copyright 1937, Jean T. Harris, courtesy of the Rotary International Archives

A personal note: Were it not for a photo of Paul Harris standing next to a "Rose Garden" in Canberra, Australia; and then Jim Buffington, RC of Aberdeen, Mississippi, USA who wrote asking for an advance copy of this very "What Paul Harris Said" publication; www.friendshiptrees.org  would not have happened. When we visited the Aberdeen website, there stood Paul Harris, shovel in hand, next to a newly planted tree, and we had a suddenly flash of awareness! Now there are 15 cities posted on the website from Berlin to Shanghai. And from Aberdeen to Auckland. There's even "film" of Paul from Sweden. Thanks, Jim.

 

What Paul Harris Said - 2/10/2002

"It is well that there is nothing in Rotary so sacred that it cannot be set aside in favor of things better. This is an experimental age in a changing world, and all things which are worth while and progressive are the cumulative effects of preceding successes and failures. The trees planted in Valparaiso and other cities we visited during the course of our trip presumably will stand for generations as living expressions of international peace and good will.
Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of people will rest in their grateful shade, and the eyes of most of them will be directed to the tablets bearing the message of good will." Paul Harris

Paul's comments were written after planting a "friendship tree" in Valparaiso, Chile. The planting and the growing collection of Paul's travels can be found at Rotary Global History.

And that's a Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

From Peregrinations, Volume III "Our Neighbors on the South" by Paul P. Harris, President Emeritus, Rotary International - copyright 1937, Jean T. Harris, courtesy of the Rotary International Archives
.

 

What Paul Harris Said - 3 February 2002

"May we never permit ourselves to speak in a derogatory manner of the people of any nation. If we do speak in such a manner, we shall be guilty of defamation of character; we shall be saying that which is not true. Let us go further as ambassadors of goodwill. Let us rebuke all violators of the rules of decency in international relationships. Let us how our colors, let us make it manifest that we are not in sympathy with calumny in international affairs, any more that we are in sympathy with disreputable slander of the fair name of a neighbor. (Message to 1935 RI Convention – Mexico City, Mexico)

This passage from "The Words and Wisdom of Paul Harris" page 111 speaks prophetically to a pre-war world, in 1925, and equally well to us today.

And that's a Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

What Paul Harris Said  -  For 27 January 2002

"The future of Rotary is shrouded in expectant mystery. It is for you my new Rotarian friends to aid in the unfurling of the Rotarian destiny." -  Paul Harris, Message to 1914 RI Convention Houston, Texas.

Think of it!  Not many years ago a handful of Rotarians said "Let's eliminate Polio."  Rotarians unfurled the flag adopted this movement and PolioPlus becomes a worldwide project. 
* Changing the world. 
* Making a difference. 
* Rotarians Make a difference.

And that's a Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

The grandeur of Rotary must be in the days to come 1/20/2002

"Rotary has a long way to go. One who thinks of the movement as a finished product is indeed short sighted; there is nothing in the past to justify such a view; those who have been long identified with it think of it as having made a beginning only; the grandeur of Rotary must be in the days to come".  ("Paul Harris - The Founder of Rotary" p. 122)

We might, in the words of Paul Harris, strive to be revolutionary (not evolutionary) in our approach to change.

Make it known to your club and district leaders that you want change -
- that you are ready to revitalize your organization and make the
fundamental changes that will attract a quantity of quality members.
* Changes that will attract younger professionals and business leaders. 
* Changes that will help Rotary to grow
* To make Rotary more relevant in the 21st century.
Take responsibility for Rotary's future and get involved in the process of change.  Change will not happen without your wholehearted participation.

And that's a Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

The words of Paul Harris, in his address to the 1930 Rotary International Convention sum up, very well, why formation of a new club is a positive change for everyone. 1/13/2002

Paul Harris said, "As movements get older they become institutionalized. Tradition hampers the exercise of reason. Conventionalities enter and assume undue importance. Unworthy and irrational features are permitted to continue merely because they have always been. No one cares to disturb precedence even though it may be manifest that its reason, if there was one, no longer exists.
The spirit becomes lost in the letter of the law."

Formation of a new club brings change to the old club, forces the existing club to look at its "conventionalities" and often brings about positive change. A newly created club forces its "older" club to become better.  Everyone benefits - - the community, Rotary International, new members and existing members -- from the formation of new Rotary clubs.

And that's a Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

What Paul Harris Said - 6 January 2002

"Rotary was born of the spirit of tolerance, goodwill and service, all qualities which characterized New England folks of my boyhood days, and I have tried to interpret, so far as lies within me, that faith to other men." Paul Harris from "My Road to Rotary," page 278 copyright Rotary International

It seems obvious, this first week of the New Year, what Paul Harris Said to us today. Certainly no time in our 97 years has tolerance been more needed throughout the world? Paul Harris was talking about equality of all "men and nations" during the start of Germany's darkest days and before the US and other countries began to address civil rights.

He would remind us that tolerance begins here in our clubs. He Said that it is the subtle tolerance of ideas and expression in our own gatherings and outward in our community where we as Rotarians can have an impact. He might remind us that if we are not tolerant, Rotary will be an intolerant organization.

And that's a Rotary Minute from Rotary Global History

 

What Paul Harris Said 30 December 2001

"Since the beginning of civilization, there has been a surplus of sayers of things. If there is any one particular in which I would have Rotary distinguished from other organizations, it is in the quality of character which results in the doing of things."  Paul Harris, Message to the 1921 RI Convention in Edinburgh, Scotland.

This is the first in a weekly series of "What Paul Harris Said," from The "History" Project, at www.Rotary Global History.

Certainly Paul Harris would have pride and admiration for what Rotarians have done to eliminate Polio through PolioPlus these past two decades or so.

But, as kind and loving toward Rotary as Paul always was, he would also ask if
each of us had truly done a part of this. And that's a Rotary minute from Rotary Global History.

 

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