ImageRotary, being a peace crusader, earmarked February to promote world peace and understanding. We can do this starting with ourselves. Let us celebrate diversity by promoting the positive aspects of our different cultures and traditions. Without understanding there will be no peace, and achieving our objectives will remain an uphill task.

 

My Family of Rotary,

There is very little that we can do in this world without affecting others, because life is about people. Yet each one of us wants to be free to do as we please. We want to enjoy the things we love without any hindrances, and avoid the things we are not comfortable with, without being compelled to do them. But this is not always easy, because we are all different and our likes and dislikes often clash.

The world is such a web of diversity that every time one looks around, one sees people from all walks of life. We are from different nationalities, different races and tribes; we have different levels of education, and different beliefs and norms. Even in the smallest community, the family, there are so many differences that members spend a good amount of time disagreeing on various issues. This is what makes life interesting. Imagine how painfully boring the world would be if we all belonged to one category!

However, the disagreements have time and again turned ugly and led to devastating results at all levels; from broken families to inter-faith disagreements, tribal clashes and international conflicts. This does not have to be. Tolerance and acceptance of one another, based on understanding of what makes us different would go a long way towards keeping the peace that we all desire. 

Rotary, being a peace crusader, earmarked February to promote world peace and understanding. We can do this starting with ourselves. Let us celebrate diversity by promoting the positive aspects of our different cultures and traditions. Without understanding there will be no peace, and achieving our objectives will remain an uphill task.

Our duty as Rotarians is to lead the way. We need to show the world, which we aspire to change, that we are giving it our all. Look at your own family. What is the relationship with your spouse, siblings and others? How do you handle disagreements? Do you accept the fact that you cannot always have it your way, or do you use your status as the husband/wife or eldest sibling to force your views on others? At the Club level, how do you relate, assign tasks and select leaders? Do you base yourselves on ability to perform, or who is whose friend, or belongs to whose tribe/race/religion?

We have a big task of ensuring peace in our communities. No one can claim that this is an easy task, but if each one of us makes an effort at an individual level, the results will be a great manifestation of a people that have accepted one another and fostered a peaceful co-existence. I therefore wish to remind you, fellow Rotarians, that our duty is to make the world a better place. What better way to do this, than to live together in mutual understanding, Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike! Let us create harmony at home, at work, at places of worship and everywhere we go.

I am quite aware that as Rotarians we understand the importance of peace, and what makes us awesome to other people is the way we work together for the benefit of others. But I would like us to raise the bar even higher. Let us take the campaign to non-Rotarians, and support them in their struggles for peace.

Remember, my Family of Rotary, that our service to the people is very much affected by the kind of environment we operate in. Can we therefore, create a better environment in which we can effectively Engage Rotary to Change Live?

Emmanuel Katongole

District Governor, D9211

2013-2014

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