When was the last time that something really touched your heart?
There is so much in the news about violence and white collar crime and disaster of every type and so little in comparison of the good. Friday night was our Rotary Change over dinner. The current president acknowledged the members who had contributed so much during his term and installed the new president.
The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self.” This saying was printed on the card which accompanied the Rotarian of the Year award.
A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said. “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something that is far more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.”
This speaks volumes about what we believe and do as Rotarians. In the midst of chaos and violence, there is a calm place where giving back to others is valued highly – that is one of the reasons I am a Rotarian.
Did You Know
The first polio epidemic started June 17, 1894. Polio reached epidemic proportions in the early 1900s. In 1985 two
Rotarians decided to eradicate polio. By 1994 it was eradicated in the United States. The Rotary mission continues with Rotarians as boots on the ground around the world and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributing generous financial support. In 2015 only three countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan) still had any new cases reported. (These countries has refused to allow us to immunize against Polio for fear we are harming their children; we know we are seeking to protect the children.)
What is this important to you? This highly contagious crippling disease is only a plane ride away from being back in the United States. Because of the idea of two Rotarians and the efforts of thousands of Rotarians, your children, grandchildren and generations to come can be free of Polio.
What does this have to do with a precious stone?
It isn’t the stone or the disease. It is far more precious. It is the spirit within which enables them to give something even more precious – they give of their time, talent and treasure – they give as they are able. They are giving freely to help others. In this case it is the gift of health.
This story touched my heart and resonated deep within. This is part of why I am a Rotarian.
What can you do?
Give a smile to a stranger
Give without expectation of return
Plant a tree whose shade you will never enjoy
Live your life to be a legacy you will be proud to pass on to the future.
Give something more precious than a valuable stone.
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