Princeton, New Jersey 08542-0402 USA
|My fellow Rotarians and Friends of Rotary,
Thank you for for celebrating together all the good that has been accomplished this past year and welcoming in the new Rotary year, with its unlimited possibilities for good!
The July issue of The Rotarian magazine opens with Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka’s first official letter to each of us. In it, he speaks of being part of the first generation to grow up in Japan after WWII, and how the decision his country made to embrace peace allowed Japan to grow and thrive. It’s a very beautiful and inspiring letter, and I encourage you to read it, if you haven’t already.
In the spirit of President Tanaka’s letter—and of this year’s Rotary International theme “Peace Through Service”—I challenge us as a club to let this theme lead us in everything we do this year.
Peace through service.
Service means in part, to help, to use, to benefit; it’s a selfless contribution to the welfare of others. Peace is commonly understood as the absence of hostility and conflict. But the peace that comes through service is about the presence of things good, not the absence of bad. It’s the presence of tranquility, safety, and stability, the presence of well-being and generosity, the presence of trust and respect; it’s the presence of forgiveness and brotherhood, the presence of gentleness, goodness, joy, and gratitude.
What’s at the root of that peace? President Tanaka implies that it springs from putting the needs of others before our own—the needs of society over the needs of the individual—and from having a shared goal that is for the good of all. I would add that it springs from genuine love for something higher than ourselves and a desire to express that love in selfless service to mankind.
We have yet to identify the different avenues though which we’ll serve and contribute to peace this year—our shared goals for the good of all; these ideas need to come through you.
Our meeting on July 10th will be devoted to generating these ideas together. I hope you’ll all be there; you’re needed. Your ideas are needed; your desire to serve is needed; your readiness to make peace is needed. In preparation for the meeting, Kris Muse has sent an email with a simple survey for you to complete online; it’ll help us sort out the issues and ideas that interest us the most so we can narrow our focus, roll up our sleeves, and get going!
In leading up to this new Rotary year, incoming District Governor Dwight Leeper’s resounding message has been “Don’t invite people to your club, invite them to your cause.” Whatever projects we choose to do this year, our true cause is peacemaking. Ahead are fresh opportunities for us as a club to collectively bless others and for each of us individually to be blessed in return. I’m eager to see how the Rotary Club of Princeton grows as we embrace peace—for you know it has to grow and prosper! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Here’s to making peace together!
With much gratitude for each of you,
Cynthia R. Love
Rotary Club of Princeton