Mahatma Gandhi is believed to have said that "a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."
As a politician, I always keep that thought in mind when considering policies that I believe in. And certainly, that philosophy is one that politicians must always remember.
But is that responsibility one to be borne only by government and the politicians who run government? I think not. In our society, we have many service organizations who do excellent work in providing service to our weakest members of society. One of those organizations that I am most familiar with is the Rotary Club.
Rotary Club is an international organization of businesses and professionals who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
According to the organization’s website their motto is "service above self" and they do so in several ways: promoting peace; fighting disease; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; saving mothers and children; supporting education; and growing local economies.
Rotary has very wide reaching and ambitious goals. And its members devote a considerable amount of time working towards those goals. Rotarians believe that worldwide fellowship and international peace can be achieved when business people unite under the banner of service.
I am honoured to have been made an honorary member of the Charleswood Rotary Club several years ago. Although my schedule does not allow me to attend weekly meetings, I do try to attend whenever I can. I also hope that by carrying out activities to encourage community members to come together, and adhering to my belief that a community best strengthens itself from within, that I will continue to embody the ideals of Rotary.
Charleswood Rotary recently held another successful fundraising event — its annual Lobsterfest at the Eric Coy Arena. I look forward to this annual event as a place to meet with neighbours and friends while helping this organization raise funds for its many activities.
In addition to international programs such as polio eradication, building daycares and schools in underdeveloped countries, Charleswood Rotary is also the steward of the Assiniboine Forest. They have also been huge supporters of the summer learning program carried out at Westgrove School.
If you are ever interested in joining a worthwhile organization and at the same time making a whole new network of friends, I encourage you to join your local Rotary — or any other service organization. It’s an excellent way to give back to the community and to feel like you are doing something worthwhile. You gain a sense of being a valuable member of society by giving to others.
Hats off to all Rotarians and other members of service organizations! Your passion and perseverance create lasting change.