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by Rotary International Past President Richard King

The following points were developed by then President-Elect Richard King when he served as membership chair for Rotary International several years ago. Use them often and freely to assist others in understanding the depth and breadth of Rotary's mission.

1. FRIENDSHIP. In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs: the need for friends and fellowship. It is one of the two reasons why; Rotary began in 1905.

2. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. The second original reason for Rotary's beginning. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross section of every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help one another and collectively help others.

3. PERSONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT. Membership in Rotary continues one's growth and education in human relations and personal development:

4. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education in Leadership: learning how to motivate, influence, and lead leaders.

5. CITIZENSHIP IN THE COMMUNITY. Membership in: a Rotary club makes one a 'better community citizen. The average Rotary club consists of the most active citizens in any community.

6. CONTINUING' EDUCATION. Each week at Rotary there is a program designed to keep one informed as to what is going on in the community, nation, and world. Different speakers, different topics.

7. FUN. Rotary is fun. A lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. And the service is fun.

8. PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS. Many an individual who joined Rotary was afraid to speak in public. Rotary develops confidence and? skill in public communication, and plenty of opportunities to speak!

9. CITIZENSHIP IN THE WORLD. Every Rotarian wears a pin that says: "Rotary International". And every Rotarian is welcome--even encouraged to attend-at over 29,000 clubs in 163 nations and other geographical regions. There are few places on the globe that ` do not? have a Rotary club. Instant friends in both one's community, and in the world community.

10. ASSISTANCE WHEN TRAVELING. Because there are Rotary clubs everywhere, many a Rotarian who has needed a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, advice, etc., while traveling has found it quickly - through Rotary.

11. ENTERTAINMENT. Every Rotary club and district has parties and activities that provide diversion in one's business life. Rotary has conferences, conventions, assemblies, and institutes that provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education, and service.

12. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL SKILLS. Every week and at various events and functions, Rotary develops one's personality, social, and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people, or who want to.

13. FAMILY PROGRAMS. Rotary provides one of the world's largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; partner's clubs and programs, and a host of activities designed to assist family members in growth and the development of family values.

14. VOCATIONAL SKILLS. Every Rotarian is expected to take a part in the growth and development of his or her own profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about one's job or vocation. Rotary helps make one a better doctor, lawyer, teacher, or whatever one does for a living.

15. THE DEVELOPMENT OF ETHICS. Rotarians practice a 4-Way Test that governs one's ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and personal relationships. 

16. CULTURAL AWARENESS. Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, creed, political persuasion, language, color, and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. It is a cross section of the world's most prominent citizens from every background. Rotarians become aware of other cultures and learn to love and work with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.

17. PRESTIGE. Rotary members are prominent people: leaders of business, the professions, art, government, sports, military, religion, and all disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks are filled with executives, managers, and professionals, people who make decisions and influence policy. Not everyone is invited to join Rotary.

18. NICE PEOPLE. Rotarians above all are nice people; the nicest people on the face of the earth. They are important people who adhere to the policy that while it is nice to be important, it is more important to be nice.

19. THE ABSENCE OF OFFICIAL CREED. Rotary has no secret handshake, no secret policy, no official creed, no secret meetings or rituals. It is an open society-of men and women who simply believe in helping others.

20. THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE. Rotary is a service club. Its business is mankind; its product is service. Rotarians provide community service-to both local and international communities. This is the best reason perhaps for becoming a Rotarian: the chance to do something for somebody else. And to sense the self-fulfillment which comes in the process. And the return to one's own life. Rotarians believe in service above self, it is richly rewarding. "he profits most who serves the best".

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