When someone asks me why I became a Rotarian, I tell them that it is because of the people and the philosophy. My inductor, PP Gary, is an amazing independent intellectual and a great civil servant in Macao. Despite the difference in age, we became friends as we both are passionate about the idea of “unity in diversity” and want to actualize it and promote it in all public endeavors locally and globally.
Later when PP Gary introduced me to our club and the world of Rotary, I was very impressed by how dedicated to service above self our members are, on top of their respective brilliance and charm. But it was when PP Stella brought up the “Four Way Test” to me for the first time, I truly felt that I wanted to be part of this collective. Not only have I used the test in my Rotary actions ever since then, I bring it up in multiple communication courses in my own teaching.
Today, as I am about to embark on my presidential journey under the theme of “Imagine Rotary,” I found myself in awe of the intrinsic logic connecting all of these big ideas. RI President-elect Jennifer Jones calls on us to ensure that Rotary’s culture exemplifies our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and to “imagine a world that deserves our best, where we get up each day knowing that we can make a difference.” While celebrating and respecting our differences, it is even more urgent that we commit ourselves to an ethical yardstick – a piece of shared wisdom that unites our thoughts, our words and our actions.
“Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” I hope this “Four Way Test” will become the guiding light for all of us, at every moment of our work in the Rotary Year 2022-23.
I look forward to working with District leaders and my fellow Rotarians near and far in our collective efforts to get closer to build a world that will “live as one.”