One of my favorite movies is the highly rated film based on a true story called Coach Carter. In it the seasoned basketball coach asks one of the errant teammates ‘What is your deepest fear, young man?’ At the conclusion of the tale and after an earth-shattering experience, the remorseful teenager responds by reciting a poem he has learned by heart. It begins with ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.’
What an inspiring thought. Coach Ken Carter was basically teaching his students that self-awareness is the start of fulfilling their destiny, and we can borrow that exceptional wisdom to plan individual and group actions. As you reflect on the past half of the Rotary year and plan for the next six months, here are eight things you may focus on.
Take stock of your achievements: Celebrate your successes and focus your energy on the project areas that need improvement. As Confucius says, ‘When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.’
Initiate positive change: Use the lessons from the world-class training seminars held last year to spark critical change in your club. Be prepared for the resistance that comes at the start of culture change and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Submit entries for The Sam Owori Awards: This year the district awards are in honor of the late Sam Owori. They have been revamped and are expected to be very competitive so support your club in preparing submissions. The quality of the application is just as important as the achievement because, from my experience, I’ve seen many good entries fail because of shoddy submissions.
Share the world of Rotary with your friends: Introduce at least one friend or workmate into your club; one who will enjoy the club’s camaraderie and service projects. As my friend and past RI Director John Smarge says, ‘Retention begins way before recruitment.’
Make a donation to The Rotary Foundation: This year our district has elected to support the Polio Endgame Strategy because we are on the last mile of the eradication initiative. If you are not yet a Paul Harris Fellow, there are still spaces for the 50% district match, and if you are, make another donation to work towards your Major Donor recognition.
Register for District Conference 2020: We’ve planned an extraordinary experience for Rotarians and Rotaractors with an array of fun, interactive activities with a host of internationally renowned speakers. If you haven’t yet registered, go to discon.rotary9212.org and register today.
Attend the RI Convention in Honolulu: The convention is the ultimate event of the year, where you get a chance to meet people from all over the world united in the ideal of service and this year it is hosted in the legendary holiday destination. The special treat for you is the District 9212 dinner cruise which will be held onboard the Star of Honolulu. Ticket details will be shared with you shortly.
Above all, have fun: As you do all these things be sure to enjoy yourself and help your fellow Rotarians to do the same. There are many joint activities planned such as the End of Polio Bikeathon, the Cancer Support Dinner, and the Intercities Conference in Western Kenya among others. Our District Governor Elect Patrick Obath has planned exceptional training seminars for the District Officers, Assistant Governors and Presidents-Elect which are bound to be thrilling and enjoyable.
Don’t forget to share your achievements, stories and exemplary members’ profiles on The Timeline so that you can spread your inspiration to Rotarians in our district and beyond. I’m really looking forward to working with each and every one of you to finish the year strong.
Joe is the District Governor 2019-20 of Rotary District 9212 and the Rotary International Representative to UN Environment. He is also the CEO of The Collective, a digital advertising agency, the chairman of the Advertising Standards Board of Kenya, and a board member of WWF-Kenya.