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Why is Rotary still one of our best kept secrets?
– 1.2 million members
– 33 thousand clubs
– Billions of dollars in charitable projects
– Impeccable reputation for financial stewardship

Despite all these facts and a track record of improving lives for more than a century, it is still a well kept secret. I stumbled upon Rotary in January of 2006 and haven’t been the same since. Are we leaving the future of arguably the most impactful service organization on the planet to chance?

I can’t explain it, maybe you can?

Do you ever feel undeservedly fortunate? Struggle to find a reasonable explanation for your good fortune?  Well, these were some of the questions and emotions I experienced for a long time.  I am often thankful that I was born to parents that could afford to give me access to opportunities that most could only wish for.  If you are like me, or have similar thoughts, you may feel compelled to give back.  After all, we won the genetic lottery.  Not because of our doing, but for some reason we were born into a family that could provide access to amazing opportunities.  I never went a day in my life without food, clean water, access to education, healthcare or peace and security.  I wonder how many in the world could make this claim?

I joined Rotary because someone I respected told me it was an organization that made good people better.

My five years in Rotary have been rewarding and fulfilling beyond my expectations.   I participate in Rotary because I feel it is the least I can do to show gratitude for my good fortune. It provides a vehicle to serve humanity and it gives me the humility, inspiration and satisfaction of knowing my efforts are bigger than me.  I’m a part of something that brings hope to others, no matter where they are on the planet.  I admit I have an idealistic core that needs nourishment and Rotary provides that opportunity.

Often times life gets in the way and there are competing priorities but Rotary is something I refuse to give up.  I know that if I allow something else to fill up the time on my schedule, it will be difficult to carve out that time for Rotary in the future. I don’t like to say I don’t have time for Rotary because the truth is, if it is important enough to me, I will make the time.

I will leave you with an ancient Chinese proverb:

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.


Emily Dickert talks about CrisisLink. CrisisLink brings immediate help, hope, and healing to empower individuals facing serious life challenges, suicidal thoughts, emotional or situational problems.

Video courtesy of the Pentagon Rotary Club.

About Rotary e-Club NOVA

The Rotary e-Club of Northern Virginia (NOVA) will be the first e-club of District 7610 and the national capital region around Washington, D.C.  This hybrid e-club will be comprised of like minded Rotarians having busy schedules but also the desire to serve above self as part of the oldest and perhaps the largest service organization in the world — Rotary International.

The e-club hopes to conduct several service projects both nationally and internationally, provide varied interesting programming via the internet, and provide a networking platform for industry leaders within several vocations.

If you would like to join Rotary, please contact us at

Yours In Service,
Anupam Kumar
Special Representative to the District Governor
Rotarian, Pentagon Rotary Club