By DG Dan Hall

When this Rotary "lotion of service" is generously applied, Sarah, it results in the softening  of the heart and the transformation of human lives of both the giver and those who receive.”)

Dear  Sarah,

Every person who joins Rotary is welcomed....but , you, my longtime friend, are especially welcomed.

Knowing you, as I do, I am sure you will become a strong club member and contributor
to society through Rotary service. You already have "what it takes" which is a heart of service
above self which is the motto of Rotary.

While Rotary is non-political and not-religious in nature, still you will find that Rotary’s "good works"
will fit nicely into your personal philosophy.  As a Christian, I have found nothing in Rotary’s ideals conflicts with my basic moral beliefs.  People of other faiths have told me the same thing.

As you have seen, we start each meeting with the ring of the bell followed with a prayer and pledge.    As you have seen, every meeting is filled with fellowship, fun and kidding one another...which makes
weekly participation so enjoyable. Good food just adds to the enjoyment.


Most unlike everything in life, where you "get out of something exactly what you put into it,"
In Rotary, however, your service results is multiple benefits to you in return.  Rotarians call this miraculous phenomenon "the paycheck of the heart." When this Rotary "lotion of service" is generously applied, Sarah, it results in the softening  of the heart and the transformation of human lives of both the giver and those who receive.

Get prepared to make life long friends in Rotary service. When, what I call, “good hearted people”, get to know each other because of the values they share, and not the money they make, then wondrous friendships develop.  These are great relationships that last a lifetime. But, in this new Rotary relationship, prepare to be held to a high standard of accountability and conduct both personally and professionally.

We Rotarians strive to "walk the walk" of very high ethical standards called, the "Rotary Four-Way Test in all we  think, say and do.”  By now, you have no doubt heard it recited in our club meetings..... Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? and
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? After a while, this Four-Way test becomes ingrained in your soul just like a tune you hear then find yourself humming all day.

So, Sarah, as a new club member, here is what I suggest you do to get involved with your club’s service. Ask your club president or secretary for a “beginners” assignment. It might be a simple task like helping set up or take down materials for the weekly meeting. Take some “baby steps” to get some success, under your belt.  Next seek out a club project to help with and, through this assignment,
get to know your other club members. After gaining some experience at these "assignments," then ask to chair a club project where you actually organize and gain support from other Rotarians accomplishing a task.

Now don't expect all this service to transpire "over night," but give yourself some time to acclimate to your club "culture." In all of this, be ready to say "yes" when asked to do Rotary work. Finally, attend the first Rotary District Assembly that happens after you become a new member. This will allow you to "have your eyes opened" to the great opportunities Rotary offers at the District level and beyond.

Don't be like a few who join Rotary and expect to get some personal financial gain. They don't last as members because they joined for the wrong reason. Don't come to a club meeting only once in a while, when you feel like it, for you will not get the true "feel" of Rotary. If the going gets rough, don't drop out, but drop in to speak with your club president or secretary and let them know what is troubling you.

Always remember, Rotary is a family, and like any family, we will inevitably have disagreements and someone might make an unwelcomed comment. Just don't take it personally nor hold the other person at fault. Your response, after considering the 4-Way test, should be to forgive, forget, and move on. My mom always reminded me that, "no one ever promised that life would be fair" when my older sister was "mean to me." That advice didn't make me feel better, but still I loved, and forgave my sister.
How you respond to issues will, in large measure, be a reflection of your expectations of the good you see in your fellow Rotarian. Just remember, that should you ever make a mistake, know how you would want to be treated.

Well, new Rotary friend, to enjoy this Rotary organization to your fullest, learn what it has to offer at the club, district, zone, and international level. Be willing to sacrifice some personal time for the good of others served by Rotary. Always say, "yes" when asked by you club to help with something. Always smile when adversity strikes and persevere the inevitable storms any family will endure. Grow from all of this, Sarah, and become a true Rotarian.  

In Rotary friendship,