The Program of Rotary

Associations, like people, are known for what they stand for what they accomplish. What Rotary clubs and Rotarians undertake to accomplish is called the Rotary program. If the clubs and their members perform that program well, Rotary as a service association will continue to grow and be respected around the world. Hence, full understanding of Rotary and its kaleidoscopic program of service in today's world is essential for all Rotarians.

foundation stone upon which the whole Rotary edifice rests is known as the Object of Rotary. There were six "Objects, of goals, until 1935, when the Maxico City con vention of Rotary Inter­national adopted four. In -1951 the convention held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, streamlined the stated purpose of the organization by adopting a single Object with four parts. Although modified somewhat through the years-usually in the interests of clarity and more finely-honed administration-its spirit has not changed. The program of Rotary is expressed in its Object as set forth in the Constitution of Rotary International and in the Standard Rotary Club Constitution.

The Object reflects Rotary's "golden rule," which is "to encourage and foster the Ideal of Service as a basis of worthy enter­prise." In particular, a Rotarian is asked to encourage and foster the Object's four parts:

  • The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service:
  • High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  • The application of the Ideal of Service by every Rotarian business, and community life;
  • The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and probe ssional men united in the Ideal of Service.

The Rotary movement, then, really has but one general goal-one Object-the acceptance by all its members of the Ideal of Service, which can be defined as being thoughtful of and helpful to others in almost every worthwhile human activity. Four basic approaches have been developed for the expre­ssion of the Object of Rotary. Known as "Avenues of Service,"are: Club Service, meaning of service to and within one's club; Voca­tional Service or service in and through one's business or profession; Community Service, or service to one's local community; International Service, which is service in the development and maintenance of friendly and harmonious international relations in a troubled world. These Avenues are exemplified in the activities of all Rotary clubs and involved Rotarians.

Many Rotarians believe that one way of accomplishing this in their day-to-day working lives is to apply The 4-Way Test, developed by Herbert J. Taylor, R.I. President in 1954-55. This is a simple, four question test of the things we think, say, or do. It can be applied to all four Avenues of Service-and to virtually all areas of life-but perhaps it fits into Vocational Service better than anywhere else.

  • Is it the Truth
  • Is it Fair to all Concerned
  • Will it Build Goodwill and Better Friendships
  • Will it be Beneficial to all Concerned?

The Object and its four Avenues, then, are fundamental to Rotary; in fact, the administration of all clubs is organized around them. Almost as important are Rotary's twin mottoes "Service Above Self" and "He Profits Most Who Serves Best."

More than 30 years after Rotary was founded, Paul Harris Wrote: "This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again." He never believed that Rotary's program should remain static.

This is the secret of Rotary's strength and continued growth

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