What does peace mean to you?

By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary Editorial staff

Everyone wants peace, notes Rotary Peace Fellow Erinma Bell, a graduate of Rotary’s Peace Center program at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

But the biggest challenge with wanting peace is actually getting people to understand that peace means different things to different people. Continue reading

The power of music

130623_powerofmusicBy Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary Editorial staff

Sitting in the Atlantico Pavilion for the opening plenary session of the Lisbon convention, I found myself powerfully moved by the music of Il Divo. The quartet — Swiss tenor Urs Buhler, Spanish baritone Carlos Marin, French pop artist Sebastien Izambard, and American tenor David Miller — served as the closing entertainment for the session.

As they belted out their rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” and “Somewhere,” I was filled with emotion. I could see the passion they were putting into their music. And it made me think about being passionate about what I do. Continue reading

House of Friendship opens

By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary Editorial staff

Sandra Fidalgo, a member of the Rotary Club of Setubal, Portugal, confided she was a bit nervous before singing, “Sing with me,” an original number she wrote and composed especially for the 2013 convention in Lisbon. She needn’t have been. She performed it beautifully, and the melody and lyrics provided a moving tribute to Rotary’s big gathering in Portugal as the House of Friendship officially opened Saturday. Continue reading

S*@# happens

Meet Mr. Toilet | Jessica Yu from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary Editorial Staff

Jack Sim is not afraid to say the “s” word.

The founder of the World Toilet Organization shared how he was approached by a Rotarian after his presentation at the World Water Summit Friday. A teacher, the woman said she would love to use his video “Meet Mr. Toilet” in her classroom, but she would have to edit out some of the language. To Sim, that’s the heart of the problem with sanitation. It’s an uncomfortable subject for many. Continue reading

Welcome to Lisbon

Tagus river, Lisbon, Portugal

Tagus River, Lisbon, Portugal

By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary Editorial Staff

As I watch a vessel leave a wake across the Tagus River from my hotel room in the Amoreiras neighborhood of Lisbon, Portugal, the early morning sun is washing over the terracotta roofs and palm trees are swaying slightly in the light breeze. Continue reading

RI President Tanaka’s Rotary Moments in February, March, and April

RI President Sakuji Tanaka (second from left) takes part in a Holi festival 27 March, organized by Rotarians in District 3010 (Union Territory, India) during a visit to the district. Holi is a festival of colors celebrated by Hindus mainly in India and Nepal.

RI President Sakuji Tanaka (second from left) takes part in a Holi festival 27 March, organized by Rotarians in District 3010 (Union Territory, India) during a visit to the district. Holi is a festival of colors celebrated by Hindus mainly in India and Nepal.

By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese

While I was preparing for a Major Donor dinner in Tampa Bay, Florida, on my birthday, which is 4 February, I thought about the past year. As people often do on their birthdays, I was reflecting about how quickly time passes and about my purpose in life of being useful to others — especially during my year as RI president when I feel I must do my best for Rotarians. I was remembering all the places I’ve traveled as a Rotarian and the interesting people I’ve met along the way. Continue reading

Paul Harris on the role of friendship in Rotary

Quote

“If you have the love of your fellow men in your hearts, my friends, you are a potential Rotarian.”

Paul Harris

Paul Harris

On 27 June, Rotary founder Paul Harris gave a live radio broadcast from the 1933 convention in Boston. Near the end of his talk, Harris noted that Rotary is a way of life and the world is full of potential Rotarians.

Celebrate Harris’s birthday on 19 April by listening to his message. How will you share his vision with prospective members you know? Leave a comment below.

No border divides us

Rotarians from India and Sri Lanka exchange club banners during a Friendship Exchange.

Rotarians from India and Sri Lanka exchange club banners during a Friendship Exchange.

By S.K. Saxena, a member of the Rotary Club of Guna (Madhya Pradesh) India, a runner-up in the 2012-13 Rotary Friendship Exchange video contest.

I had the privilege as part of a team of four Rotarians and three spouses to visit our neighbor Rotarians in Sri Lanka, Rotary District 3220. Our main goal through the Rotary Friendship Exchange was to build friendship and goodwill, and bridge the gap between the two countries. Continue reading

Sisters share a passion for peace

Katrina (left, second row) and Summer (center) in 2009 with members of MarketPlace India, a fair trade textile cooperative based in Mumbai.

Katrina (left, second row) and Summer (center) in 2009 with members of MarketPlace India, a fair trade textile cooperative based in Mumbai.

By Summer Lewis, a 2010-12 Rotary Peace Fellow, University of Queensland

My sister Katrina and I grew up overseas with our mom, an international educator. Between the two of us, we have traveled, lived and worked in 57 countries.

Katrina is a design professor. I am committed to fair trade and small-scale farmer development. We like to say that Katrina got her start playing with boxes as a kid, and I began cultivating my passion for grassroots development in the garden. Continue reading

Women creating peace across the world’s divides

By Christina DeAngelis, a 2006-2008 Rotary Peace Fellow, Bradford University

Christina DeAngelis works with women as part of Creators of Peace.

Christina DeAngelis works with women as part of Creators of Peace.

Since 2005, I have had the privilege of being involved in an international women’s peace-building program called Creators of Peace. Creators of Peace empowers women to be radical peace-builders, starting with themselves, their families, their communities and further afield. The idea is that if peace is to start anywhere then the best place for it to start is in “me.”  Continue reading