Paul Harris on what Rotary will be in 100 years

“May our happiness increase with our usefulness. What Rotary will be one hundred years hence, none living can imagine.”

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

By Rotary Heritage Communications staff

Rotary founder Paul Harris was a semi-regular contributor to The Rotarian magazine, and the February issue often included an anniversary message from him.

In 1915, he wrote, “We are passing our tenth milestone now. May our happiness increase with our usefulness. What Rotary will be one hundred years hence, none living can imagine. There is nothing impossible to Rotary now.”

Harris noted that Rotary had demonstrated its ability to “contribute toward the world’s supply of happiness” in terms of promoting ethical business practices within vocations. He felt that same idea would extend beyond the walls of the offices and shops, and imagined Rotary as “the harbinger of a general world-wide philosophy of business and of life, with happiness as its goal.”

While conceding that he couldn’t see into the future, Harris did predict that Rotary would become increasingly necessary for its ability to make the impossible happen.

On its tenth anniversary, Rotary had been an international organization for almost three years. There were 141 clubs in only a few countries. Today, there are more than 35,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic areas.

How do you imagine Rotary 100 years from now? What will we achieve?

3 thoughts on “Paul Harris on what Rotary will be in 100 years

  1. Pingback: Paul Harris on what Rotary will be in 100 years | The Rotary Club of Carteret

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