A New Year Brings New Opportunities to Get Involved!

Happy New Year!
As I reflect on my first six months as your District Governor, my learning continues.
In truth, it’s been a time of uncertainty and learning for all of us as just when we think we have got the pandemic tiger by the tail, a new variant raises its ugly head,  and we have to continue to be vigilant and careful.
That said, we are still working towards in-person events like the District Conference and the Annual Convention in Houston. 
I have been hearing from clubs within the District that are experiencing challenges in recruiting members to their boards.  In these hectic times, it seems people are reluctant to step forward to take on leadership roles. Perhaps this is an opportunity to rethink the requirements and to break the tasks down into more manageable chunks of someone’s time.  
One club for example, has embraced change and now has five people taking on the role of Secretary, with each person carrying out distinct responsibilities.  Yes, this requires more communication between those involved, but the club gets to fill the position and draws on the different talents of five members.
We don’t have to make these leadership roles so complex.  It may be better to revisit the responsibilities and stick to the basics, so that your club can thrive and carry on with its important work.
I have found in my role of District Governor I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and am constantly learning as a result of these experiences. Case in point, I recently had the opportunity to meet  Irfan Qureshi, who is a Past District Governor from Pakistan.  What I learned is that while we have differences in what we do, we also have more in common like our commitment to service above self. 
It is that commitment that unites us and brings people from different walks in life together.  Sometimes we may have to be reminded of that common bond.  Think about it.  Why did you join Rotary?  What keeps you involved?  What I hear from people is that it is the giving back, fellowship and fun that is the glue that holds us together.
And when you take on a leadership role, it is the learning that helps us grow as individuals.  I admit working with volunteers is not always easy and you quickly hone your diplomacy skills, and it can be a humbling experience as you discover that as much as you think you know everything, you don’t.
The theme this month is Vocational Services.   How can you share your talents?  I often compare being of service to making a sandwich – you can make it simple, with basic ingredients or you can make it all fancy, with all sorts of fillings.  Your choice. 
But I encourage you to get involved, to step up and share your knowledge and skills. Remember “all that you send into the lives of others, comes back into your own.”
Happy New Year!
District Governor, Rudy Habesch