Posted by Don Griffing on Dec 11, 2017

The past Saturday, the ReCSWUSA Board of Directors held its December meeting.  As the Board has 6 more regularly scheduled meeting this Rotary year, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on what we have done as a Club.  The proverbial question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” is sometimes used as way to understand one’s cognitive bias.  Rhetorically, the common expression is used to indicate if some feels optimistic (half full) or pessimistic (half empty).  Is your Rotary glass half empty or half full?

When I look at what your Rotary Club has done in the first five and half months of this Rotary year, I am very optimistic of what we have accomplished.  In this week’s meeting, we will learn about how we have continued our ongoing support of elementary school children in an impoverished community in New Mexico, US.  In response to Hurricane Harvey, the Board authorized a challenge to fund ShelterBox.  You met the challenge and we helped to provide 3 boxes – exceeding our goal.  The list continues with:

  • Participating in this year’s USA/Mexico Friendship Conference and Global Grants Exchange.  In addition to funding Global Grant projects, we sponsored a table at the Sunday breakfast.

  • Continuing in our financial support of the Rose Bowl Parade Float.

  • Provide needed medical supplies in partnership with our sister eClub through Project C.U.R.E.

  • Partnered with the Rotary Club of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, US to help provide relief to Internally Displaced Persons in the Philippines.

  • Initiated a water project through the Village Aid Project.

  • Partnered with the by Rotaract Club of Agege, Nigeria in a local vocational training.

On top of this financial support, Rotary eClub of Southwest USA members have devoted many hours of their time and talent in their communities.  Examples of the service work are helping veterans, feeding the hungry, helping those with alcohol/drug abuse, sharing their vocational experience, and in their place of worship.

I can be pessimistic about what has happened this year.  One that is most noticeable to those reading this message has been the transition to our new web platform.  It has caused some of members to resign from the Club and some of regular guests to stop attending our meetings.  An issue less visible issue is the resignations from your Board of Directors.  Since July, four board members have resigned, and we have only been able to fill one of those vacant positions.  We struggle each week getting content from you – our members – to share with members and guests in our meetings.  This challenge is shared by the Nominating Committee as they working to identify next year’s leadership team.

In recent years, I have learned that I sometimes need to step back from viewing items from the way that I was trained or learn from habit.  I know from my high school physic class that a vacuum can only exist on earth in a sealed vessel.  Since a glass is open on top, the glass is completely full.  It happens that the lower half is a liquid and the upper half is air.  I could pour olive oil into the glass.  The water would rise and the volume of air leaving the glass corresponds the amount oil that I added.  Using this knowledge, I can let go the optimistic/pessimistic judgement of the glass and be grateful that I have the glass that I can choose how I fill it.  I choose to continue to fill my Rotary glass using the ideals of The Four-Way Test and the Object of Rotary.  Will you join me in filling your Rotary glasses in ways that we can sustain our Club and attract other who believe in the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise?