January is Vocational Service Month, and I’ve asked our District Vocational Service Chair, Mark Hoppen, to share a few of his thoughts.  Here’s Mark:
We’ve all heard the phrase “for every yin there’s a yang,” which speaks to duality: good/evil, light/dark, fire/ice, female/male, crisis/opportunity.  These times remind us of the Tao (pronounced or spelled Dao).  Right now, the likelihood of an American dying from COVID-19 is more than 84 times greater than a South Korean.  (In North and South Dakota - 136 times greater.)  Things are not particularly good.
As in 1918 during the Spanish Flu pandemic, some of us are behaving badly, some of us are behaving responsibly.  And just like that earlier pandemic, real, positive change is just-around-the-corner. 
Remember reading about the Roaring Twenties?  The greatest growth in Rotary on a percentage basis occurred in the 1920s, as people expressed a desire to form relationships, join groups, and do good work in the post 1918 pandemic world.

From the most profound, constrained experiences often emerge great personal and organizational growth.

Rotary – locally and internationally – is about to experience the greatest period of local and international growth in its history.  So, we’d better get ready!

What do we need to do?

We should start by considering Rotary’s most foundational strength, the celebration of vocation. Vocation, albeit a word often construed as post-1940s high school trade curriculum, refers to meaningful work that is either professional or avocational (work that provides meaning without compensation).  

Consistent with Rotary’s original principles – now defined as the Object of Rotary – friendship, ethical behavior, the ideal of service, and world fellowship synthesize with Vocational Service to provide a focus for Rotarians doing good work in the world.

Our primary Rotary obligation today is to network to expand community and world service by meeting those from a wide array of vocations, encouraging them to join Rotary and serve together: to promote high ethical standards in business and professions, to affirm the worthiness of all useful occupations, and to dignify each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society.

Along the way, we can inspire integrity, encourage professional development, foster mentoring, promote career and life goals, and open opportunities.

January is Vocational Service Month.  It’s a great month to start a new Vocational Service project.  Look on the District 5020 website to find a PowerPoint presentation that explains and clarifies the many Rotary International and District 5020 ways to engage Vocational Service. And check out more at Vocational Service | District 5020 (rotary5020.org)

Thank you, Mark.

Thank goodness the vaccines to fight Covid-19 are finally getting distributed throughout the world.  Clubs must be pro-active on vaccinations for Covid-19 like we are with polio.  In fact, many countries around the world will be using the infrastructure that is already in place to fight polio to distribute and administer the Covid-19 vaccine.  For more late -breaking information please visit this link.

Lastly, I’d like to thank all of you who have given so much in these difficult times.  Together, we have made it through ten months of the Corona-19 pandemic.  Lifestyles have been altered for everyone, and weekly club meetings are far different than before. I’ll talk about the future of weekly club meetings in next month’s UD5020.   

Just as two vaccines have been released, the virus seems to have mutated to a faster spreading version.  Rotarians, now is not the time to let our guard down.  We must be more cautious than ever in the coming months.  We didn’t come this far to be defeated now.

Please mask up, avoid even small gatherings, and be safe every way you know how.  We will get through this.

Thanks, and I hope to see you at one of your weekly Zoom club meetings soon.