All of us in Rotary are looking to change the world – why else would we be Rotarians? We believe that our world can be happier, healthier, and more peaceful, and that we can create that better world through our service.


In 2011-12, I will ask Rotarians to Reach Within to Embrace Humanity . I will ask you to search first within yourselves, to understand that all of us, everywhere, have the same dreams, the same hopes, the same aspirations, and similar dilemmas. When we understand, and truly feel, that others’ needs are the same as our own, we begin to understand how important our work is. In the year ahead, we will have three emphases in our Rotary service.

Our first emphasis in this Rotary year will be the family. The family and the home are at the core of all our work – all our service begins here. And through the family, we approach all of our community and indeed, all of humanity, as an extended family, in which all members care for each other. In times of joy and in times of need, no one is ever alone.

Our second emphasis will be continuity – finding the things we do well and taking them to the next level. We must build on our successes, expand on them, and strive to do even more. Of course, our greatest obligation is to PolioPlus, where success is now so close.

And our third emphasis will be change. We must understand that true change can only begin with each of us, and start within us. We cannot share peace with others if we do not have it to give. We cannot look after the whole world without first looking after those closest to us: our families, our clubs, and our communities.

Mohandas K. Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” In Rotary, we endeavor to live ethically and honestly, to share friendship and fellowship, to see equal worth in every human being. We are not interested in the lowest common denominator, for Rotary is anything but common. Instead, we work to elevate ourselves, elevate others, and thereby embrace the world.

Together, we will Reach Within to Embrace Humanity . And in peace, harmony, and friendship, we will bring change – and a more joyful world.

Kalyan Banerjee
President, Rotary International