I am a Japanese businessman, and I wear a suit almost every day. The Rotary pin is always on my lapel. It is there because I am proud to be a Rotarian. Anywhere I go, people will see the pin and know who I am. Other Rotarians will see it and know that I am a friend, and people who are not Rotarians will see it as well. I want to be sure that all of them also understand the meaning of this pin.
This is why I am asking all of you to wear your Rotary pin and to raise awareness of what the pin means. I believe having that pin on your lapel changes you. It makes you think more before you speak and before you act. It makes you remember, all the time, that you are a Rotarian – and that as Rotarians, we are here to help.
All of us should be ready to talk about Rotary. When someone asks you about that pin, you should be ready to answer. What is Rotary? What does Rotary do? These are questions that each of us should always be prepared to answer.
We cannot go to prospective members and ask them to join Rotary only because we want more members. We have to show them that Rotary is a wonderful organization, and that they will be happier because they belong to a Rotary club.
When we ask people to join Rotary, we are doing this to help them as well, I think all of us are grateful to the person who asked us to join. I know that my life is much happier, and has been much more productive, because of Rotary. It is clear to me that the day I joined the Rotary Club of Yashio was a day when I took my first step down a different path in life – a path of greater connection, greater satisfaction, and a deeper sense of fulfillment and peace.
This is a feeling that I want to share with others. And I know that one way to do that is through bringing in new members. But we must also do it by raising awareness of Rotary and Rotary’s work, by focusing on our public image and wearing our Rotary pins every day.
Rotary International President