Beautiful New Theme for 2011-2012

Banerjee unveiled the RI theme, Reach Within to Embrace Humanity, during the opening plenary session of the 2011 International Assembly, a training event for incoming district governors.

He urged participants to harness their inner resolve and strength to achieve success in Rotary.

“In order to achieve anything in this world, a person has to use all the resources he can draw on. And the only place to start is with ourselves and within ourselves,” Banerjee said.

Once Rotarians find their inner strength, he continued, they can accomplish great things in their communities and around the world.

“Discover yourself, develop the strengths within you, and then unhesitatingly, unflinchingly, go forth and encircle the world, to embrace humanity,” he said.

Banerjee emphasized the family as a starting point in serving others. “The communities we live in are not built of individual people but of families — families living in homes together, sharing their lives and their resources and their common destinies. Good families lead to good neighborhoods, and good neighborhoods build good communities.”

Rotarians can focus on projects that support families, such as those that provide safe housing or improve maternal and child health, he said.

Continuity in Rotary’s work, including polio eradication, is also important, Banerjee said. “There are so many things we are indeed good at: working for clean, safe water; spreading literacy; working in so many ways with the New Generations, our youth, in our newest Avenue of Service and assisting them to become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Citing Mahatma Gandhi’s call to “be the change you wish to see in the world,” Banerjee said Rotarians should also focus on change.

“If we wish for peace, we start by living in peace ourselves, in our homes and in our communities,” he explained. “If we wish environmental degradation to stop, if we wish to reduce child mortality or to prevent hunger, we must be the instrument of that change — and recognize that it must start within us, with each of us.”

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