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Past President Frank Devlyn 

writes about "peace" 4 September 2006

Also, please see "Philosophy of Rotary Presidents"

 

Dear Sushil & Family of Rotary:

 

In Rotary we have always practiced & have a ongoing policy of promoting Better Understanding & Peace.  Our Ambassadorial Scholarships, G.S.E., Humanitarian Grants of all types, Peace and Conflict Peace Centers plus our new Short Term Peace Scholarships speak how we promote Better Understanding among all countries, cultures, religions, etc.

 

Today we have a Rotary Family in both Israel and Lebanon that needs our understanding and support.  Reconstruction is basic as is getting medical aid and medical equipment to hospitals that take care of those suffering in both countries.

 

You in India have a difficult situation with Pakistan.  Many countries have similar difficult situations.  Most of these difficult situations involve problems created by The Politicians orReligious Leaders in these countries who I call the "Dangerous Extremists". We have a Rotary Family in many of these countries and we have to find innovative ways via Rotary to bring these opposing groups to sit down and look for ways of better understanding one another & having "Needed Peace".

 

I often remember a sermon given by an Anglican Priest in Australia at a Rotary Ecumenical Service last March when I was representing the President at a District Conference.  He mentioned how many feel that it is the Muslims who promote much of the World Problems we are having.  He then clarified that the problem comes from certain factions of Extremist or Fundamentalist within the Muslim Faith.  He brought out that the vast majority of Muslims are Persons who want Peace and not war.  This Priest then brought out that these Moslem Extremists that cause many of the world’s problems are not the only Extremists / Fundamentalists causing problems.  He brought out that there are a wide variety of Jewish Extremists, Christian Extremists, Hindu Extremists, Buddhist Extremist, etc. who also cause problems worldwide.  When you look at history you find that most wars stem from these different types of Religious Extremists.

 

When you think of it we have Extremists of all types in every country who feel their country, their political party, their particular religion, their way of thinking is the only one that is right.  I have come to the conclusion that there are some persons who are from my point of view are "dangerously overly patriotic" to their country, "dangerously overly supportive of their political party", others by being "dangerously overly religious" to their particular faith to a degree that these "dangerously overly whatever" simply can not accept that others might think differently and many fall into the category of being "dangerously extremists".

 

The above reminds me that Rotary since becoming International has always tried to promote Better Understanding among "Peoples of the World" where we promote all being good citizens of their respective countries but their also becoming "Citizens of The World" where these "Dangerous Extremists" of all types are simply not the kind of persons we want in Rotary.

 

I hope that all of us in Our Rotary Family continue to look for innovative ways to help promote better understanding among Peoples Of The World to combat these "dangerous overly whatever".

 

Please Continue to Create Awareness & Take Action in Helping Rotary to Change With the Times

 

Your Amigo in Mexico City,

Frank Devlyn

 

Chairman of the Wilma Disaster Recovery Fund for Mexico- Guatemala of  The Rotary Foundation

Past Chairman, The Rotary Foundation 2005-06

Past Rotary International President 2000-01

Advisor of The Future Vision Committee of The Rotary Foundation 2006 - 07


 

 

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