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This Rotarian Age

 

 - Unco Guid - Sheldon/Perry - Book Review - Shorey Obituary

 

Rotary's Power for World Peace

 

On this single page, of our website, is Paul Harris' entire second book, "This Rotarian Age," reproduced here with links to many of the subjects mentioned in the text. Follow these links to learn more as you read the most definitive book ever written about the philosophy of Rotary, from the man who invented it, Paul P. Harris.

Paul Harris' Books online:

 

(Paul Harris' home page)

This Rotarian Age

by

 Paul P. Harris

President Emeritus

Rotary International

Chicago

1935 

The Founder of Rotary

This Rotarian Age

My Road to Rotary

 

The 1935 Book Review from The Rotarian

Click Here

Also very rare edition with a 

note from Paul Harris

 

Now in PDF for easier reading.

Copyright 1935

 

By Paul P. HarrisThis book is affectionately dedicated to Rotary in the advancement of whose idea the author in company with thousands of other admires loves to serve.

Paul Harris

 

INTRODUCTION

 

At last, we have the story of Rotary by its Founder, Paul P. Harris. It is not merely a recital of what happened in 1905 or the years immediately following. It is an interesting story of Rotary " of yesterday, of today, and of tomorrow " written by one who had a fundamental idea and has witnessed and assisted in its development, and has developed with it. To Paul Harris, always a philosophic and persuasive leader in Rotary, the movement is greatly indebted. In the writing of this book he has again placed us all under deep obligation to him " for the accurate, fair, discerning, and appreciative manner in which he has analyzed what has happened, what is happening, and what is likely to happen.

 

If anyone is ever discouraged about being a Rotarian because there is not enough humanness to the movement, he will be put at ease by reading this work. If one has been discouraged about the Rotary movement not being big enough or important enough for him to be associated with, this work surely will convince him otherwise.

 

That the Rotary movement is like a great musical production of many parts, through all of which runs a single motif " or perhaps a tapestry of many parts through all of which a single golden strand is discernible " is the impression that one must get from reading "This Rotarian Age,"  described to us so interestingly by one whom the movement has honored with the title of President Emeritus, and who continues to honor and serve the movement by his own life and by his continued and faithful devotion to Rotary.

 

CHESLEY R. PERRY

THIS ROTARIAN AGE

                                         Contents                                                                                      

Chapter                                                         Page

Illustrations                                                            Page

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

VIII

IX

X

XI

XII

XIII

XIV

XV

XVI

This Rotarian Age

Twilight

The Cradle of Religious Liberty

Can Anything Good Come Out of Chicago

Genesis of Rotary

The Renaissance

Goodbye Chrysalis

The Gods Were Propitious

Growing Pains

The Challenge

Meaning of the Service Ideal

Is Rotary's Concept of a World at Peace, Utopian?

How do Members View Their Privileges?

Page H. L. Mencken

Of Tomorrow

For a Neighborly World

1

7

13

23

37

71

85

95

107

125

139

159

193

219

231

241

Paul Harris and Chesley Perry

Silvester Schiele

Harry L. Ruggles

William Jenson

A. L. White

Rufus F. Chapin

Bernard E. Arntzen

Fred H. Tweed

The 1905 Group -- The Rotary Club of Chicago

The Garden of Good-Will, "Comely Bank"

The Path from "Comely Bank" to the Home of Silvester -- Through the oak wood--    

(Above)

38

42

44

45

47

48

50

66

182

249

Chapter I

This Rotarian Age

 

"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" he asked. "Begin at the beginning", the king said, very gravely. "And go on till you come to the end; then stop."

 

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

 

Page1

 

Rotary has been the subject of friendly comments without number and the target of a few animadversions not so friendly. Both have served purposes, not always the purposes the writers have had in mind. A phenomenon sufficiently luminous to attract the attention of millions of people in scores of nations should be better understood.

 

Mr. G K Chesterton, whose references to Rotary have revealed no inclination to flatter, has on one occasion at least, referred to the present period in the world" s history as "this Rotarian age". To Rotarians there is some consolation in the thought that he concedes that the movement is making imprint upon the times, even though he does make it manifest that he considers the step from the Victorian age to the Rotarian age a step backwards.

 

It would not be fair to the critics of Rotary, who include some of the most brilliant of the British and American writers, to charge them with prejudice. It can, however, in truth be stated that thousands of the great educators of many nations, not less profound, even if less scintillating, differ with them in their conclusions. The enrollment of such men is testimony to the fact that

 

2

insincerity and superficiality are not necessary qualifications for membership.

 

After having made due allowances, however, for the difference between the esoteric and the esoteric viewpoints, and admitting that a member of an organization is not the ideal person to whom to look for a fair appraisal of its qualities, even a member, by reason of long connection with the movement, may be able to marshal facts of interest to those to whom Rotary is a quandary, leaving the reader to commend or condemn to suit himself.

 

One desiring to make further study of the movement would do well to read "Rotary?", a survey made by seven social scientists of the University of Chicago; "Rotary "“ a Business Man" s Interpretation" by Frank Lamb, formerly a member of the faculty of the University of California; and "The Meaning of Rotary" by Vivian Carter, a journalist of London, England.

 

As to this particular book the writer must admit in advance that he is distinctly partisan although he has tried to be fair. He is one of the one hundred and fifty-six thousand members who love Rotary and believe in it. Most naturally, the critics emphasize the things in Rotary which they do not like. Most naturally, the writer emphasizes the things which, in common with his fellow Rotarians, he does like.

 

A member who would write the story of Rotary must obtain suitable perspective. It is human to magnify the importance of the immediate, not easy to realize that the high values of today may be the low values of tomorrow. What a present is, in the minds of the majority, always will be. In the present lies the perfection which past generations have died for and which future generations will venerate.

 

3

To such, civilization has attained its Ultima Thule. Viewed in improper perspective, the creations of Raphael and Angelo are monstrosities; viewed in proper perspective they are immortal. 

 

How can a Rotarian divorce his thoughts from the immediate, the international convention of yesterday, the club meeting of today, all so important, so impressive? Verily we live in the present and well that is so. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" and, if we may be permitted, the happiness thereof, also. 

 

But divorce himself from the present he must, if he is to obtain suitable perspective. He must think not only of rotary itself, but also of its relation to other things equally important. Is it of the eternal cosmos, or will it whiff out leaving nothing to challenge the attention of historians of the future except the epitaph, "Born February 23, 1905. Died ----. A brief but happy life"?  

 

We may properly think of Rotary" s ancestral and environmental influences. It is manifest that a movement, which has gone so far in the brief period of thirty years, must have been the result of slowly gathering forces; it could not have been the inspiration of any one man or group of men; it could not have been spontaneous any more than earthquakes or volcanoes can be spontaneous. 

 

Considered in this light, the life span of Rotary cannot be measured by a score or so of years; it is of ancient lineage and its ancestry includes men of many nations of diverse languages and customs. To trace its ancestry, one must press back through the ages.    return to top of page

Chapter II

 

Twilight

 Page 7

"When God sends the dawn, He sends it for all."

-Cervantes

 

In "The Outline of History," Mr. Wells writes: "Somewhere, about 50,000 years ago, if not earlier, appeared Homo Neanderthalensis (also called Homo Antiques and Homo Primo genus) a quite passable human being."

 

In the cold, shivering twilight, preceding the daybreak of civilization, the dominating emotion of man was fear. He shrank in terror in the presence of forces beyond his control and ruthlessly destroyed beings within his dominion. Self-preservation was the controlling motive. Life was his most sacred possession and was to be preserved at any cost. Lives of other beings, human or brute, were of no significance.

 

Selfishness was unrivalled, supreme and unopposed except by selfishness. That which was coveted was appropriated if not guarded by superior forces. The human animal, though lacking the strength of the lion, the ferocity of the tiger, and the agility of the ape, possessed a brain of potentiality and thereby gained dominion over the lower orders.

 

Sex attraction served to propagate the species, but man long remained slightly above beasts of prey. He heard the song of bird and witnessed the play of the young, but he was serious. His world was filled with dread things of

 

Page 8

reality and even more dread things of imagination. Suspicion begat fear and fear begat enmity.

 

In course of time, religion came with its rites invoking the aid of good spirits which were even more powerful than the bad spirits, and thus for the time being tempered the agony of fears. But primitive man had enemies real as well as imaginary, and they were not subject to priestly sorceries. The bludgeon and, in course of time, the bow and arrow were brought into play to defend man from his flesh-and-blood enemies. Then, as now, offence was considered the best method of defense. Fear took no chances. Better slay first and think later. Strangers possibly might not be harboring ill-will, but the natural assumption was what they were and that they were waiting opportunity to give it expression.

 

In Mr. Wells"  "Somewhere" men were harassed by enemies real and enemies imaginary. Night hours were rendered hideous by the play of evil spirits in flashing lightening and booming thunder, and the day was filled with terrors of skulking enemies of the wooden glens; and neither day nor night offered respite from fears.

 

Then one who might have led the way out of the era of distraction was born. In course of time he learned to lift his thoughts above the common level. To him, precedent had meaning if it squared with reason; not otherwise. His thoughts were free from bias. Neither thunder nor lightening caused him to tremble, nor did he fear the stranger. He could have led his people out of their wilderness but for an untoward event. He ventured too far. One morning as he stood on a high rock gazing at the rising sun as had been his custom, there was a sharp twang of a bowstring, the whir of an arrow, the thud of a fallen body,

 

Page 9

and far down in the valley by the swift-flowing, rock bound stream lay all that was left of him who had lived in advance of his times. He was the first in whose bosom dwelt the spirit of goodwill toward all men.

 

A Teacher, whose name became immortal, arose to embrace the doctrine of the brotherhood of man, giving it religious sanction as a part of the "inspired word". He suffered contumely, ridicule, disdain, and eventually death for having lived too far in advance of His times, but His doctrines lived in the hearts of His devoted followers who grew in number until they girded the earth. Other religions taught the doctrine of universal brotherhood and made it an essential part of their faiths.

 

Centuries later was born in Scotland another who lived in advance of his time, one who stoutly refused to do obeisance to unreasoning precedent; one whose soul overflowed with the poetry of life. Of all the words of the Scottish bard, none will be more highly appraised nor longer remembered, than

 

"Then let us pray that come what may,

As come it will for a"  that,

That sense and worth o" er a"  the earth

May bear the gree, and a"  that.

For a"  that and a"  that,

It" s coming yet, for a"  that,

That man to man the world o" er

Shall brothers be, for a"  that

 

In the compass of these words have been found all the philosophy, all the hope, the substance of every prayer of the first seer, but how vain were the aspirations and hopes of this widely separated twain. Primordial forces were to

 

 

Page 10

be reckoned with, as is the case even now though generations have lived and died since the lips of the sage of Ayr were sealed in death. 

 

As the sun breaks through the clouds, so the love of fellowship has from time to time throughout the ages broken through the crust of suspicion and hatred. Slowly and gradually men who have loved fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers have drawn neighbors and friends within their circles. The primitive manifestations were crude but culture is not a sine qua non of good will. Rare Ben Johnson surrounded himself with men of his kind, but Burns perforce found companionship in yokels.  

 

Many obstacles to the expansion of good will have presented themselves. Differences in languages and religions have been among the most formidable, but commercial rivalries have also been dissension breeders. Average public opinion has always been in favor of the limited circle. To leave matters as they were was to be in popular favor; to sponsor the broader outlook was to become a social outcast. Many who now view as a matter of course the march of civilization to its present stage and find satisfaction in it, are skeptical as to the future. History has no lesson for them. Had they lived in the cave period, they would have branded traitor, him within whose heart first dwelt the spirit of good will toward all men.   return to top of page

Chapter III

The Cradle of Religious Liberty

Page 13

 

THE CRADLE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
"Then gently scan your brother man,
Still gentler sister woman;
Tho"  they may gang a kennin wrang.
To step aside is human."
"ROBERT BURNS "Address to the Unco Guild (sic)."

[Robert Burns was Harris' favorite poet and he quotes him often. See a related article.]

 

There is nothing in the genius of America more precious today than the spirit of religious and political tolerance in its application to our own people. It did not come naturally; in fact, it would be difficult to conceive of any more dogmatic and less tolerant people than the first settlers on New England shores. They were sterling, courageous men and women who had willingly sacrificed the comforts of an older civilization and endured hardships beyond description in order that they might enjoy religious liberty.


Their convictions were so deeply rooted that departure from their standards seemed desecration. They, who so valued religious liberty for themselves, denied it to others. Once irreconcilable nonconformists, they became conformists to a new order and rigorous disciplinarians in matters pertaining to the faith. No will but theirs was tolerated. In the name of religion, unconscionable injustices were imposed upon dissenters. Their ingenuity in devising forms of mental and bodily suffering was boundless.

 

14 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

The stocks, whipping posts and stake were popular instruments of torture, and slight in fractions of the law brought down upon the heads of Unfortunate offenders, public ignominy and shame. The early New Englanders were more than grim defenders of their faith. Their offensive was so vigorous and well-sustained that there was little occasion for a defensive. If there ever was a militant religion, it was that of early New England. The austerities of the faith of the Pilgrim Fathers out-shadowed the loveliness of Christian tenets. Theirs were strange interpretations of the words of the "Prince of Peace."

Of the punishment for witchcraft Nathaniel Hawthorne said, "These scenes you think are all too somber. So in deed, they are, but the blame must rest on the somber spirit of our forefathers who wove their web of life with hardly a single thread of gold."

Magistrates imposing death penalties were as lacking in enthusiasm for their work as Pontius Pilate of old, on a certain memorable occasion. They yielded, even as Pilate bad yielded, to the clamor of public opinion.

New England judges, in ordering unfortunate women to bear throughout life the scarlet letter "A" to proclaim them adulteresses to all the world, must have spent many sleepless nights when the words, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone," occurred to them.

The modesty of the early New England settlers seems to have been more in evidence than their mercy, for it has been stated that it was due to regard for feminine delicacy that women sentenced to capital punishment were burned and not hanged. Hanging might make an indecorous display of their legs.

 

THE CRADLE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY Page 15

Descendants of New England pioneers are proud of their ancestry and glad to proclaim the fact that so far as the United States are concerned, New England is in deed the cradle of religious liberty. Reaction releases energy and the reaction against intolerance in New England was swift and far-reaching. From having been among the most intolerant, they became tolerant.

Maryland, however, contests the claim of New England to the title of "Cradle of Religious Liberty." The legislature passed a law in 1649 entitled, "An Act Concerning Religion" which reads as follows:

 

"Whereas, the enforcing of conscience in matters of religion hath frequently fallen out to be of dangerous consequence in those commonwealths where it hath been practiced, Therefore be it now enacted that no person shall be molested in respect to religion, except that all persons who deny the Holy Trinity shall suffer death and confiscation."

 

There seems little choice to be made between the penalty of death as imposed by the early settlers of Maryland upon those who would not embrace the doctrine of Trinitarian lam, and the penalties of the stocks, whipping-post and stake as inflicted by the early New England settlers upon those who could not, or would not embrace the stern, un compromising doctrines of the Puritans. Whether New England or Maryland has the more authentic claim to the title, the uppermost thought in the minds of the readers of history is that they both ought to be very glad they are out of a mighty bad mess. Both New England and Mary land must defer to Virginia in matters of political significance to our country.

 

16 THIS ROTARIAN AGE
In New England a school of liberal thinkers and writers, Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, Bryant, Lowell, and Thoreau, arose and New England became the national center of education and culture. In the ministry Brooks, Phillips, and Beecher were proudly proclaimed as among the great.

With such a galaxy of thinkers to lead New England out of its morass of bigotry and intolerance the future seemed secure. Not only did the different branches of the Protestant faith find ways to live together, but the mantle of tolerance was enlarged to include within its folds the Catholic immigrants who began to arrive in numbers. The first inroads into Anglo homogeneity were made by Irish and French Canadian settlers. Their boys played with boys of Mayflower ancestry on historic commons, with little regard to social, political, or religious differences. An interesting anthropological experiment had begun. The melting pot was boiling. From it was eventually to come a well-fused type, Homo Americanus, fifty thousand years or thereabouts removed from Mr. Wells"  Homo Antiquus. Slow but certain progress has been made in the promotion of better understanding since the morning when the winged arrow brought to earth him in whose bosom first dwelt the spirit of good-will towards all men. It has been a discouraging and contentious march, and much blood, innocent as well as guilty, has been brutally spilled along the way; but thank God for the progress made.

In the face of pseudo-statesmen shrieking the inevitability of war, successive stages of civilization have been passed. The fealty of the individual caveman to his family was reluctantly extended to others of his kind.

 

THE CRADLE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY 17

Clans have declared truces in inter-clan warfare to join in arms against common enemies, with the result that nations have come into being, and in turn nations even have allied themselves with other nations to wage more effective warfare. The greater the coalition, the more devastating and cruel the warfare; and yet, in the exercise of good conscience and common sense, we know that it will not always be so; that the day must come, "When man to man will brother be, for a"  that." There are sane methods of settling differences.

While the struggle for religious liberty had proceeded without large-scale bloodshed in New England and elsewhere in the United States, the struggle for political liberty had not fared so well. Two wars with the mother country were fought before young America considered herself entirely on her own, and another war was in the making. If there is anything worse than international warfare, is civil warfare, and the United States was destined to experience it in the extreme of bitterness. In the early sixties the North and South joined in sanguinary issue.

During four terrible years the struggle continued toward its inevitable conclusion " impoverishment, destitution, and unspeakable sorrow. The hands of the dock of civilization were turned back, but the nation shook itself loose and sadder, but wiser, struggled on again.

As before stated, it is the writer" s purpose to relate the story of the rise of Rotary, and in order that the spirit of the movement may be better understood, he has drawn attention to antecedent circumstances which he thinks, in a measure responsible, for the state of mind in America which made the birth of Rotary possible during the early part of the twentieth century.

 

18 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

He makes no mention of the unceasing effort of European countries to substitute peace psychology for war psychology, except to acknowledge that they were not without good effect even in instances when they seemed to fail in their purpose. There can be no doubt that the sentiment in all countries favors peaceful settlement of international differences, and that all men, whosesoever they may be situated and whatsoever their experiences may have been, deplore the fact that war still continues to be the ultimate recourse.

Rotary hopes that it may find a way to help promote international understanding and good to the end that resort to arms may be less frequent in the future.

Ideas have unhinged the gates of empires. Epigrammatic utterances have influenced the lives of generations of men. Soon after the end of the civil war, a New York editor wrote a sentence of four words: "Young man, go west." It aroused New England and all the east to action as no words in times of peace had ever aroused those parts before. From farm, factory, and home the trek began. Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, and cousins all were there. Every known means of conveyance was used. Slowly and laboriously these hardy pioneers traversed mountains, hills, and plains searching for better and cheaper land and other forms of wealth, and at the same time spreading the doctrine of religious liberty. Here and there the numbers were augmented by recruits from abroad " British, Irish, German, and Scandinavian, all welcome and all high in hope as they struggled onward toward the promised land.

 

THE CRADLE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY 19

Now and then, small groups attracted by alluring prospects, detached themselves and established communities along the way, in hopes that such communities would grow into important cities, to the enrichment of the early settlers.

The majority of the prospective town sites failed to develop in accordance with expectations, and many were ultimately abandoned to agricultural development or other purposes to which they were adapted; others did come up to expectations, and a few developed far beyond wildest dreams.

From some one of the many town sites prospected a mighty city was to rise, the metropolis of the west. Where was it to be? One man" s guess was as good as another" s, and fortune awaited the lucky.

Milwaukee was a favorite; Vincennes had its following; St. Louis was in the running; and others thought well of the chances of Chicago which had grown around Fort Dearborn, at the mouth of a river. Friends of the latter held that Milwaukee was too far north; St. Louis, too far south; that Chicago was near enough to the southern limit of Lake Michigan to accommodate freight transportation by water, and also near enough to a straight line across the continent to give it the benefit of transcontinental transportation which was bound to be a factor in the commerce of the future.

While the growth of other cities continued to give cheer to their supporters, Chicago more than justified favorable predictions, and in course of time became the unrivalled Metropolis of the West, a social maelstrom where racial, political, and religious extremes met, clashed, and ultimately merged into a semblance of homogeneity. In such atmosphere and under conditions hereinafter described, the Star of Rotary had its rise.

return to top of page

Chapter IV

Can Anything Good Come Out of Chicago?

Page 23

The progress of Chicago during the decades immediately following the civil war marked its metamorphosis from a pioneer town into a city of promise.

During 1870 and the years immediately following, it became necessary for Dad Dearborn, (Chicago" s pseudonym) to lift himself by his bootstraps. On October 9, 1870 he had a city; on October 10th a fire, and on October 12th little except smoke and ashes; all being the tragic result of the juxtaposition of a lantern and the heels of Mrs. O" Leary" s far cow. If Bucephalus was the good king of horses, perhaps Mrs. O" Leary" s bovine was the bad queen of cows; in any event, with one swift kick delivered at the right time and place, she undid the doings of a generation and broke several New England fire insurance companies, as well.

The lawlessness of frontier life in America has been pictured as a remarkable phenomenon. In reality, it was the natural consequence of indiscriminate mixing of volatile substances. Strong, determined men of diverse racial traits and traditions, gathered together with one common impulse, personal gain, could scarcely have been expected to abide in peace.

Chicago retained many of the characteristics of a

24 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

pioneer town until after the beginning of the twentieth century. Open gambling was the first of the vices ordinarily associated with pioneer towns to receive its coup de grace. Open wine-rooms, with assignation houses conveniently at hand, were next in order. "The Loop" was honeycombed with such institutions.

Business respectability frequently found itself next door neighbor to commercialized vice and accepted the situation as a matter of course; it always had been thus and would no doubt continue so until something happened. So far as business was concerned, dealing with such matters was not in its line.

Interspersed with wine rooms were hundreds of saloons, some of which were breeders of crime and political corruption, while others were not considered offenders in those particulars. Wets and Dries who knew ante prohibition days in Chicago, are in agreement on one phase of the much mooted question: they are in agreement in the belief that saloons, as then conducted, were liabilities rather than assets.

It has been contended that the saloon was the poor man" s club; quite right, but it was his hearthside as well, in many cases. Saloon attendance was the great indoor sport of many, and the regular business of others. The lure of the saloon was in man" s insatiable desire for fellowship. There kindred spirits were to be found, and the stimulating influence of alcohol served as quick and certain means of breaking down the barriers between men. The pity was that it broke down more than barriers; it broke down self"  respect. A strong man might withstand its demoralizing influences for a time " a long time perhaps, but it usually got him sooner or later.

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUT OF CHICAGO? 25

Fellowship is wonderful; it illuminates life" s pathway, spreads good cheer, and is worth high price, but even fellowship comes at too great cost when it paralyzes human Instincts and extinguishes the flame of conjugal and paternal love.

Whether there is significance in the fact that Chicago" s saloon days were its unkempt days, it remains a fact, nevertheless. There was little, even in the downtown district, to give promise of the well groomed city of today was poor; there was a variety of odors, each identified with its particular part of the city. To the neophyte, only packingtown, glueburg, and pickledom distinguishable in the malodorous melee, but he whose olfactory nerve was trained by long usage could have smelled his way about town blindfolded.

The languid Chicago River made a mess of the job of transporting sewage, stock yards"  oils and fats to its mouth where it was supposed to empty its fetid cargo into Lake Michigan, whence the city drew its water supply. The tortuous river yielded its own special blend to the conglomeration of odors and on occasions caught fire from cigarette stubs which had been carelessly thrown on its fatty surface. However, enough sewage and refuse succeeded in reaching their destination, to pollute the drinking water to the extent that epidemics of typhoid fever followed each other in rapid succession.

When affairs became so bad they could not be worse, they accepted the only other alternative and got better. The outraged citizenry arose, turned the turbid river right"  about and sent it and its noisome contents meandering down the Illinois and Mississippi Valley, aerating and Purging itself on its way to the sweet salt waters of the

26 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

Gulf of Mexico ""good riddance to bad rubbish."

The fight for the restoration of sanitary conditions cost sixty million dollars, but it was worth it. Moreover, it gave courage for another, even greater undertaking, the beautifying of the entire city from the Indiana line to Evanston. Daniel Burnham" s "City Beautiful" dream be"  came Chicago" s City Beautiful plan. Slowly but surely, it is being worked out. Someone has aptly described Chicago" s waterfront as twenty miles of fairyland. Incongruous, such mixing of the esthetic with the disorderly? Quite right, but that is Chicago.

What was in some respects Chicago" s zero hour, came toward the end of the nineteenth century during the depression following its first World" s Fair. There is no whip like the whip of destitution, and multitudes were destitute. Those who possessed, fought to retain their possessions; those who possessed not, fought to obtain the necessities of life. Tenants defaulted in rent; mortgagors defaulted in interest; retailers defaulted in obligations to wholesalers; wholesalers defaulted to manufacturers. The courts were glutted with forcible entry and detainer suits, distress warrants, mortgage foreclosures, replevins, and attachments. Creditors were trying in every way known to in"  genious lawyers to snatch something from the hands of impecunious debtors. Storms which buried streets and sidewalks of the city in snow, were welcomed. They provided the human flotsam and jetsam with temporary employment. Hungry men must be fed in any event and it is better that they have something to do. Idleness breeds mischief.

The days immediately following Chicago" s first World" s Fair will not soon be forgotten; they were anticlimactic

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUT OF CHICAGO? 27

with a vengeance. Chicago took the brunt of the shock of the financial panic which swept over the country. The city, as a result of the preparations for the Fair, had been overbuilt in all directions. The consequences were tragic, and the spectacle of closed stores, theaters, hotels, apartment buildings, rooming houses, as well as the prevalence of "To Rent" signs, was sorely depressing.

In the tenement districts, heart sickening evidences of want and distress were to be seen everywhere. Employment was reduced to the minimum; soup kitchens were opened in many parts of the city. The city hail, county buildings, and police stations were thrown open during cold winter nights, that homeless men, women, and children might find shelter. The jail was crowded to the doors, many having committed misdemeanors for the sheer purpose of gaining access. How to get into jail was more of a problem than how to get out. Six month" s penitentiary commitments were welcome.

During this reversion to the primordial, business men who hitherto had maintained what, at that period, were considered reasonably high standards, abandoned them and joined in the general scramble. The slogan "Service above Self" would have been regarded as pure moonshine. "Self preservation first," would have been more in keeping.

There was no representative Chamber of Commerce nor other organization capable of successfully contending with the corrupting forces in business life. There were associations of credit men, but they were maintained for the purposes of defense only. There was one force, however, which had to be reckoned with and that was the spirit of the people which found expression in Chicago" s time"

28 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

honored motto, "I Will."

During this period, Chicago" s civic consciousness and pride were considerably shaken by the publication in England by Mr. W. H. Stead, of a book entitled, "If Christ came to Chicago." It pictured Chicago" s delinquencies in startling light, but gave little account of the back-to-the wall fight which the better element was making against them. As a matter of fact, the title of the book was worse than the text. The implications of, "If Christ came to Chicago" were manifold and shocking, but the Chicago which had managed to lift itself out of the mire and rebuild itself after its devastating fire was game enough to lift itself out of the slough of bad repute. Chicago succeeded because of its various vicissitudes, rather than in spite of them. It developed a power of resistance which has served in good stead on many occasions.

The words, "Can any good thing come out of Chicago?" have been hurled by skeptics at many of the virile forces which have originated in that city, and Rotary has not been an exception. It is conceivable that Rotary might have been born under sunnier skies, in a climate more equable, and in a city of mental composure; but many will contend that there could have been no more favorable birthplace for a movement like Rotary than paradoxical Chicago, where the battle for civic righteousness was being so fiercely waged.

When the present First Vice President, Donato Gaminara of Uruguay, South America was Governor of the sixty-third district of Rotary International, he made his campaign for extension on that theory. Due to the un favorable publicity Chicago had been given, he found it difficult to interest the best type of men in the movement.

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUT OF CHICAGO? 29

For some time, he tried to overcome the handicap by stating that Chicago was not so bad as represented; but, finding it impossible to convince them he adroitly changed his tactics and when his prospective members condemned Chicago as one of the worst cities in the world, he went them one better by saying that it was the very worst; that, in fact, it was so bad that it was absolutely necessary for the respectable element to resort to heroic methods, and that was how Rotary happened to be born in Chicago. Sales resistance having thus been broken down, he experienced unprecedented success.

The ills with which Chicago was afflicted during the first part of the twentieth century were prevalent else"  where. Generally speaking, business was in a bad way. Practices were not in accord with high ethical principles, with respect to consumers, competitors, or employees. The doctrine of caveat emptor (let the buyer take care of him"  self) was applied to the consumer. Ill-will and distrust of competitors were intense to the point of being destructive. To cripple a competitor was legitimate, if not commend"  able. To the doctrine, "Let the buyer take care of him"  self," might well have been added, "Damn the competitors."

Railroads in their efforts to put competitors out of business frequently sold transportation at a fraction of its cost, and on occasions actually gave it free in order to divert traffic from rivals. At one time, during a period of fierce competition between two railroad lines, the freight on carloads of cattle from Chicago to New York was reduced from one hundred and fifty dollars per car, to one dollar. The winner (in volume of business) however, be came the loser by virtue of the fact that the loser, unbeknown

30 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

to its competitor, bought thousands of carloads of cattle in the West, and shipped them over the competitor" s lines at a rate of one hundred dollars per car less than cost.

The railroads put the companies engaged in water transportation out of business through reducing tariffs below cost, but quickly restored the old rates after the purpose had been accomplished. Until the day of state and inter"  state commerce commissions, the public had no voice in such matters. The prevailing contempt of the railroad management for public rights was aptly expressed by one of the foremost railway magnates of the times, in the few choice words, "The public be damned!"

The passage of state and interstate commerce laws turned the tables in favor of the public, and the persecutors quickly became the persecuted with a liberal allowance for back interest.

In those days of conscienceless scramble, the services of employees were bought at the lowest possible market price. So far as humanitarian considerations were concerned, an employee was an accessory to be used or junked at the will or on the caprice of the supposedly only human factor, the boss.

Community spirit was at low ebb. Millionaires, having no purpose to serve, frequently left their fortunes to children who were poorly prepared to bear the responsibilities of wealth, either to their own advantage or to that of the communities in which they lived. Many of the so-called beneficiaries spent their patrimonies on wine, women, and song without special emphasis on the song. To make proper use of leisure requires more careful preparation than training for business. An idle mind is the devil" s workshop. To the American youth of the nineteenth century there

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUT OF CHICAGO? 31

was frequently little choice; it was business, or destruction, and even business had little to brag about. Thirteen suicides was the record of one very small city. Seventy-five divorce suits in one year was the record of another. The youth of affluence led the pace.

Not only was boys-work, as it is at present understood, unknown, but business engrossed fathers had little time to devote to their sons. The popular conception was that the exercise of parental discipline naturally devolved upon the women, except when the application of physical force seemed necessary. The word "mother" had deep and precious meaning; the word "father" too often suggested tyranny and unreasoning abuse.

The means enabling the captains of industry of the to give their off-springs flying starts down the toboggan slide to destruction, were wrested from two classes, neither of which was organized nor otherwise prepared to defend its rights"the consumer and the employee. There were, of course, outstanding exceptions to the rule, but taken by and large, great wealth frequently proved to be a curse, seldom a blessing.

However, unscrupulous business men, crooked politicians, operators of gambling joints, dives and saloons, were t having things entirely their own way. The opposing were rallying from all quarters. The law of action and reaction was still functioning as it had functioned in New England in earlier days.

A young man from the east visited Chicago. To him, the smoke, air and water pollution, noisome odors, political chicanery and other social short-comings were passing phenomena, evidence of virility rather than depravity, Incidents merely in the metamorphosis of a trading post

32 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

into a great city. The University of Chicago stands on the south side of the city as a memorial to his foresight. On the north side, Northwestern University and two Catholic universities occupy other strategic positions; and on the west side, the professional schools of the University of Illinois are advantageously grouped near the county and other hospitals.

Theodore Thomas conceived and brought into being the Chicago Orchestra. Another Chicagoan of vision and determination, the superb Art Institute, others the Chicago Grand Opera Company, the Field Museum, the Planetarium, the Rosenwald Industrial Museum, the Aquarium, the Historical Society, a boulevard system second to none and fifty hundred acres of parks and recreational centers. The names of the strong men who made these things possible are not so familiar as those of the Capons and Dillingers.

The forces of iniquity met with vigorous opposition from all directions. To many, sufficient answer to the question, "Can anything good come out of Chicago?" is found in the facts that Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and Paul Rader all began their evangelistic careers there. The forces of resistance developed by this trio were so vigorous that they extended their campaigns throughout the United States and even into other countries.

A girl, who had been teaching school in a western village, and whose life had been a struggle against ill-health and adversity, felt the irresistible pull of the pulsating, restless city where the battle between right and wrong was being so fiercely waged, with the result that the name of The Woman" s Christian Temperance Union and that of Frances Willard will ever be associated together in the

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUT OF CHICAGO? 33

minds of American women.

In demonstration of the fact that there were those courageous and self-sacrificing enough to take up permanent abode in the midst of the very worst in Chicago, Jane Addams, another country girl, gave Chicago Hull House, the American counterpart of London" s Toynbee Hall; and her example was followed in other equally un"  attractive and unwholesome parts of the city.

The story of Chicago is more than a record of crime and corruption; it is the story of the lives of strong men and women inspired by faith. Nauseating things are not expressions of the spirit of Chicago. Unfortunately, they have been conspicuous and dramatic and have therefore been given the widest publicity.

The editor of an Australian publication manifested deeper insight than Mr. Stead, when he wrote: "Why don" t our Australian papers give us the side of Chicago that I have seen? Is it not of news value? Sydney has a very great deal to learn from Chicago. If we must have cities, let us take a leaf from their book and at the same time, remember what has had to be overcome by those who have done the wonderful work there. Starting with a rough shore of a lake, in rough times, a rapid influx of people from all parts of the world, and almost everything that made for the inartistic, they have created a beautiful city, and the end is not yet."

Against every evil deed in Chicago which has been announced to the world, there are hundreds of good deeds, unheralded and unknown. What surface disturbances are to a river, crime and corruption are to the life of Chicago. The great current goes on undisturbed.

Rotary need never be ashamed of the city of its origin.

34 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

It was preceded by an illustrious line of movements conceived in the spirit of patriotism and idealism, and sup"  ported with enthusiasm and determination. There could have been no time more opportune than the beginning of the twentieth century for the genesis of such a movement as Rotary, nor a city better suited than virile, aggressive, paradoxical Chicago in which to nurture it, and give it sense of direction.

What is the so-called "I Will" spirit of Chicago? Let the immortal Daniel Burnham, architect of Chicago" s first World" s Fair, and designer of Chicago" s City Beautiful plan, answer:

 

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men" s blood, and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing intensity. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watch-word be order, and your beacon beauty."

 

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Chapter V

Genesis of Rotary

Page 37

GENESIS OF ROTARY

 

"From quiet homes and first beginning, Out to the undiscovered ends, There" s nothing worth the wear of winning But laughter and the love of friends."
"HILAIRE BELLOC.

 
 

If one standing on a promontory of time could have donned his metaphysical spectacles revealing thoughts and deeds standing out in the affairs of men, as stately trees stand out in landscapes, he would have observed a memorable struggle for existence " the persistent and irresistible "Will to Be" of an ideal, which eventually found expression in Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions clubs, and a dozen kindred organizations.

As white corpuscles defend the human blood against the ravages of disease, so the constructive forces of cooperation, tolerance, courage, and brotherly love will eventually overcome selfishness, envy, intolerance, hatred, and fear the most destructive enemies of the social order.

In the city by the lake, a drama was to be enacted, the importance of which could not have been foreseen. The dramatis personae were men of the ordinary walks of life; business and professional men.

THIS ROTARIAN AGE 38

While lacking qualities Which would have distinguished them from others of their kind, it may nevertheless be said that they were fairly representative of what in common parlance would have been termed "the better element." They were natural products of the times and subject to its usual frailties. All had imbibed American traditions in the public schools and some had been taught them at the fireside.

 

All were friendly and congenial and each represented a recognized and honorable vocation different from that of the others. In some respects they were widely variant. They had been selected with"  out regard to religious, racial, or political differences. The group included members of American, German, Swedish, and Irish ancestry, and representatives of the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faiths, all products of the American melting-pot, and in that respect, fitting progenitors of the international order which they were to bring into being.


There was Silvester, a coal dealer, our first president; he was of German parentage. His was a kindly nature and his face was wont to light up with pleasure on meeting friends.

 

 

 

GENESIS OF ROTARY 39

He told interesting stories of his boyhood home on an Indiana farm, revealing the picture of a log cabin and family group around the fireplace. He told of the hardships of early life; for example, of the snow that used to pelt through the chinks in the roof of the attic in which he slept, forming miniature drifts upon the floor. He treasured the memory of early days. Though his life in Chicago had been a struggle, he had managed to be helpful to the younger members of his family.

He had responded to his country" s call in its time of need, serving in Cuba during the Spanish-American war. Clearly he was eligible. Succeeding years have demonstrated the wisdom of the selection; Silvester fills a worthy place, and his life becomes increasingly useful with advancing years. He is the center of community activities and church work, the key man in charitable undertakings. Many young men have him to thank for years of wise counsel. Many crippled children have him to thank for physical rehabilitation. To Silvester every human need is a command. His telephone rings night and day, but he is never too tired to respond although his health is not always the best, and he is very tired at times. During the early days of the depression, and until the charities in his part of the city were put on an organized basis, Silvester" s office was made to serve as a clearing-house, and many hundred needy were given relief.

While Silvester" s most manifest contribution to the common weal has been through community service, his contribution through vocational service, that is, in the management of his own business has been scarcely less commendable. His "turn over" among employees has always been negligible, though he has had many trying cases to deal with.

40 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

His foreman in charge, who has been many years in Silvester" s service, never fails to avail himself of every opportunity to speak a good word of his boss. More than once he has told the writer that if anything ever happens to the "Old Man" to make it necessary for him to discontinue the management of the business, he will terminate his service, because he never could be satisfied to work for another after having worked so long for the "Old Silvester" s record in community service, vocational service, as a humanitarian, neighbor and friend, will stand a lot of beating, as the English put it. To put it in other words, it is a splendid exemplification of the doctrine of Rotary in action. In the very early days of Rotary, Silvester sponsored the reading of papers on the respective vocations of the members. Was it the beginning of the vocational service activity in Rotary? Perhaps not, but it certainly was in perfect keeping with the developments which came further on.

There was another of German parentage; Gustavus, a promoter. His personality challenged attention. His was a rare combination, the good in him easily outweighing the bad. He was a stormy petrel, vehement, impetuous, imperative, domineering, in one breath; then calm, docile, and lovable in the next. He was always thought compelling; his words were spoken with lightning like rapidity, and with such force that men frequently stopped in the street to look at him. His educational advantages had been limited, but his English was classical.

Where he found the vocabulary with which to give his furious thoughts expression, was a quandary. Gus"  membership was of brief duration. The feverish ups and downs of business resulted first in his resignation from membership, and a few years later in his death. Requiescat in pace. Dear Gus, you rested little while here.

 

GENESIS OF ROTARY 41

Hiram, a merchant tailor who hailed from the state of Maine, was of the number. He was an agreeable fellow. He had never quite reconciled himself to life in a large city; in fact, through all the years his thoughts have constantly reverted to the state of his nativity. There he spends his summer vacations, and to the rock-ribbed state of Maine he will eventually return to spend his remaining days.

Hiram, due to circumstances beyond his control, did not retain his membership in the club, though he has frequently manifested interest in the movement and shown that he cherishes the memory of the early days.

[Please see Hiram Shorey's obituary and a "Horse Story"]

These three men and the writer constituted the first group to foregather in the fellowship of Rotary. They were the vanguard of a mighty host, but to mention the four without including the fifth " would be to do an injustice.

Harry, a printer, was number five. He measured up to every requirement, insofar as his business habits were concerned; he was reliable, punctual, and straight-forward; dishonesty was to him incomprehensible. The only question in the minds of the others was, "How does he stand in point of fellowship?" He seemed cold, unemotional, and inexperienced in the ways of men. Harry had been raised on a farm in northern Michigan. His father had been an upright and religious man, whose weakness had been his childish faith in all mankind. As a consequence, his cupboard was so frequently bare that the belief that man was created for the purpose of waging merciless war"  fare against poverty was deeply embedded in young Harry" s mind.

42 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

All doubts as to his sociability were soon dissipated. He proved to be the most friendly of all. When in the company of his Rotary friends, his cup of joy ran over. He was responsible for the introduction of song in club programs; in no other way could he adequately express his happiness in the Rotary fellowship. A rare soul indeed, is our Harry.

One of Rotary" s best known song leaders advances the four following reasons for the inclusion of group singing, in Rotary: first " it promotes fellowship, second " it recreates, third " it stimulates interest in music, and fourth " if songs are selected which fit in with the purposes for which the meeting is called, it serves to prepare the minds of the members for the message which is to follow.

The writer is in accord with the above, and drawing upon his own experiences, is prepared to say that speakers frequently find inspiration in the music which precedes their efforts, assuming of course, that suitable selections have been made.

GENESIS OF ROTARY 43

If a suitable selection has not been made, the songs may serve to disturb the composure of the speaker and thereby impair his effectiveness. Many an inexperienced speaker has been thrown completely off his stride and moved to substitute an extemporaneous speech for one carefully prepared, in a desperate effort to adjust himself to the spirit of the meeting. Much responsibility rests upon the shoulders of the song leader; it is not infrequently within his power to make or break a meeting.

The only thing about the early Christians which baffled Pliny" s understanding was their psalm singing.

Plato said: "Through music the soul learns harmony and rhythm, and even a disposition to justice, for can he who is harmoniously constituted ever be unjust? Is not this why music and harmony find their way into the secret places of our soul, bearing grace in their movements and making the soul graceful? Music moulds character and therefore shares in determining social and political issues."

Damon said: "When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state change with them. Music is valuable not only because it brings refinement of feeling and character, but also because it preserves and restores health."

Dr. William Chalmers Covert, moderator of the Presbyterian Church of America, pleads for a tidal wave of hymn singing as the best available means of restoring the spiritual power of the Christian church. There is no doubt in the mind of the writer that song has awakened the spiritual forces in Rotary as nothing else could have.

Singing is not indulged in by Rotary clubs of some countries and all clubs are given full privilege to do as they please about including it in their programs. Possibly there are temperamental differences between people of different countries which have a bearing. Perhaps not. Time will tell.

THIS ROTARIAN AGE 44

Long may you live to revel in the companionship of your friends, Harry. We of the old guard know that long after the last note of the "Stein Song," sung in response to your baton shall have died away, memory of your warm, friendly spirit will be kept green.

Bill, whose vocation is the real estate business, entered the charmed circle as number six. He was our first secretary.

Quiet, unassuming affability was his dominant characteristic. There were no rough corners on Bill. When his sorrows came, he faced them with characteristic serenity.

Al, a manufacturer of folding organs, could not have been denied membership after one had glimpsed his twinkling eye and sensed his humor. He was our second president. He suffered a stroke some years ago, but he has never permitted his affliction to break his spirit; he is the same old Al. Suddenly removed from a life of activity to a life of immobility, he remains undisturbed and pro"  claiming his happiness to his more fortunate friends.

GENESIS OF ROTARY 45

It was necessary, of course, to give each member of the little group a nickname. "Boy Orator" was the sobriquet given Charlie. Its fitness was made manifest during the course of arguments on constitutional questions. Charlie had his own ideas as to what constituted good Rotary, and he took them seriously. Incidentally he was the un official recorder of the club. His private records admirably reveal the spirit of the period. Were it not for his foresight, there would be little in the form of written word to remind one of the happy days of 1905.

"Doc" was a town man and a bachelor, the Beau Brummel of early Rotary. He was the envy of the unsophisticated young men from the country. He knew what clothes to wear and how to wear them, but he was no mere manikin; he was a real he-man, and a remarkable horseman.

46 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

One of the most picturesque figures to be seen on the bridle paths along Chicago boulevards was that of our "˜Doc." For twenty- five years, he seldom missed a morning except in midwinter; it mattered not how late he had retired the night before. The Chicago club has always stood in the forefront with respect to the warmth of its greeting to non-resident Rotarians. There is but one reason for the distinction, and that is to be found in the person of warm-hearted, genial "Doc." He served faithfully twenty- six years, and went to sleep one night, never to awake again.

Rufus was a banker. The name Rufus was happily and most naturally changed to "Rough-house" in Rotary circles. The appropriateness of the change will be apparent to all who know Rufe as the most quiet and inoffensive gentleman imaginable. He is the treasurer of Rotary International, a position he has held for a quarter of a century. His friends are legion.

Of all his outstanding characteristics, none has been more marked than that of his love for his mother. He is a town man and a bachelor and as long as his mother lived, she was his constant companion. Together they attended all international conventions, receptions, and parties. He had no other chum. He was always a good fellow; as a son he was wonderful. Rufe has been con fined to his apartment during the past three years as a result of a nervous disorder, but he has gallantly risen above his misfortune and is as buoyant and hopeful as ever. He astonished the writer recently by stating that he considered his physical disability one of life" s great experiences, one he would not like to have missed. In Rufus"  case, also, it is manifest that the spirit has been triumphant over the flesh. What an example he has set for us. No ill can affect one so splendidly equipped.

THIS ROTARIAN AGE 47

There was Barney the undertaker. It required little imagination on the part of him who tagged Barney with the pseudonym, "Cupid" " he is such a roly-poly individual and his quiver is always full of arrows. When he lets them fly, they are very likely to reach their mark " "˜ human heart.

Cupid had no children to fasten his affections upon, but he was no stranger to conjugal bliss. One sad morning after a brief illness, his life" s partner left him. 
 

THIS ROTARIAN AGE 48

The great question among Cupid" s many friends in Rotary was, "How will he bear up under the deepest sorrow ever visited upon any man?" How would he, who by reason of his vocation had lived so much amid the shadows, carry on now that his own day of darkness had come?

His friends were not held long in suspense. Cupid conducted the funeral and was unusually solicitous as to the comfort of his Rotarian friends assembled to make manifest the sympathy with which their hearts overflowed. When the last rite had been per formed, Cupid stepped forward and his face was almost radiant as he took his last, long, lingering look, and the writer who stood nearby heard his softly whispered words, "Goodbye Gertie."

But of the days after: to many it is the days after, that count. For more than six years Cupid lived alone in the big apartment where he and Gert had lived so happily together. During that entire period things were left just as she had placed them. Under Cupid" s instructions her room was swept and dusted, and her bed linen changed just as had been their custom. 

GENESIS OF ROTARY 49

When Rotarians called, they were cordially received and they were always welcome; but when Cupid learned that some of his friends were calling with unusual frequency because they feared he might be lonesome, he assured them that he was not lonesome; that he was quite happy. The indisputable fact was that Cupid and Gert were living together as before. Eventually he went to Europe, wandered about on the continent for several months quite alone, then returned to Chicago and took up the threads of business life again.

Freddie is big, hale and hearty, and possesses a magnetic personality; his manifest geniality impresses even the passing stranger. Men stop on the street, take a second look at him, smile broadly and pass on. Waiters in restaurants, shop-keepers, and news boys give him special service and attention. Their service is spontaneous. Wherever he goes he gets the best of everything. What does he give in return? Nothing, that he is conscious of. He is just him self " genial, kindly old Freddie, and he looks the part. He never learned how to be a gentleman; he didn" t need to; he was born that way.

His greeting is more than cordial; he glows with enthusiasm. His parting is no less impressive. He hands the de parting one his hat; holds his overcoat; pulls his undercoat down; and starts him off with a vigorous handshake and a "Goodbye, Laddie." If Freddie has ever had a grouch, none can recall it.

But can one be all that Freddie appears to be, and still be sincere? Is his manner not a veneer merely put on for the accomplishment of a purpose, and then cast off as soon as the purpose has been served? No, Freddie" s manner is not a veneer; he has no repertoire of mannerisms. 


THIS ROTARIAN AGE Page 50

His greeting to me today will be his greeting to you tomorrow, and what is more, it is his daily greeting to the members of his family. His courtesy to his sons at the breakfast table is no less marked than his courtesy to an honored friend.

But how about the employees at his factory? A man may be courteous to his friends, kind to his family, and yet be a brute to his employees. It is said of Charles M. Schwab that his employees call him Charlie. It would be lese-majesty in some institutions for an employee to call his big boss, "Charlie." Dignity has its place but it can be made a fetish. If Freddie had been dependent upon dignity with which to maintain discipline, he would have made a mess of it. Not being overstocked with dignity, he substitutes something else " brotherly love; with that, his cup fairly runneth over.

GENESIS OF ROTARY 51

Before his own fiery furnaces, where grimy men work with gigantic ladles of molten metal, he may at times be seen, like some big bear, cuffing his men about to their mutual delectation. But how about discipline? Can it be maintained, or will it eventually be destroyed by indulgence in such incongruous unconventionalities? It" s a difficult question to answer. Freddie" s business has only been running a little more than a quarter century, but it can truthfully be said that during that period there has never been even the semblance of a strike, the boss"  idiosyncrasies notwithstanding. The payroll has lengthened from two names to seven hundred, and the business is still growing so rapidly that additions to the plant have to be built every few years. The last time the writer walked with Fred between his batteries of pounding machines, happiness seemed to be trailing in his wake. Every face wore a smile. There was no intimation of impending trouble. After all, there must be a boss, and where could another be found like good old Freddie?

Friends of the writer sometimes call upon him for assistance. Some young man coming to Chicago needs a job. The writer generally knows where one can be found, if the applicant is right. He puts in a call for Freddie, tells him his tale of woe, and presto change, there is a new man on the job in Freddie" s factory.

A crippled boy, who proved to be a bad actor, some years ago was sent to Freddie. Three times he jumped his job and bummed his way, twice to New Orleans, once to Washington, D. C. Three times he was forgiven and started on the straight path again. Verily, you are a wonder, Freddie.

THIS ROTARIAN AGE Page 52

To employers of labor who have tried every other expedient " division of profits, stock purchases on favorable terms, medical dispensaries, dental clinics, hospitals, night schools, lectures, concerts, play-grounds, better housing, and so forth in the modern manner, (all of which reflect everlasting credit upon the business men of this generation) and yet have failed " to such I would say, "Try one more expedient. Put a little of Freddie" s salve on your industrial disturbances." The essence of it is humanity, friendliness, brotherhood, good-will. It may not effect a cure, but in no event can it possibly do harm.

Freddie was not merely sympathetic with the extension of Rotary outside of Chicago. He actually participated in it, notably in New York. Of the New York Club Freddie is known as the founder.

What of this attribute which we term personality? Is personality merely good or bad, charming or disagreeable, as the case may be; or is there a deeper significance? Is personality not a manner of window through which men" s souls may be seen?

Personality has power to uplift, power to depress, power to curse, and power to bless. Personality commits murder at times. Not always in momentary passion frequently coolly, deliberately; murder by inches. A thrust is made at the breakfast table, another at lunch, a third at the evening meal, and little jabs during the long hours of the night. The flowers that bloom in cheeks begin to fade " the first indication that a personality homicide is in progress. They do not all have venue at the fireside, though the most dastardly of them take place there.

GENESIS OP ROTARY Page 53

They may occur in factory, office, warehouse, church, school, and in the market place. Personality homicides recognize no sanctuary. How devastating may be the blights of sorrow which follow in the wake of frowns.

Personality" s power to bless is made manifest daily, hourly, in every nation, city, and town; in home, factory, and in all places where men and women congregate.

Gracious and pleasing personalities enrich and sweeten life. Your personality has been a benediction to me at times, Freddie.

 

In the immortal words of Harry Lauder, "Long may your lum reek."

 
 

"Personality is to a man what perfume is to a flower."
"CHARLES M. SCHWAB,
in "Ten Commandments of Success."

 
 

There were others of the first year" s group worthy of special mention. Doc Hawley, an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist, a gentleman of culture; Doc had a warm heart and he was very responsive to human needs. In the very early days he delivered an address before the club on handicapped children, and on another occasion took up a collection for one who was in sore distress. Doc Baxter, an eminent physician who had studied abroad, and who later endowed his alma mater; Bob, an architect whose hobby was work in the interest of libraries; and big genial Harry " then a manufacturer, now retired " but a regular attendant at Rotary club meetings, either in Chicago or in California where he spends a part of his time; John, a decorator; Max, a furniture dealer; and Charlie, a florist who expressed his good-will in flowers, one for each plate; a cross-section, so far as it went, of the big town, each representing an honorable calling differing from all others in the membership; each viewing it as a special privilege to be selected as the representative of his vocation, and appreciative of the responsibility incident thereto; each with a broad catholicity of outlook, and a lover of his fellowmen. There were no drones in the 1905 group.

THIS ROTARIAN AGE Page 54

Everyone was interested and busy. Practically every member contributed some one or more serviceable ideas. Several of these ideas are in operation today; for example, the mid-day meeting, the practice of using photographs in rosters, the presentation of papers on vocational subjects, and many others.

When dinner meetings became a feature, a "˜Know Your Chicago" campaign was begun, and meetings were held in all of the important hotels scattered throughout the entire city in systematic sequence, the ladies of the members frequently participating in the enjoyment of these social and educational pilgrimages.

Several of the members had been raised on farms, and the majority were of the class of country and small town boy who in search of fortune had gravitated to the city. While not self-made men, they were in the process of making, and most of them had made sufficient progress to justify the assumption that success in considerable degree was to be realized in the future. Some had received the benefits of college education; more had not.

The lives of most of them had not been easy. From early childhood they had been taught to work. Two opposite concepts of life had been pointed out to them by their kind but not indulgent parents, in order that they might make wise selection between the two. There was the shiftless, happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care concept, the goal of which might be the poor-house, and surely would result in loss of self-esteem. On the other hand, there was the ambitious, industrious concept which would probably lead to a position of influence, power, and the respect of the community, as well.

GENESIS OF ROTARY Page 55

The parents of the members of the group had been self-sacrificing fathers and mothers, wrapped up in the future of their children, and none respected them more than did the beneficiaries of their kindly ministrations. That being the case, parental instruction and admonitions had been more than mere words; they had made deep and lasting impression.

When these young men entered business, their objective was to carry out the wishes of their parents; to be credits to them; in short, to achieve success. Those of the number who came from the country had been woe fully lonely at times, their unruly thoughts flying away to the green fields and the happy companionship of boy hood. Streets paved with cobble-stones had been sorry substitutes for green pastures. Those from the country had frequently spent Sundays and holidays rambling about, gazing upon restless throngs and dreaming of happier days climbing hills with congenial friends.

The best time and place for a country-bred boy to be lonesome is on a Sunday afternoon in a city park, where unknown people swarm in search of amusement. One need never be lonesome, in the country amidst God" s green hills, or loitering alongside babbling brooks, with the air full of songs of birds and fragrant with the odors of mint and balsam. City parks give sweltering humanity opportunity to breathe on hot, sultry afternoons, and bring happiness in abundance to those who have not been reared to better things.

THIS ROTARIAN AGE Page 56

Others of the group were city-bred and they had fared much better; they were adjusted to their environment, but they appreciated good fellowship, and they also were led by the star " Success.

Personal ambition had been largely responsible for the grouping. United they would stand; divided they might fall. And so they helped each other in every way that kindly heart and friendly spirit could suggest. In the main, the efforts were directed to helping each other in business " helping each other to attain success. They patronized each other whenever it was practicable to do so, extended helpful influence and gave wise counsel, when needed. There being no two members of the same vocation, mutual assistance was very practicable.

The purposes of early Rotary have been frequently described as selfish, and so indeed they may seem to have been. There are, however, those who have designated their days as members of the Chicago club in 1905 as the sweetest and most selfless of their lives. Whether a member was selfish or unselfish depended, of course, upon where he found his happiness. If he found it primarily in gaining advantage for himself, he was selfish. If he found it in helping his friends, he was unselfish. Naturally both types of mind were represented in the early days of club number one, as is true everywhere.

In order that they might post themselves as to the business lives of fellow members, their meetings were held in their offices. They rotated from office to office and largely by reason of that practice, adopted the name Rotary.

Some realized the business advantages sought; others did not. All realized the advantages of friendship.

GENESIS OF ROTARY 57

In the social desert of a city, they possessed an oasis all their own. To it the chosen few came to revel in the delights of friendly communion. No longer would any of them have occasion to dream in city parks and public places of happy days gone by; the "Happy days had come again."

Their meetings were different from meetings of other clubs of the day; they were far more intimate, far more friendly. First names were always used, while "Misters" and all other prefixes which might in any way interfere with the free flow of spirits, were banned. They became boys once again.

Sir Henry Braddon, Australian Rotarian, has said:

 

 

"One way in which Rotary develops the individual is in preserving the boy in him. Deep down in the heart of every good fellow there is a boy, a boy whose outlook on life is rather wonderful, unspoiled, with no prejudice, no intolerance, with keen enthusiasm, ready friendliness. and all those qualities that we love to see. But as the years go on the boy is apt to become submerged, and it is a sad day for the man when the boy can be said to have passed away. Age is not a matter of figures on the baptismal register; it is a condition of mind, very largely. When our ideals weaken, our enthusiasms wane; when we become cynical, over-engrossed, then we have become old, no matter what the exact tale of our years. As long as a man keeps his mind resilient, his nature open to friendly influences, he will never grow entirely old, and Rotary encourages and helps to develop him by keeping the boy alive in him."

 
 

The postulate that all men had been created free and equal had so natural a part in the thinking of the first of Rotarians that it was accepted without discussion. Protestant, Catholic, and Jew; American, German, Swede, Irishman and what-not, mingled together in happy accord. They had embarked upon a glorious adventure.

THIS ROTARIAN AGE Page 58

Clubs with memberships based upon racial and religious qualifications there were in plenty. To begin with, there were clubs composed entirely of those of Protestant ancestry, to which neither Jews nor Catholics need apply. Jews and Catholics, also gregarious in nature, had clubs of their own. The Turnverein societies supplied the needs of the Germans, and innumerable other racial groups formed in all parts of the city. In business, sports, and to a great extent in the schools, the melting-pot was working; but in social life it fell short. While native Americans were loyal to the principles of freedom and equality in business and political life, they were not disposed to give it sufficiently liberal construction to jeopardize social distinctions. It was one thing to give the children of poor immigrants educational advantages, quite a different thing to throw their doors open to the poor immigrants them"  selves. The result, most naturally, was that the children advanced more rapidly than their elders in inter-racial understanding.


There is charm in the friendship of men of one" s own way of thinking, men who have inherited the same tendencies, the same strong points and even the same weak"  nesses; but there is also charm in the friendship of men whose experiences and inherited tendencies are different. They are like books which excite curiosity and wonder.

GENESIS OF ROTARY Page 59

The 1905 members of the Rotary Club of Chicago, so valued the friendship of their fellow-members that they put a ban upon religious and political discussions, fearing that they might become disturbing factors, and they were richly rewarded for their foresight. There was plenty of dynamite in questions which might have been raised; but they were not raised. The formula was very simple; it read, "GO about your common tasks together, avoid discussions of dissentious subjects, and your reward will be friendship." The formula was worthy of adoption in much wider circles.

The sparkling wit of the Irishman vied with the quaint humor of the Jews, to the delectation of the members whose ancestry represented a galaxy of nations. Acquaintance is the great intermediary; it soothes troubled spirits, subdues unworthy suspicion, and as a rule eventually ripens into friendship.

 

 

"One man is as good as another " and a great dale better, as the Irish philosopher said."
"Thackeray.

 
 

Unfortunately there are some folks in the world who actually cherish ancient and hereditary animosities, fanning the flame of century-old hatreds as matters of religious or racial duty. They habitually speak evil of representatives of countries other than their own, and in fact, seldom speak a kindly word of anyone even of those who are supposed to be their friends. It is a matter of habit largely, and Rotary associations tend to bring about the substitution of friendly sentiment for unfriendly Sentiment.

But how dwarfed the soul of those who recognize no Virtue save within the membership of their own little group or sect. They still live in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.

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They know nothing of the problems of this world because they are not of this world. Their heroes are of the dead past. They sequester themselves lest they become contaminated. Contributing nothing, they gain nothing; theirs only to criticize those who work. Ideals which they hug close to themselves, they deny to others. Even their own virtues seem vices when displayed by others. Their holy evangelism becomes despicable proselytism when exercised by others.

In the clashes between ignorance and intelligence, ignorance is generally the aggressor. To attempt to superimpose its views through the exercise of force, is seldom the part of intelligence; it is frequently the part of ignorance. The less one knows, the more he thinks he knows, and the more willing he is to employ any and all measures to enforce his views upon others. The stocks, and the many other means of inflicting physical and mental anguish were the devices of ignorance. The story of the aggressions of ignorance against intelligence can never be told.

The way to put an end to these indefensible practices is to promote intercourse between members of different sects and citizens of different nations.

Segregation never brought anyone anything except trouble. If there is discord in a community, be it religious or racial, the most certain way of fomenting it is by saying, You remain on your side of the deadline and we will remain on ours. Ours is an Anglo-Saxon community, and we want to keep it just that. We will continue to live on the east side of the tracks, you on the west. There you may build as many churches as you please and have things all your own way, so you leave us alone.

GENESIS OF ROTARY 61

When an individual, a sect, a clique or a nation hates and despises another individual, sect, clique or nation, he or they simply do not know the objects of their hatred. Ignorance is at the bottom of it. Ignorance is a menace to peace. The higher the general average of intelligence, all things else being equal, the less the disposition to be meddlesome, critical, and overbearing. Individuals and nations owe it to themselves and the world to become informed.

Even the most bigoted of zealots have come to see that religious differences can not be ironed out through process of law; they are also slowly learning that they can not be ironed out through the exercise of social pressure.

Rotary" s program of promoting better understanding between different racial groups and between devotees to different religious faiths, so simply and yet so auspiciously begun in the year 1905 has met with greater success thus far than the negotiations of diplomats. It has been the way of Rotary to focus thought upon matters in which members are in agreement, rather than upon matters in which they are in disagreement. Rotary has satisfactorily demonstrated the fact that friendship can easily hurdle national and religious boundary lines.

One" s religion is one" s own possession and he has a right to it. One" s nativity is not of his own choosing, but whatever it may be, it is entitled to respect; and all nations have honorable place in the world" s family.

Insularity induces the superiority complex, and the superiority complex is responsible for much trouble. Permanent superiority has never been realized by any nation in history. After the rise comes the fall. 

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The nation that is supreme above all others during one age, will be eclipsed by another in the next age. The very strength of a nation eventually proves to be its weakness. After maturity comes old age; after ripeness comes decay. It is nature" s law and can not be repealed or over He who makes the eagle scream, the lion roar, the bear growl, is not doing his country a service; he is probably not even trying to; he is in all probability trying to do himself a service; he is doing his country a disservice. There is, however, a species of homo sapiens even more pitiable; it is those who, when traveling abroad, rise superior to the country to which they owe allegiance and expose its weaknesses to sympathetic and admiring throngs.

The writer is an American and has no apologies to make for that fact. He grants all others the privilege of proclaiming allegiance to the countries to which they owe it. No one ever rises in the writer" s esteem through disloyalty to his country, whosesoever it may be. One ought to love his country so well that he will resolve never to create enemies for it, nor subject his fellow countrymen to ridicule through proclaiming the land of his allegiance, "God" s own country." One may manifest his own ignorance in that manner, but insult is a poor means of winning friendship. The best way to win the esteem of others is by observing the simple rules of decency. If they won" t accomplish the desired result, nothing will.

Obviously the only possible means of holding together the little group of Rotarians of 1905, consisting as it did of men of variant racial origins and religious faiths, was through the exercise of tolerance. Proselytism had no place; it would have wrecked the movement in its inception.

GENESIS OF ROTARY 63

Sir Wilfred Grenfell says that it is the height of impertinence for anyone to criticize the manner in which another keeps in touch with God.

Through following this simple plan all went well. So far as the writer was concerned it imposed no hardship. He was of conservative New England stock, his ancestry being traceable to the Pilgrim fathers; but as heretofore said, New England sentiment had undergone much change since Mayflower days.

In the Vermont village where the writer spent his boyhood days, there was one Jew and one Catholic priest. They were both friends of his father who greatly, valued their friendship. Mr. Pincus was the clothier, and the separation from his kind seemed no sorrow to him; his flow of spirits was ever ready and enjoyable. The writer also has happy recollections of friendly chats between his father and the priest, whose garden adjoined. He is satisfied that they experienced a special zest in their contacts growing out of the very fact that their back"  grounds were so entirely different.

Then again, a few years later, while attending college, the writer happened to be the victim of a painful accident in which a priest whom he did not know, played a Samaritan part. The writer had been thrown from a carriage and had landed on his face and stomach in front of a Catholic church. When he regained consciousness, his head was being supported by the priest, who was holding a glass of wine to the writer" s lips. With such experiences lingering in memory, tolerance came naturally.

64 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

Charles Lamb, pointing to a man across the street, laid to a friend: "I don" t like that man." To which his friend answered: "Why, I didn" t know that you were acquainted with him." Lamb whimsically rejoined: "I am not acquainted with him; that" s why I don" t like him." How true it is that dislike vanishes in the light of acquaintance. The best guaranty of world peace is world understanding.

There are few fundamental differences between races of men. All venerate justice, honor, integrity, and love; all despise injustice, dishonor, dishonesty, and hatred. Without acquaintance it is human to ascribe unworthy motives; with acquaintance it is human to do the opposite. With acquaintance ripened into friendship, the chances of dissension are remote.

How strange it is that murder has the sanction of law in one and only one of the human relationships, and that is the most important of all, that of nation to nation. If we resort to arms to settle personal grievances, we must suffer a penalty. As nations, we glorify and idealize wholesale murder. In the relationship of man to man, we must be gentlemen or forfeit the esteem of our countrymen; in the relationship of nation to nation, we must be brutes, or forfeit their esteem. The condition represents the great outstanding blotch upon civilization. Soon may the long-looked-for, long-prayed understanding come.

So Rotary continued in its own sweet, self-centered way. Winds blew and storms raged without, but within, all was well. Could the Bard of Ayr have visited the group, he would have wondered how so much happiness and merriment could be possible without the use of the friendly cup. It would have been necessary to explain that the cup had fallen into bad hands in the U.S.A. Rotary has never taken sides on the prohibition question, but Rotary gatherings have been characterized in all countries for sobriety.

GENESIS OF ROTARY 65

Drunkenness has been practically unknown in Rotary circles. International conventions and district conferences where large numbers of Rotarians are gathered together, constitute striking contrasts with meetings of many other organizations whose members view such occasions primarily as opportunities to celebrate their temporary release from restrictions which hamper them in their home towns where they have reputations to maintain.

John Sullivan and Jack Murphy were the forerunners of a fine line of Catholic Rotarians. . . Max Wolff and Max Goldenberg were the first of an equally fine line of Jewish Rotarians. In course of time, as the movement grew and spread, Christian Scientists, Mormons, Mohammedans, Buddhists, and many others have been added to the list, in living demonstration of the fact that religious and racial homogeneity is not a sine qua non to friendly inter course. Catholic priests, Jewish rabbis, and Protestant ministers sit together at Rotary meetings, singing songs and indulging in happy fellowship. Many thoughtful and ably written articles on Rotary have appeared from time to time in the Christian Science Monitor, and the Mormon church has been represented in the Salt Lake City Rotary Club by its highest officials. Religious organizations work in complete harmony with Rotary and many clubs in the smaller communities, where the facilities offered by hotels and restaurants are inadequate, have their luncheons or dinners in church parlors, where they are served the best of meals by the ladies of the church to whom the opportunity of earning money with which to support church activities, is welcome.

Page 66 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

The writer and his wife, while visiting a Rotary club in a small southern city, fell into the hands of a reception committee consisting of a Presbyterian minister, who was the president of the local club, and a Catholic priest, then the vice-president. It would be difficult to find better friends. The Presbyterian" s sentences frequently ended with an appeal to the Catholic in the words, "Isn" t that so, Gene?"

At the close of the day, the writer said to the president, "You know there is always a mountain peak in every town I visit, Charlie, and the mountain peak to me today is the love of a Presbyterian minister for a Catholic priest." President Charlie" s answer was, "I am glad to hear you say that, Paul. My love of Gene is indeed genuine." Then he continued: "I have just been talking to him, and what I said was this: "˜You know, Gene, my little girl is to be operated on at the hospital tomorrow morning at nine o" clock. They say it is a minor operation, but there are no minor operations when our loved ones are concerned. Tomorrow morning at nine o" clock I want you, Gene, to be on your knees praying for my baby."  Gene" s answer was, "˜Charlie, I" ll be there." " In this beautiful relation ship, all of the cumulative animosity of generations had been wrung out and tender sympathy and affection only, remained.

Rotary has become an integrating factor. Whether the New England fathers have turned in their graves is a question; perhaps they have been rejoicing with us.

With thoughts and deeds no more pretentious than those above related, the life of a movement, which was destined to circumnavigate the globe with incredible speed and make itself at home in all civilized nations, had its beginning. Some of the early members even now in this day of wondrous achievement and bright promise still hark back to the delightful intimacy of friendship which was at its best in the dear old days.

GENESIS OP ROTARY Page 67

1905 Members. Click to enlargeWell have the members of the 19O5 group hung together; death only has been successful in separating them.

Small wonder that many were disposed to leave well enough alone; to remain content basking in each others smiles, and leaving the world to drift along according to its own will. They had built well enough to suit them"  selves. They had built on the most substantial of all foundations " goodwill and friendship.

The germ of Rotary might have been confined in its tiny shell; but it was not destined so to be. Fantastic dreams of a Rotary far-flung and adjusted to much broader purpose, yet retaining all its pristine vigor and loveliness, had disturbed the complacent serenity. It was a Utopian dream and commanded scant sympathy. It would have been unreasonable to expect practical business men to risk all that had meant so much to them, to the rash experiments of a dreamer; and yet ideas and ideals, if they are worthwhile, have the habit of living.

Schopenhauer in his "Ethics of Love," reduces love to its biologic purpose, the propagation of the species.

 

: Humiliating as the tenet may be to the romantic lover, it
is manifest that the "will to be" of the unborn babe,
makes vassals of its parents.

 
 

Perhaps in the birth and development of Rotary to its : present vantage point, there has been an ever-present, unalterable, irresistible destiny, to which all members have been and still are subject, in the face of which man is impotent and personalities fade.

Whether it is that Rotary was born under a lucky star, or whether it is that its "will to be" was undeniable,

Page 68 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

the net results of the clash of ideas and ideals among the members of the first club marked the beginning of the renaissance of Rotary.

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Chapter VI

The Renaissance

Page 71

THE RENAISSANCE

The birthday of Rotary, February 23rd, is celebrated throughout the length and breadth of the movement. Of all days in the Rotary calendar it is considered the most important. It is not remarkable that this is so. To celebrate birthdays, whether of individuals or of movements, is very human. In the case of Rotary, with its unprecedented rise from obscurity to vast influence within the span of thirty years, birthday celebrations were inevitable; they were the best means of demonstrating loyalty, and of renewing and invigorating faith. Inspiration is to be found in the thought that as the world revolves, it brings a pro"  cession of national groups to consciousness of the arrival of the natal day. There is inspiration in the thought that the sun never sets upon Rotary.

Among the not unwholesome attributes of man, is reverence. In dark ages, it raised him above the brute world into a kingdom of his own; it gave him incentive to move onward and upward toward an idealism, the height of which was limited only by his perception. Primitive reverence was extravagant and unrestrained. Birthday celebrations in Rotary are apt expressions of the restrained and rationalized reverence of modern times.

Evolution is natural, orderly, economic, and constructive. Revolution is the reverse; yet both have played their parts in the advancement of civilization.

"˜72 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

Marking the close of the middle ages, the moral and intellectual standards of the European nations changed so completely that the period was designated the renaissance, or rebirth; it was almost revolutionary.

The progress of Rotary has been mainly evolutionary; one change has followed another in orderly sequence, and yet the history of the rise of the movement reveals a period when the expansion of purposes and ideals was so pronounced that it may well be designated the period of Rotary" s renaissance. Like all other revolutionary periods, it was a time of disillusionment, disenchantment, anxiety, hope, fear, despair, conflict, and heartache.

Had Rotary not been subjected to the stress and strain of its never to be forgotten renaissance, had it not been born again, there would be little to celebrate. Rotary" s rebirth, with the exalted hopes, higher purposes, and expanded vision, was the greatest of all events in the eventful life of the movement.

The rumblings of the renaissance began to be heard during the latter part of 1906; it began-in earnest in 1907 and continued until 1913. During that period Rotary expanded from a local group, gathered together in the city of Chicago for mutual advantage and fellowship, to an organization of international vision and nobility of purpose.

In the beginning of Rotary" s renaissance there was little to justify fond hopes and profound ambition, but the one element to all substantial achievement in all fields of human endeavor was present, and that was faith. With"  out faith Columbus could never have fought his way against wind and wave to the western hemisphere. With"  out it, the brilliant Galileo and the patient Pasteur would

THE RENAISSANCE 73

have remained at the level of mediocrity. Without it, Rotary would have remained a lone maverick of clubdom.

Frequently have the words been heard, "You little thought that Rotary would become the worldwide power for good that it is today. You builded better than you knew." It is obvious from this and other expressions that the current belief is that the character of the present movement and its wide spread was entirely unforeseen and largely accidental. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The plan was conceived in anxious, earnest reflection, and was painstakingly carried out.

Under circumstances somewhat similar, President Hoover said: "People seem to have the idea that there is some sort of miraculous operation in accomplishment; that somebody conceives a perfect and complete plan, which can simply be charted and placed in operation. Things never happen that way. Something needs to be done. Mistakes are made " but that does not matter; one must press on. One day" s work at a time."

Little which is worthwhile comes without effort. It could not be appreciated if it were so to come. Rotary was not the result of a stroke of genius; in fact, there is little if anything, even original about it. There is wisdom in the expression, "There is nothing new under the sun."

To the world in general, the most unique feature of Rotary is its so-called classification plan, by which membership is confined to one representative of each business and profession; but even the classification plan is not original. Long before the birth of Rotary, a social club existed in London, the membership of which was based on vocational classifications.

74 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

The factors which distinguish the Rotary clubs from their early English prototype are the idealism, ambition, enthusiasm, and determination which have always characterized Rotary. Two other organizations of ancient origin embodied features which later found place in Rotary. One was an organization founded by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia which adopted the classification plan; and the other "La SociΓ©t des Philantropes" with headquarters at Strasbourg, now removed to Nancy, was almost identical with Rotary in its idealism and purpose. Neither of these organizations became known to Rotarians until long after the birth of Rotary.

How far ambitions of Rotarians had progressed by 1910 can be easily ascertained by a perusal of the record of proceedings of the first Chicago convention. Briefly it may be said that in some of the addresses, the speakers predicted progress nearly equal to the present realizations.

The renaissance demanded more than mere extension, even though extension be to the farthermost corners of the earth. Something yet needed to be done; the purposes and the ideals had to be expanded to dimensions proportionate to the increase of physical growth. Somehow, the esoteric Rotary must acquire an exoteric outlook. With no lesser vision could ambitions be realized.

To accept the new doctrine, involved immense expansion of the old. To immeasurably expand a doctrine which had proven itself eminently satisfactory to the great majority was difficult. It is not easy to become a prophet twice in the same city. Where would the movements of the past have been, had it been necessary for the founders to admit their shortcomings to their followers?

THE RENAISSANCE  75

Difficult or easy, the lack of vision had to be confessed if there was to be a renaissance in Rotary. Fortunately there were those in the rank and file who were in sympathy with the wider outlook and they so expressed themselves. In days of tribulation, sympathetic under standing is helpful; it tends to confirm one in his beliefs and to bolster faltering hopes. To pioneer, whether it be in the realm of physics or metaphysics, is to travel a lone some road and words of encouragement are frequently, sadly needed. Nothing is more disconcerting than the blank look of friends to whom one" s hopes are unintelligible. Oh, for a face alight with friendly enthusiasm. How it brightens life, and how sad the lot of him to whose friends his most cherished ideals are vagaries. Though such friends be speechless, their lusterless eyes tell the story. They might as well say, "I" m sorry; I wish that I could go along with you, but I simply can" t. I must be honest with myself and with you. There" s nothing to it; you have been dreaming."

The needed words of encouragement eventually were spoken. On one occasion, a flood of eloquence served to illumine the shaded pathway. How serviceable words were in preparing minds for the new era, is difficult to determine. It is certain that mere words could never entirely serve the purposes of Rotary" s renaissance. The eloquence of deeds was needed, and even it might prove unavailing.

In such atmosphere, Rotary" s first public service was rendered. It consisted of initiating and promulgating the establishment of public comfort stations in Chicago. Of all the multitudinous undertakings of Rotary, the writer can not recall one more ambitious. Rotary" s first public

76 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

undertaking resulted in the enrollment of every important civic organization in the city of Chicago, and also the city and county administrations, in its support. For more than two years the battle against indifference, vested interests, and so forth continued until eventually Chicago" s first public comfort station was established on the northeastern corner of Washington and LaSalle streets. The greater significance however, was in the fact that it was the precursor of thousands of similar services rendered by Rotarians throughout the world. Its lesser significance is to be found in the fact that the Rotary Club was raised to the rank of a civic organization in Chicago, to be counted on, henceforth, as an asset in the city. The head of the Y.M.C.A. expressed the prevailing sentiment when he said, "The Rotary Club of Chicago has now shown reason for its existence."

It has been stated that the purpose of going into the field of civics was to camouflage the real purpose, which was profits. The writer can not speak authoritatively as to what was in the minds of others. He can speak regarding what was in his own mind. He was engrossed in the business of building up a club of the best possible kind. He had a vision of the possibilities of great expansion and he wanted to make his club worthy of its manifest destiny. Some who joined Rotary much later, have expressed them selves as amazed on discovering that Rotary was not full- fledged in the very beginning. It was not, and it would not have been in the natural order of things had it been so. In fact, to the thoughtful observer, Rotary is not full- fledged now, and the writer hopes that it will never arrive at that state, during his day.

THE RENAISSANCE "˜77

There was, however, something better and that was the saving grace of discontent. It didn" t have to be imported from distant cities or countries; it was at hand in abundance sufficient for the purpose. Henry Ford was not satisfied with his first automobile; if he had been satisfied, his automobile business would not have prospered. He kept right on making automobiles, and producing new and better models as time went on.

The inventor of the first Rotary club was more conscious of its deficiencies than anyone else could have been; so conscious of them that he could not have thrown down his tools if he had wanted to do so. He kept on.

If there are still remaining any who continue to think that Rotary" s turn to public service occurred outside Chicago, they are mistaken. Rotary" s first introduction to that form of activity occurred in the city of its origin.

As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined. The beginning had been made. Rotary was no longer to live within itself. But much remained still to be done in order to make the renaissance effective, and some of it could be better done in new fields, free from tradition, and where there was less to be undone. Forward-looking Rotarians of Chicago took it to such new fields.

Early in the year 1908, Manuel Munoz, a member of the Chicago club, was prevailed upon to carry the message to San Francisco. He pledged himself to interest some suitable resident of the city of the Golden Gate in the organization of a club. In Homer Wood, a young lawyer, he found the right man. Homer not only organized a club in his own city, but in conjunction with other friends organized clubs number three in Oakland, and number four in Los Angeles.

 

The 4th club was Seattle, Harris corrected this error in a letter to Rotary Club of Seattle #4. Los Angeles became #5.

 

78 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

That the San Francisco club took itself seriously is evidenced by the fact that Mr. Charles M. Schwab was the speaker at the first meeting. From San Francisco the good word was speedily carried to Seattle.

San Francisco Rotarians take pride in the fact that theirs is club number two, and well they may; it is no small honor to be number two in a list of three thousand, seven hundred. The Rotary Club of San Francisco may also well take pride in the way Homer and other charter members of the San Francisco club threw themselves into the effort. Californians are hard to beat, particularly in games calling for cooperation. They break from the scratch like whirlwinds. They are true sons of the "Forty-niners," the most intrepid and indomitable of American pioneers.

Homer not only accomplished the feats above related, but he responded instantly to requests from Chicago for help in efforts to win New York and other eastern cities to the cause.

There have been few, if any, such wild fires of enthusiasm as took place on the Pacific coast at that time; it seemed providential. It revived faith. The organization of club number one had not been difficult; the work was near at hand. To bring about the organization of a second club vicariously was another matter. The record of having organized one club in Chicago was not convincing even to members of the Chicago club. It was easy enough to visualize work already done; but to believe that the same thing could be done elsewhere called for a measure of faith beyond that which might, with reason, have been expected. In Chicago there were "our men" to deal with, but where in the wide, wide world were there others like ours?

THE RENAISSANCE 79

The state of mind both outside and inside the membership was, "Show me." The Pacific coast epidemic did that very thing. New York, Boston, St. Louis, Kansas City, New Orleans, St. Joseph, Lincoln, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Tacoma, Detroit, and other cities, both east and west, where seed had been sown, began to think that there might be something worthwhile in the movement; that its success might not be dependent upon the idiosyncrasies of any one group of men. One after another they dropped into the hopper. There were a tidy sixteen to assemble at the first convention in 1910.

In some of the literature published at headquarters, Manuel has been referred to as the organizer of the San Francisco club. To this, ever-watchful Rotarians of San Francisco have taken exception. As they put it, "Manuel may have been the cap that caused the explosion, but Homer was the explosion," a summation to which neither Homer nor Manuel would take exception. The San Francisco development was the joyful arrival at the end of a weary journey. Another long step had been taken toward bringing about the renaissance of Rotary. That the desirability of extension could ever have been questioned seems strange when viewed in the light of subsequent events.

Just what would have become of the Rotary Club of Chicago, had it not been for the urge to carry the movement into other cities and other countries is difficult to conjecture; it is safe to say, however, that it would have lacked its most inspirational feature. Individual Rotary clubs of today are borne on the tide of the world-wide movement. From the expenditure of time and money,

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rich dividends continue to flow in at an ever rate.

What a privilege it is to be linked with one hundred and fifty thousand other men of more than eighty nations, differing in languages, customs, and historical back"  grounds; and yet alike in one respect " all business men, held together by a common ideal applicable to all phases of life, the ideal which is popularly known as the ideal of service.

It is Tuesday and the noon approaches. Suspend business for a time and go with me to a meeting of the Chicago club. Six or seven hundred busy men of affairs have cast aside their anxieties and are refreshing them"  selves in friendly relaxation, a relaxation as complete as that experienced by the German business man with his glass of beer, the Englishman with his afternoon cup of tea, the Spaniard with his midday siesta. The need of breaking the tension of modern life is made manifest by the enormous increase of nervous disorders.

Fellowship, music, and addresses follow, one after another. The program is of a cultural nature, a brief graduate course in the actualities of life. The educational advantages of many business men are limited. Rotary presents opportunity to make up for deficiencies.

Who is sitting at the speaker" s table today? At the right of the chairman sits the man who is to deliver the principal address; he is of wide renown, a specialist in personnel work in great corporations. He will tell of experiments that have been tried and found successful in promoting the welfare of the man who toils with his hands; but before he speaks, the man on the chairman" s left will be heard for a moment. He is a Londoner, a

THE RENAISSANCE 81

leader in British Rotary. He will tell of the activities of British Rotarians in bringing about a better understanding between nations. It is a joy to know him intimately as we do. Then there is one from Czechoslovakia, and a dear friend from Mexico, another from Japan, and a titled Rotarian from Australia. These men are towers of strength in Rotary in their own countries.

What a remarkable world we are coming into! Boundary lines no longer seem impressive. There were no foreigners on the calling of our fathers, but we of this generation are privileged to know men of many nations. It seems a topsy-turvy world today; what shall we say of tomorrow?

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Chapter VII

Goodbye Chrysalis ... We Must Be Off

Page 85

GOODBYE CHRYSALIS...
WE MUST BE OFF

To signalize successes gained, and to solidify the movement, a convention was held in Chicago during that summer of 1910, Chesley Perry pulling the laboring oar. Representatives of clubs in sixteen of the most important American cities were in attendance. From the Chicago convention the National Association of Rotary Clubs emerged, with a carefully studied constitution and by"  laws. Headquarters were established in Chicago, where they still remain.

The success achieved served to stimulate ambitions for greater things. The welding of the forces into a national unit encouraged dreams of an international unit to include many, if not all nations. Dreams might prove valueless, but they were inexpensive and there was no valid reason why they should not be indulged to the limit. So imagination was permitted to run riot and random shots were fired in all directions in the interest of extension, and in the hope that some one of them might hit a vulnerable spot.

No longer was the success of the movement dependent upon the efforts of men of any one city. Voluntary propagandists were well scattered throughout the land and

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new cities were frequently being enrolled. Nor were the efforts of enthusiasts confined to extension. Many useful ideas were submitted. The most important contribution of the period was the platform which was submitted by the Rotary Club of Seattle. It was adopted at the second convention (Sheldon" s slogan, "He profits most who serves best," having been added to it) as the platform of the National Association of Rotary Clubs.

The platform accomplished an important purpose in that it clarified the vision and tended to give the movement a better sense of direction. It filled a place not covered by either constitution or by-laws. It emphasized the importance of fair-dealing and high standards in business.

Naturally, Canada presented the most logical field out side of the United States for extension, and chance made Winnipeg the most available city. The bombardment of Winnipeg" s ramparts began in 1909 and never ceased until capitulation in November, 1910. Thus the movement was provided with an excuse for discarding the name, "National Association of Rotary Clubs," and appropriating the more pretentious "International Association of Rotary Clubs."

It takes more than one swallow to make a summer, but one Canadian Rotary club sufficed to internationalize Rotary. In fact, the fever was at the time running so high that it is questionable whether even the inclusion of Winnipeg was necessary; Rotary simply had to become international somehow.

After Rotary had penetrated into Canada, Great Britain seemed in the eyes of optimism to be waiting just around the corner. The pessimists were, nevertheless,

87
GOODBYE CHRYSALIS. . . WE MUST BE OFF

running true to form. To them, the hope of winning the British to the movement was sheer naΓ―vetΓ©. The British were caste-ridden, and far too cold. Fancy Sir John becoming chummy with a retail tradesman, his greengrocer, for instance. Time has revealed, however, that the Briton is not so stratified as was supposed. Sir John has shown himself human and deeply interested in the problems which confront his fellow-members, whether their stations be high or low.

It is not the purpose of Rotary to make social, religious, or racial composites of its members. To attempt to do so would be to attempt a disservice rather than a service. To attempt to erase social, religious and racial differences would be an attempt to deprive civilization of one of its most promising methods of progress. Under existing conditions each social, religious and racial group constitutes a proving ground on which to test its theories, with the result that civilization is enriched and thought raised to higher levels.

What a pity it would be, for instance, if the colorful lives of the various European nations were blended into one. Where then, could be found the fascination of travel?

Who would be interested in a garden containing flowers of one species or one color only? Variety has been truly said to be the spice of life. Sameness is monotonous, depressing.

Rotary brings men differing in social status, religious beliefs and nationality together in order that they may more intelligible to each other and therefore more sympathetic and friendly.

Rotary does not function alike in all nations. Climatic differences frequently account for temperamental differences.

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Sunny skies are conducive to light-heartedness, buoyancy, and impetuosity; dull skies to thoughtfulness, reticence, and reserve. The use of given names is an overture of friendship in some countries; the use of family names an overture of friendship in others. Such considerations are not of the essence of Rotary. Friendship is of the essence of Rotary and customs best calculated to promote its growth are encouraged.

The opportunity to plant Rotary in the British Isles was not long in coming. A Boston Rotarian, who had offices in London and Manchester, was induced to co"  operate with a Chicago Rotarian in the organization of a club in London. Their efforts were successful and the enthusiasm of those who were watching and waiting in Chicago knew no bounds. Dreams were indeed coming true.

They assumed that their representatives were the first to obtain results in Britain, but they were destined to experience a surprise. Indirectly they learned that a native of Dublin, who had for a brief period been a member of the San Francisco club had returned to his native country and established a club in Dublin, and was engaged in organizing another in Belfast. The story seemed too good to be true, but it was true. A stray spark had blown across the seas from the huge bonfire in San Francisco.

The mysterious but wonder-working Irishman was soon broken to harness and set to work in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Birmingham. Those cities having been gathered into the fold, the British situation was taken in hand by a scholarly gentleman of Edinburgh.

But he who has once given himself to dreaming is not easily satisfied. The flying start in the land of Anglo"

GOODBYE CHRYSALIS . . . WE MUST BE OFF 89

Saxons spurred to further undertakings. Letters were written to German and French representatives of Amen"  can business houses, and to lawyers in Australia, but with"  out material results.

A Chicago member, who was about to make a business visit to Cuba, was prevailed upon to attempt the organization of a club in Havana. He did his best, but his efforts were doomed to failure. In a spirit of hopefulness he had undertaken his mission; in a spirit of despair he returned, contending that Rotary was solely an Anglo-Saxon idea; that it never could be appreciated or understood by other races. Those who have been privileged to become acquainted with the splendid Latin American Rotarians know how erroneous were his conclusions.

Members from Tampa, Florida, brought Cuba into the movement and while still in the hot flush of victory, duplicated their efforts in Spain.

After the dissipation of the Anglo-Saxon myth all things were possible. One after another, clubs were established in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and in the islands of the Eastern seas.

In the main, Rotary" s missionaries have been members who, imbued with the faith, have volunteered to carry the message. As a rule they have even paid their own expenses. Several have been of very high standing. Among the distinguished men who have rendered voluntary service in the extension of Rotary are: Dr. Wilhelm Cuno, once chancellor of Germany; Sir Henry Braddon of Australia; Sir George Fowlds of New Zealand; Federico Pezet, Peruvian Ambassador to the United States; Umekichi Yoneyama of Japan; and the ambassador deluxe, James W. Davidson of Calgary. These Rotarians were

90 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

moved to take up their tasks because of their confidence in Rotary and its ability to bring about better understanding between nations. Back of it all was the desire to be of service to their own countries. Dr. Cuno is reported to have said that he would rather promote the interests of Rotary in his country than be chancellor of Germany.

Eventually the desultory character of Rotary extension gave way to orderly, systematic procedure. The question of the universality of Rotary" s appeal having been satisfactorily settled, the next question in order was how large must a city be in order to be eligible. It was at first con tended that clubs must be limited to cities of not less than fifty thousand population. Experience soon demonstrated that so drastic a limitation would be unnecessary. By successive stages it was reduced to twenty-five thousand, ten, five, two; and eventually the conclusion was reached, that it was not so much a question of population as it was a question of the character of the men making application. Since arriving at that conclusion, successful Rotary clubs have been established in towns of one thousand inhabitants and even less.

While the record of extension has constituted one of the most interesting chapters of Rotary history, the development of ideals and practices has gone on apace. Deeds preceded the written word. After service had been rendered in manifold forms, the word "Service" with all its varied meanings and implications, was written in the Rotary plan.

Succeeding the platform came the code of ethics, the product of the minds of a devoted group of Sioux City Rotarians. As the slogan, "He profits most who serves best," constituted the climax of the platform, the Golden

GOODBYE CHRYSALIS. . . WE MUST BE OFF 91

Rule, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them," constituted the climax of the code of ethics.

The retention of the Golden Rule as a summation of the hopes and ambitions of Rotary has recently met with serious opposition from different quarters. It is not that any appreciable number lack faith in the Golden Rule as a guide in the affairs of men. The objection most frequently heard is that it has so long been identified with religious movements that its adoption by Rotary affords reasonable grounds for the assumption by the uninitiated that Rotary is in fact a religion. It being the case that Rotarians do not consider Rotary a religion, it is probable that the use of the Golden Rule in Rotary literature will be abandoned.

During the course of the life of the movement, many misconceptions as to its origin and as to its motives have arisen, not the least persistent being the belief that Rotary is an offshoot or auxiliary of the Masonic order. There are, of course, Rotarians who are also Masons, but there are also Rotarians who are Catholics. What ever they may be outside of Rotary, inside they are friends.

During the year 1915, Guy Gundaker of Philadelphia wrote a booklet entitled, "˜A Talking Knowledge of Rotary." He sought, as his predecessors in the literary field had sought, to express Rotary as it was, rather than to set up new ideals and standards. Within the limitations set by its author, it was a valuable contribution to the cause and it was helpful to clubs both old and new.

For some years, "A Talking Knowledge of Rotary" constituted the most available chart; in fact, it has not been entirely outgrown at the present time. It has, to

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considerable extent, been superseded by a flood of pamphlets treating at length of various subjects.

The idea of mutual helpfulness had given way to the idea of general helpfulness, epitomized in the term "service." International service, which looms so large at present, then ranked as a by-product. It was expected that international understanding and good-will would be the natural consequence of working together at common tasks.

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Chapter VIII - The Gods Were Propitious  (entire chapter)

The story of Arthur Sheldon "He Profits Most Who Serves Best" and Harris' story of general secretary Ches Perry, while Perry is still on the job. Pages 95-103,the entire chapter.

In 1935 Harris visited Brisbane, Australia. In a newspaper interview he commented on "He Profits Most Who Serves Best." You must study the final intent of Sheldon and Harris' belief of Sheldon's purpose along with Harris' comments in this article. From the reading of "This Rotarian Age," the is substantial evidence that our "longer" motto was designed as a "Vocational" challenge, but a reminder to stewardship. On the left is the comment from the 1935 Brisbane article, published the same year at "This Rotarian Age."

Also see "Sheldon" in our Early Leaders section

Read a summary of Sheldon's 45 minute speech to the 1921 convention in Edinburgh where he clearly defines his philosophy of "Service" and his "motto" for Rotary.  See the "Actual Pages" of Paul Harris' book by clicking here.

Page 95

THE GODS WERE PROPITIOUS

The fact that the gods were propitious was manifested one evening soon after the beginning of the renaissance, in the admission to membership in the Chicago club of two men who were to leave indelible imprint upon the movement. One of them, Chesley R. Perry, was a native of Chicago; the other, Arthur Frederick Sheldon, was a native of Michigan, who had come to Chicago after graduation from the University of Michigan, to take a position with a concern engaged in selling subscription books.

Sheldon arrived in the time heretofore described as Chicago" s zero hour. The chaotic condition in business affairs impressed him deeply. Frequently it seemed that virtue was without reward; that one" s chances of business success depended upon his willingness to be ruthlessly aggressive and even dishonest if need be. Sheldon valued honor above material gain and revolted against the salesmanship methods he was expected, by his employers, to use. One day his disgust was so overwhelming that he cast his outfit into a convenient gutter and sent his resignation to the house.

The doctrine of caveat emptor was, at the time, applied to the consumer. Ill-will and distrust characterized the attitude of business toward competitors and the welfare of employees was given scant consideration. Sheldon

96 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

noted, however, that there were certain conspicuous exceptions to the rule; that some of the most fair-minded and liberal business houses were the most successful, and he set out to study the principles which made for success. His studies led him to reverse his previous impressions and eventually to the conclusion that there was but one dependable route to permanent success, and that was the route of service.

What some saw vaguely, Sheldon saw clearly. Success did not depend upon ruthless aggressiveness and selfish ness; it was the inevitable result of the application of the law of service which was to him a natural law, as natural and as unerring as the law of gravity. He became an evangelist in the realm of business, as Dwight L. Moody had been in the world of religion. There was, in fact, much in common between these two Chicagoans. Both were fired with the crusader" s passion and with indomitable purpose. Both had captained characteristic Chicago revolts against unrighteousness. Both had roused the dormant powers of resistance.

Sheldon" s ambitions were boundless and his convictions profound. Some of his ideas came like flashes of electricity; others through slow evolution. "He profits most who serves best," was forged in Sheldon" s brain as he unfolded his long legs and emerged from a barber" s chair in Minneapolis one evening in 1908. Other epigrams have been made and remade, time and time again, during long periods. When uttered, they seemed the inspiration of the moment; they were not " they were the results of soul travail.

The epigram, "He profits most who serves best," has been the object of much criticism as being too worldly,

THE GODS WERE PROPITIOUS 97

and also the cause of speculation as to what Sheldon had in mind, pecuniary or spiritual reward.

The writer believes that Sheldon, so far as he himself was concerned, was interested primarily in what might be termed the spiritual reward, but his aim was to bring the maximum of good to the largest possible number. He recognized the fact that the largest number were interested in pecuniary profits and therefore the pecuniary profit-seeking group was the group he desired to reach.

He did not try to destroy the profit motive but rather tried to do that which, to his mind was more practical, that is, sublimate it and regulate it so that it would be of benefit to society at large and also to him who served. If the world" s thinking was to continue to be in terms of profits, he would at least bend his efforts to making profits legitimate. With what some might consider fanatical zeal he contended that profit was as inevitable a consequence of service as heat was the inevitable consequence of fire. The bigger the fire, the greater the heat; the greater the service, the more the profit.

A well-intentioned minister, introducing Sheldon to his congregation in Rochester, New York, once made the mistake of saying that to follow Sheldon" s doctrine would of course not be to one" s financial advantage but that he thought that one would be more compensated by the satisfaction he would experience in realization of the fact that he had done the right thing. This was not Sheldon" s doctrine and it required most of the time allotted him for his speech to beat down the bad effects of his unfortunate introduction.

Sheldon was not forgetful of the spiritual advantage of service; he was keenly alive to it, but he felt that his own

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special mission was to reconcile man" s prevalent and natural desire for profits with the highest possible ideal of service to humanity. His addresses made a deep impression on some of the members of the Chicago club, and his slogan "He profits most who serves best," eventually be came the slogan of Rotary.

Rotary" s slogan has been of inestimable value in guiding the course, notwithstanding the fact that it has been forced to divide honors with the still more altruistic concept expressed in the words, "Service above self," the contribution of Rotarians of Minneapolis.

At the Edinburgh convention in 1921, Sheldon was selected by the program committee as the one best qualified to interpret to British Rotarians the ideal of service as understood in America. The invitation was accepted, and those who heard the message say that it was as of one inspired.

Wherever the English language is spoken, Sheldon students may be found. The writer has been astonished to find many among Rotarian leaders abroad. They are admirably prepared for Rotary responsibilities. Sheldon is as devoted to his ideal today as he was a quarter of a century ago. His most cherished hope at present is, that his courses may be adopted in the public schools in the United States and in all other countries where sympathizers may be found. He realizes that the impressionable youthful mind presents his best opportunity. Sheldon will never retire; it is doubtful whether he will even ease up. His ideals, to him, are life.

The other candidate who was admitted to membership on that memorable evening, is the only national and international secretary the movement has ever known. To

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many, Ches Perry is Rotary International.

Chesley is a native Chicagoan. He literally grew up with the city, and understands its traditions as few do. He has been, to a great extent, master of his own destinies though he enjoyed the advantages of a cultural back ground. His love of literature has been a profound influence in his life. He is an omnivorous reader and at present is primarily interested in literature which in one way or another bears upon the objects of Rotary.

During high school days, Ches was president of the literary society and associate editor of the school paper, but he was the recipient of many other honors, such as manager of the baseball and football teams, captain of the military company, and president of Cook County base ball and football leagues, as well.

His love of literature also led him to a connection with the Chicago Pubic Library and to teaching in night-schools. He enlisted in the Spanish American war, returned as first lieutenant, and was afterward promoted to a captaincy. During his military service he acted also as correspondent for several important publications. His various experiences splendidly qualified him for that which eventually became his life" s work " service in Rotary.

Ches"  vision has always been wide enough to comprehend the possibilities. His devotion during a score of years has made Rotary what it is. If ever one has been blessed with the capacity for singleness of purpose, it is he. Morning, noon and night; day in and day out; year in and year out " always the same indomitable will to carry on. He believes in the eight hour shift, but he works two of them; he believes in holidays " one can do so many things on Saturday afternoons, Sundays, on Christmas

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and New Year" s " so many little things that one finds difficult to reach when one" s office is full of fellow workers, when there are, so many callers and the telephone so frequently interrupts.

"Faithful unto the last little detail," is what is said of him. It seems providential that Rotary has always had at its helm such a man. What would have been the result had it been otherwise? He might have had the diplomacy of a Talleyrand, the finesse of a Disraeli " what would it have mattered, had he not been faithful to his trust?

Through administration after administration, his work continues. Figures at the directors"  table change, all save one. One man is ever-present, frequently suggesting, never insisting, ready to carry out orders be they well or ill- advised. There are one hundred and fifty thousand beneficiaries of his trust " a sacred obligation, but no one senses it as he. If one were to subtract from his total contribution to the cause that part which might with reason be said to have been compensated, the remainder would still entitle him to place in the front rank of Rotary.

When his services began in Rotary, the force consisted of one part-time man " Ches was that man. Today his staff and assistants are more than one hundred in number. Their devotion to their chief and loyalty to the cause is most pleasing. During depression times salary reductions were accepted as a matter of course. The spirit of the force typifies the spirit of Rotary. To practice what is preached is the genuine desire of all engaged in the service.

While variety in the national origins of employees of American institutions is not uncommon, it is especially noticeable in the headquarters of Rotary International. Fair-haired employees of Teutonic origin mingle in happy

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accord with fellow employees of Latin extraction. Head"  quarters become more and more international in character as time goes on.

A number of the staff have been recipients of degrees from universities. Educational requirements have in"  creased as the movement has expanded, cultural education naturally being given first rank. Some members of the staff have three, four, a half dozen, languages at their command. A majority have knowledge of at least two languages. Foreign born and educated members of the staff insure the correct use of idioms in their respective languages.

A useful and interesting office organization known as the Staff Society helps to develop acquaintance and maintain fellowship, promote educational and recreational activities, and keep up the morale of the office.

A recent visitor at headquarters expressed himself as follows: "I found the whole staff of Rotary International in action, nearly a hundred strong and it" s the nearest thing to a bee-hive I ever saw among humans. Here is the throbbing heart of Rotary, the great central organ that pumps the constant, pulsing stream of Rotary achievement and ideals into eighty countries of the world. And here is the vortex where that life-blood comes back to be translated and enriched with direction and inspiration before it goes back into circulation. Mail comes in and goes out mountain-high, much of it in foreign tongues; cables and telegrams flutter like birds; yet with all that high-pressure there is a cordial, friendly feeling of team work and pride in the job. It is the practice, rather than the exception, for the staff of Rotary International to give up Saturdays, Sundays and holidays to the work they feel

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must be cleared. They preach service, they live it, and they give it. And with full appreciation to a hundred loyal hearts who assist him it is only fair to say that the prime credit for the incredible performance belongs to Chesley R. Perry, Secretary of Rotary International.

"Rotary is a world force, an international fact as well as a factor, and the International offices are worthy of Rotary. Here is a great corporation with a 1934-35 bud get of about $764,000 for administrative purposes and $200,000 for "The Rotarian" magazine. Its salary budget, including the President" s office and secretariats in Europe and Asia, but exclusive of the magazine, is $188,000 approximately 30 of the total administrative budget. This figure is 20 lower than what is considered normal and permissible in organization budgets. It is certainly not too high."

The writer believes that much of the credit which he himself has been given for the success of the movement should have gone to Ches"  account. He is certain that many of his own contributions would have come to naught had it not been for the untiring zeal of his coworker. The writer can truthfully say that throughout the many years of service together, Ches has been more than fair; he has been uniformly generous He has always had the faculty of detaching himself from the consideration and judging all questions in the light of the best interests of Rotary. It is an honor to have been so long associated with such a man.

If there are Rotarians who still think Ches cold and unemotional, I, after more than a quarter century of intimate contact with him, am prepared to testify to the contrary. Some of the deepest and most enduring friendships

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give little outward manifestation of their presence. Still waters run deep.

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Chapter IX

Growing Pains

Page 107

GROWING PAINS

Two antagonistic schools of thought developed in the course of time. To the proponents of vocational service, the work seemed so important and so eminently adapted to Rotary, that they viewed with jealousy the ease with which community service monopolized the interest of many of the clubs, particularly in the smaller cities.

Hundreds of small towns and cities, all but dead so far as civic consciousness was concerned, took on new life and strove to make themselves the best and most progressive in the country. Boys"  bands sprung up wherever it was possible to take root. Boys"  camps were inaugurated. Languishing Chambers of Commerce revived and new Chambers of Commerce organized where there had been none before. Rotarians were more than propagandists; they frequently constituted the entire working force. Those who could not contribute money, contributed labor. Rotarians in small towns became jacks during the construction of camps. Anyone who could drive a nail could qualify as a carpenter, while druggists and grocers became bricklayers and plumbers when occasion demanded. The women served appetizing lunches and eventually won for themselves the endearing term of Rotary-Anns.

There never had been such doings since barn-raising days. Not the least in importance, was the change in

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demeanor of the citizens. Years seemed to have been shaken off; they were boys again. Old grouches began to smile, and ancient feuds languished for want of sufficient animosity to keep the fires burning. Community service proved its worth.

In the larger cities where social welfare work was better organized the expression of good-will manifested itself in different manners, generally through cooperation with existing agencies. In Great Britain and other countries outside the North American continent, forms of service suitable to existing needs were rendered.

Inspired by the example of Rotary, many other organizations dedicated to similar purposes came into existence in the United States and Canada, Kiwanis and Lions standing next to Rotary in point of membership. Rotary welcomed all and considered it a privilege to give them assistance " an attitude of mind for which Rotary has been amply compensated in the splendid achievement of these kindred organizations.

Boy work which had occupied the center of the stage for some years was destined to have a rival. A splendid citizen of Elyria, Ohio, came into Rotary bringing his own pet propaganda with him. In fact, he made application for membership in the Rotary Club of Elyria for the express purpose of getting the backing of Rotarians for his enterprise; the care, cure, and education of crippled children. To write the story of Edgar Allen is to record one of the greatest humanitarian achievements of all time. His selection of Rotary as an agency through which to secure for such unfortunates the birthrights to which they were entitled was a high honor to the movement. Acting mainly through Rotarians, the International Society for Crippled

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Children has brought about the organization of more than forty state and provincial societies to promote the interests of crippled children.

If the reader has had his doubts as to whether the raison d" Γͺtre of Rotary has not been sufficiently established, let it be known that tens of thousands of handicapped children are being rehabilitated, raised from dependency and afforded opportunity to live happy, useful lives through this ministration. All honor to Edgar Allen and his associates in this noble work.

In the meanwhile those to whom Rotary" s great opportunity seemed to be in vocational service, that is, in providing high standards and ideals in the business and professional world, were not idle. Through their influence, scores of national trade associations were organized on vocational lines in the United States, and codes of ethics were adopted. Even conceding it to be true that the adoption of codes of ethics by national associations is no guarantee that the members of such associations will live up to the standards established, it cannot be denied that the fixing of such standards is a splendid impulse in the right direction.

Some of the most influential leaders of Rotary were deeply impressed with the possibilities of this activity; they contended that Rotary was an organization of business and professional men, and should devote itself exclusively to business and professional problems; that the plan of confining the membership of clubs to one representative of each vocation had significance in vocational service, and no significance whatever in community service, which should draw on all citizens willing to help.

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Such Rotarians also convincingly contended that vocational activities were preferable because they enabled Rotary to project its influence to non-Rotarians through national and international trade associations. If Rotarians would assume the role of business evangelists, the standards of trade would soon be raised to high levels.

Theoretically the advocates of centering all thought on vocational service presented a formidable case. A world wide organization, dedicated solely to the purpose of raising standards of trade, would not be merely of direct value; it would be of indirect value, in that it would bring about a better understanding between nations; but Rotary had not begun its career with any one single purpose paramount to all others, and it was late in the day for a second renaissance.

In the smaller towns and cities the need of community service was manifested in every quarter. There was nothing abstruse about it; it called for action rather than study or the exercise of the imagination. To one who employed few, if any clerks or helpers, the employers employee relationship seemed not a serious matter.

Certain leaders who were not adverse to community service, were nevertheless of the opinion that clubs should not participate as clubs; that they should go no further than to encourage their members to take part in community activities sponsored by other organizations, except in rare instances where there were no other organizations qualified to act; in which cases, Rotary clubs might take up the work until other agencies could be organized for the purpose.

The theory was that inasmuch as membership in Rotary clubs was confined to one representative of each vocation,

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Rotary could best act as a propagandist, making the needs known and assisting in mobilizing forces to carry on. A limited number of the opposition even went so far as to charge the advocates of boy work and crippled children work with insincerity, contending that they were not so much interested in the work as they were in squaring themselves against the implications of selfishness resulting from the exclusiveness of representation.

Boy work and crippled children work zealots were not content to be dismissed with a theory. or with charges of insincerity. They were not interested in refinement of reasoning. To them, service was the ideal, and the role of the propagandist seemed an attempt to avoid responsibility. They had no fears of things being overdone. What they did fear was that splendid opportunities for service might be lost and that Rotary might eventually become merely another banquet-eating, cigar-smoking, song-singing, speech-making, back-slapping aggregation of clubs. They had no orthodoxy other than the orthodoxy of ser vice. They were willing to leave preaching to the preachers; they wanted to do things here and now, and wanted fellow-members to join with them.

Rotary clubs had become service clubs, not in name only but in fact also. They turned their hands to any and all community undertakings in need of their services with such alacrity that their more philosophical brothers rose up in alarm lest their own pet theories be swept from the boards entirely.

The climax came in 1923 during the course of a convention in St. Louis. All possibilities of a schism were prevented by the adoption of a memorable resolution, designated as number thirty-four, by virtue of which all

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clubs were granted complete autonomy in relation to club activities, but were admonished against permitting any activity to obscure other features of the movement. The resolution was wise, timely, and satisfactory to the opposing factions. It cleared the atmosphere. It was mainly the contribution of a brilliant and devoted Rotarian from Nashville, Tennessee.

Can a club of fifty or a hundred members influence the character of a small city? It has been clearly proven that Rotary clubs do influence the characters of the cities in which they are established. The influence naturally is most noticeable in the smaller communities. Many a dejected, spiritless town of the Main Street variety has been revived and invigorated. Existence can become drab in"  deed in small towns where there is no public spirit and where home-folks are given to bickering and gossip. If the spirit is what it should be, life should be at its best in the smaller communities.

Rotarians of small town clubs have frequently, with deep feeling, stated that the advent of Rotary has wrought wondrous changes, that contentions and petty jealousies have given way to civic consciousness and enthusiastic cooperation.

Dr. Charles E. Barker, formerly physical director for Mr. Taft while he was president of the United States, is responsible for the statement that the complexion of the small towns in America has been entirely changed by Rotary and the other organizations which have followed its lead. As Dr. Barker had visited nearly one thousand of them, he knows whereof he speaks. Cooperation is the keynote of happy community life.

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The influence of Rotary has frequently been brought to bear upon inter-city relationships through inter-city meetings. Such meetings between the representative business men of neighboring cities have on many occasions resulted in the suppression of bitter rivalries and in the promotion of the cooperative spirit. Intercity meetings have for many years been a feature of Rotary in cities both large and small. It was the writer" s privilege recently to attend a joint meeting of the Rotary Clubs of the rival cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. The goodwill manifested in representatives of those two highly competitive cities was interesting indeed. Year after year the two clubs visit back and forth, the members traveling nearly one thousand miles in the accomplishment of their most laudable purpose.

Frequently intercity meetings are attended by representatives of the clubs of twenty-five or thirty neighboring cities; district conferences have brought representatives of as many as one hundred different cities together, and international conventions have brought representatives of half a hundred nations together. Rotarians, while traveling in their own country or abroad, attend Rotary club meetings when possible. By consulting their international directory they can ascertain when and where the weekly meetings are to be held. Meetings in the larger cities are sure to be attended by many visiting Rotarians and special attention is given them. The record attendance of visitors was made by the Chicago club during the course of a convention of the National Educational Association. The great majority of the members of the Association were Rotarians and eight hundred attended.

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The Rotary Clubs of Belfast and Dublin, Ireland, held frequent joint meetings throughout the critical period of dissension between the north and south of Ireland.

Rotary has given special study to reconciliation of conflicting interests and has accomplished wonders in this direction through the simple expedient of bringing opponents and rivals together in the atmosphere of good-fellowship. Where fires of animosity burn or smolder is Rotary" s opportunity. Has the farming element in a community lost faith in the business men? Then the business men will be hosts to the farmers; there will be songs and entertainment, and there will be straight-to-the-point talks, from which both sides will gain much information and better under"  standing will surely result.

Rotary has an appreciable influence even in the larger cities. To one accustomed to life in large cities, the influence of Rotary is discernible in the churches, chambers of commerce, social clubs, lodges, golf clubs, craft associations, school systems and, in fact, wherever men congregate.

Can fifty men change the character of a small city? Yes, even one can, either for good or evil. If the home-life of a society leader is impure, his example will be followed by others. If he lives a life of service to his community, his town will be a better place in which to live.

The activities of Rotary cover a wide range of public and private service. Members may make selection of their activities according to their special tastes and aptitudes. There are comparatively few all-round Rotarians who throw themselves into all of the recognized activities. An all-round Rotarian is an exceptionally desirable citizen, one who would be an asset to any community in which he

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might be located. From such, most of the leaders are chosen.

An all-round Rotarian is interested in:

 

1st "Club Service: That is, in matters pertaining to the administration of affairs in his club.

2nd"Vocational Service: That is, in matters pertaining to the ethical conduct of his business or profession.

3rd"Community Service: That is, in matters pertaining to the welfare of the community in which he lives.

4th "International Service: That is, the promotion of international good-will and understanding.

Dr. Stephenson of Edinburgh contends that there is in reality only one object, and that is the promotion of the service concept as the most suitable motivating influence in life. What we now term objects, he considers ways and means of accomplishing the one and only object. International Secretary Perry thinks of service as Rotary" s super highway and of the four principal activities as the four lanes constituting it.

The devastation resulting from the world war emphasized the importance of promoting international good-will and understanding, as nothing else could. To Rotarians of European countries, which are in such close proximity to each other and where thoughts of possible future conflicts are always uppermost in mind, the activity is of transcendent importance.

Rotary constitutes a new approach to a most vexing problem. Here is a world fellowship of business and professional men who have united themselves in the ideal of service. In the atmosphere of fellowship, happiness is

116 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

found. An international fellowship of men bound together by a common ideal, the ideal of service, is truly inspirational. To such fellowship great things are possible, even the advancement of understanding, good-will, and international peace.

To all Rotarians, the opportunity afforded them by Rotary to participate in the effort to promote international good-will is precious indeed. The activity contains the essential elements of a great movement " idealism, comprehensiveness, catholicity, " and is eminently adapted to Rotary" s spiritual outlook. If the writer had come into Rotary with precisely the same background of experience as Rotarians of Britain and Ireland, France, Germany or Belgium, it is quite likely that the good objective would assume such formidable proportions that all else would have been obscured from his vision.

If, on the other hand, his bitter and soul-trying experiences had been the field of industrial relationship, it would be quite natural that he would have been tempted to focus all thought and attention on that gravely important question. Rotary, being an organization of business and professional men, is eminently qualified to cope with such problems.

The writer doesn" t feel either, that he is in a position to take exception to the thousands of Rotarians, whose big hearts are full of sympathy with the unfortunate and who, like the Good Samaritan on the road to Jericho, find them selves as they lift the fallen and minister to their needs. Nor is he disposed to criticize the position of those who believe that Rotary" s greatest field of usefulness is in guiding the courses of the lives of the youth who will bear the responsibilities in the years to come.

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The writer has implicit confidence in the sincerity of the proponents of the various forms of service. Fearing the prevailing sin, that great enemy of progress, indifference, as he does, he is not concerned so much with the question as to what the service is to be, as he is with the question whether or not Rotary is to make good its high sounding slogan, "Service above Self." He is little inclined to shout "Don" t" to any worthy effort. It is his belief that the best results can be achieved through adherence to the present program of giving the membership a reasonable selection of activities from which to choose those best suited to the individual taste and to local conditions.

Entire agreement is too much to expect. Presumably no two of the one hundred and fifty thousand Rotarians are in entire accord as to the way in which Rotary can make the most of itself. That men do not think alike is no more remarkable than that they do not look alike. Shades of thought are far more variant than shades of color and as difficult to change. One" s belief is dependent upon so many influences " temperament, heredity, environment, experience, " that leaders must temper their judgment with patience and kindly forbearance. No dogmatic Rotary can be serviceable.

While debate as to the relative importance of the various labeled and catalogued activities has continued long and loud, and while Rotary shepherds have been desperately trying to drive and to coax their sheep into prescribed pastures, many of the sheep have insisted on selecting their own grazing spots. This condition has led to speculation as to where they would go if left to their own resources. In the larger American cities, many might wend their way back to the green pastures from which they started in

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1905, there to luxuriate in the companionship of their kind, and let it go at that. The gregarious instinct is elemental and frequently overshadows all other considerations. It has been the cement that binds in Rotary. Neither Rotary, nor any other movement, can get along without leadership.

It is characteristic of the times that the results in all organizations " in churches, chambers of commerce and elsewhere, " are obtained through the efforts of a comparatively limited number of devoted and determined leaders who are prepared to sacrifice time, effort, and means in the accomplishment of their objectives. The thoughtful leader will study the tastes and needs of his followers with the end in view of accomplishing the greatest possible good for the greatest possible number.

The thought that the minimum possible benefit from Rotary contacts is well worthwhile is a source of satisfaction to those who serve the movement. No one can attend Rotary club meetings with the necessary regularity with out finding his life enriched by the friendly contacts, and his mental and moral outlook improved by the cultural programs presented.

Knowledge of the objects of an organization is a prerequisite to its fair appraisal. Measured by the yardsticks of a chamber of commerce or a charitable organization, the results achieved by Rotary would not be satisfying, nor would measurement of the two above-named organizations by the Rotary yardstick be satisfying, and yet many are prepared to pronounce judgment without adequate in- formation, either as to objects or accomplishments.

It is manifest that Rotary could not hope to compete successfully with the commercial clubs nor with the charitable

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organizations in their respective fields. It may also be freely admitted that Rotary falls far short of doing all that it might do within the limits of its objects.

Rotary" s objects are exhortations, not inhibitions; they encourage the active, not the passive life. Members are appraised according to their deeds, not according to their words.

Rotary clubs (from one in number to more than a thousand, including many thousands of Rotarians) have participated in the following community activities:
 

 

Advisory councils
Coordination of service activities in the community; council usually consists of members of all organizations interested.

Athletics
Sponsoring of high school athletics and of installation of athletic facilities.

Aviation
Sponsoring air-ports, amateur aeronautics, etc.

Back-to-school
Campaigns to encourage school attendance.

Bands
Financing and promotion

Beautifying cities

Big Brother activity

Blind
Care for

Boy Scouts

Boys"  clubs

Boys"  life survey

Camps
Fresh air, T.B., cripples, etc.

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Chamber of Commerce
Sponsoring establishment

Charity
Promoting organization of associated charities, drives for relief funds, employment bureaus, community kitchens, etc.

Citizenship and Americanization

Civic improvement
Promoting fire protection, traffic regulation, public works, zoning, tax reduction, etc.

Code of ethics for high school students

Community chest

Organization of and donations to

Community houses
Providing community building especially for young people" s centers or foreign groups.

Community leaders
Organization of leaders"  club

Community surveys
Of social agencies, transportation,
finances, schools, etc.

Crippled children

Exchange of youth
Foreign students, tours abroad

Extra-curricular activities
(for school children)
Sponsoring oratorical or essay contests, safety-first campaigns, etc.

Health
Promotion of public health, dental clinics, pure milk, nursing service, etc.

4-H clubs

Hobby Fairs

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Hospitals and clinics

Illiteracy campaign

Juvenile delinquency
Cooperation with courts, investigation of cases; paroled boys.

Libraries
Public and school

Miscellaneous
Sponsoring song contests, community celebrations, music festivals, etc.

Motion pictures
Better-films campaigns

Nurseries
Day nurseries

Parks and playgrounds

Recreation
Sponsoring community facilities for adults and children.

Rural-urban acquaintance

Scholarships

Student aid
Helping students to earn their way, get loans, etc.

Student loan funds

Swimming pools

Underprivileged children

Vocational guidance for young people

Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A,

The above mentioned activities have in the aggregate accomplished much good and they have, at the same time, served another purpose. They constitute a symposium of experiments and thus have met with varying degrees of success. Some of them will be repeated again and again, and some doubtless will be discontinued. Perhaps Rotary" s

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greatest opportunity has not been revealed as yet; we shall patiently, persistently continue our exploring.

The following quotation is from page one of "Rotary
" A Business Man" s Interpretation," by Frank Lamb:


"There is a nursery poem of six blind men of Indostan who went to "˜see"  an elephant. The first, bumped into his broad and sturdy side and began to bawl, "˜God bless me! but the elephant is very like a wall."  The second, finding the tusk, was sure "˜the elephant is very like a spear."  The third, grasping the squirming trunk averred, "˜the elephant is very like a snake."  The fourth came into contact with one of the great legs and to him "twas clear enough the elephant is very like a tree."  The fifth, who chanced to touch an ear, was confident, "˜this marvel of an elephant is very like a fan."  While the sixth seizing upon the swinging tail, "˜I see,"  quoth he, "˜the elephant is very like a rope."

 

"And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong.""John 0. Saxe.

 


"Most Rotarians are much like the six blind men. Some particular object, some special activity or some product of Rotary impresses them as most important and straightway they exclaim, "˜This is Rotary!"  The fact that others find some other fundamental or are more interested in a different activity or attracted to another of Rotary" s relations does not help them to see the whole of Rotary, but instead they begin to argue, "˜What is Rotary,"  and the discussion waxes as warm and the findings about as conclusive and pertinent as that of the six blind men of Indostan."

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Chapter X

The Challenge

Page 125

The advance of Rotary to its present position constitutes a romance of organization development. Eighty nations have, to varying extent, experienced its benefits. The splendid progress thus far made is the result of the efforts of Rotarians of a limited number of nations where Rotary has been longest established. With the other nations, the propulsion has had its origin outside their borders. What will be the measure of accomplishments when Rotary becomes as well entrenched in all nations as it is today in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada?

Rotary and the numerous other organizations which have risen in its wake are considered by students of social movements as among the most remarkable developments of the period; this period facetiously referred to by Mr. Chesterton as "this Rotarian age." How has it all come about, and how can the Rotarian plan of restricting membership in clubs to one representative of each line be, in good conscience, justified?

Many think of the classification plan as the distinguishing feature of Rotary. It might even be said that to many outsiders, the classification feature is all that there is in the movement. It is all they know and may be all they care to know.

Ethically-minded men within the membership, and many without, have stormed the citadel of the classification

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plan. "What possible purpose can it serve except the selfish purpose of diverting the business of club members from natural channels into the pool of club membership?" "How can a club so constructed be anything other than a "˜You scratch my back and I" ll scratch yours"  circle?" "Why not be frank? Rotary claims to be democratic; where is the democracy of an organization that limits its member"  ship to one representative of each trade and profession? If that is democracy, what is autocracy?" "Where would Christianity be today if the church limited its member"  ship to one representative of each trade and profession?" "Rotary is supposed to stand for service; where does service appear in that system?" "If Rotary is good for you, why wouldn" t it be good for me also?" And while you are answering these questions, please answer another:

"By what right do your members represent their various trades and professions in Rotary? Who delegates them? Is your beloved Rotary not built upon a false foundation? If so, it is destined to fail."

Such considerations as the above challenge thoughtful Rotarians who are anxious to stand four-square to the wind, and most Rotarians are. These questions have been asked so frequently that they can not be ignored. It is clear that to some the exclusive representation plan is a fatal defect in an organization which professes to be an exponent of high principles; that it strongly savors of hypocrisy.

Recognizing the wide-spread interest in Rotary, a committee selected from leading social scientists of the faculty of the University of Chicago have recently completed a survey of the Rotary Club of Chicago. Their findings have been published in book form under the title

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"Rotary?" and should be read by all students of the movement, particularly by those seeking further light on the exclusive representation plan. On that most interesting question the members of the committee in substance say that after having carefully read all available literature of the earlier period and of more recent date, and after having submitted to present members of the Rotary Club of Chicago pertinent questions on the subject of their motives in joining, etc., they are convinced that the early Rotarians were, and in fact, present day Rotarians are, moved to join by prospect of personal gain of one sort or another and that the personal gain expected was and is, as a rule, through the increase of business.

The members of the committee, however, contend that their finding does not necessarily imply that the exclusive representation plan is selfish or that it is irreconcilable with Rotary" s high-sounding slogan, "Service above Self." They go on to say that if one brands as selfish all organizations in which the profit motive has part, he will soon find himself in a sorry plight because he will have removed the underpinning from the entire business and social structure. After this reasoning, the committee suggests that Rotarians, with the above explanation, get on with their business, which as at present conducted, is reasonably good, and with modifications, can be made very effective. Thus there is hope as well as despair in this detached view point.

There is little likelihood, however, that the prospects of business advantage will ever regain standing as a reason for joining Rotary. Rotarians will undoubtedly prefer to continue to "hitch their wagon to a star," the star of pure idealism, even though it may be the case that few, if any,

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rise to the high mark set. If the desire of pecuniary profits was recognized as a suitable motive for joining Rotary clubs, it is not difficult to see that it would result in the loss of many of our best members. If more realism is necessary it will, it is hoped, be obtained through moving the backward members forward rather than through moving the forward members backward. The writer is surprised that the members of the University Committee, who by the very nature of their own vocations must have dedicated their lives to the "Service above Self"  ideal, can be skeptical about the attempt of Rotarian business men eventually to rise to the same high standards.

It might be interesting to know that a campaign was launched by a Rotarian of Seattle, in 1913, for a "Greater Rotary;" a Rotary which was to eliminate exclusive representation. Certain leaders wanted to learn what the reaction of the members would be to the project of changing from limited to unlimited representation. The result of a canvass of the membership made at that time was overwhelmingly in favor of the retention of the existing plan. It is not, however, contended that there is great probative force in such evidence; preference for the established order may have indicated lack of thoughtful analysis, or even selfishness.

Let us consider the question, "How can an individual member of a craft constitute himself the representative of that craft?" The committee on philosophy of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, were the first to attempt to answer. Their answer in effect, was that the member is not an ambassador from his craft organization to Rotary; he is an ambassador from Rotary to his craft organization. Others, ignoring the seeming inconsistency in

THE CHALLENGE 129

assuming representation of a craft or association without official authority from the governing body of such craft or association, have in an effort to gain every possible ad"  vantage proclaimed Rotarians ambassadors both to and from Rotary.

Under the present system, members of Rotary clubs are privileged to present to the board of directors the names of any whom they consider worthy of membership. The board refers the matter to the membership committee who make exhaustive study of the general character and business standing of the candidate, and of the question whether his proposed classification duplicates that of any member. If the finding is that it does not, an application may be submitted to the board of directors, and the candidate will be voted upon in due course. The present practice therefore, is that the board of directors select the individual whom Rotary desires to have represent the particular classification in its membership. The representation is limited to Rotary" s own particular purposes, and is loaned, not given. Members have no other authoritative representation of vocations.

It is manifest that clubs organized on the exclusive representation plan, succeed. Would the present unprecedented high percentage of attendance be obtainable in any other manner? It is doubtful. The difficulties of introducing busy men to abandon business and attend club meetings are many. Thirty or forty per cent attendance is high in many organizations, and even ten per cent is considered passable.

A Rotary club, the average attendance of which is less than seventy per cent, is considered to have fallen short. Rotary could not put its important objectives into effect

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without a high average attendance. The best clubs are those which stand best in attendance. A club, for in stance, of two hundred and fifty members which turns out, year in and year out, fifty-two meetings per annum, with an average attendance in excess of ninety-five per cent, is a real Rotary club and is bound to be a success in every department.

But even this may be aside from the question. Even though success in the pursuit of a club" s objectives may be dependent upon obtaining high average of attendance, and high average of attendance dependent upon the exclusive representation plan, even then the exclusive plan may not be justifiable.

Throwing aside for the time being the questions of expediency, how does the exclusive representation plan of Rotary stand, viewed solely as a moral question? If the exclusive representation plan is unethical, it is unethical because it restricts membership. The writer is not pre pared to concede that it is restrictive. It is his belief that the plan, taken by and large, enlists more men in the cause than would be possible without it. The effect of the plan is to introduce system into the selection of membership; if it closes the door to one, it opens it to another, frequently to two others.

And there are other sides to the question. There are many organizations, the membership of which is confined to one profession or trade. Such organizations play exceedingly important parts in the modern world. They enable men of a given trade or profession to come together to exchange ideas and experiences and to discuss problems of common interest. No one thinks of them as exclusive, though they exclude all not engaged in the particular profession

THE CHALLENGE 131

or trade; their success depends upon their so doing. It would be ill-advised for an association of surgeons to admit to their membership a manufacturer or a merchandiser. The success of the organization and its promise of usefulness depends upon its exclusion of men not versed in the science of surgery.

And while it is true that a surgeon can gain much from contact with his fellow surgeons, one who has social con tact with surgeons only would become a dull fellow. He needs the broadening influence of contacts with those engaged in other professions and business undertakings. He will obtain such contacts to a limited extent in his church and social club, but the church and club are not organized to fill the particular need. If one is admitted to membership in a Rotary club, he will enjoy the broadening influence of contact with men of all vocations.

It is not contended, however, that Rotary is entirely dependent upon its classification system. It is believed that a fair measure of success could be maintained without it. Rotary principles afford rallying points sufficient to attract men and hold them together as is demonstrated by the fact that there is in existence a worthy and successful organization known as the Altrurians (All True Rotarians) com posed entirely of ex-1 who for one reason or another, without fault of theirs, have lost the privilege of membership. All worthy ex-Rotarians are eligible, regardless of the question of vocation. The Altrurian clubs are faithful to Rotary ideals. They also maintain an international association.

Perhaps the fact that there are such groups drawn together by their love of Rotary fellowship and principles, is the best conceivable testimonial to the worth of the

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movement. Not being able to gain access to the banquet hail, they are content to sit in the ante chamber. God bless the Altrurians. Possibly something some day will come of their appeal which has not always been mute.

The classification plan gives the movement the very thing which all ethically-minded men, within and with"  out, demand " the opportunity to project its beneficial influences far beyond the limits of membership, out into the rank and file of every trade, profession and occupation by which men earn their daily bread.

Under the exclusive representation plan, the representative of each vocation bears peculiar responsibilities; he is the connecting link between Rotary and his fellow trades"  men. Rotary functions not only in organizing trade associations where there are none, but also in promoting high ethical standards throughout the entire membership of the various trade and professional associations.

The writer believes that what has seemed to casual observers restrictive, is the opposite; that the one best way of accomplishing its objectives and of doing the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of people is through adherence to the exclusive representation plan. He also believes that Rotary need not concern itself with further refinements of the question.

This does not mean that the writer is a stand-patter. He is for all innovations which give reasonable promise of usefulness and practicability. He believes that Rotary must in the future, extend its influence in many ways other than those already in operation.

The Rotarians of London, England, have solved the problem to their apparent satisfaction through duplication of clubs within London" s metropolitan district. There are

THE CHALLENGE 133

at present, a total of sixty clubs within that area.

The writer finds satisfaction in the fact that the Kiwanians, Lions, and others have come into existence as a result of Rotary" s example and that they have dedicated them"  selves to the same exalted purposes.

In Australia, a youth movement, founded on Rotary principles, is well under way and they also have high ambitions for extension to other countries.

It is heartening also to know that the wives, daughters, and mothers of Rotarians in many cities, impressed with the value of Rotary have organized clubs of their own and are doing effective service in charitable enterprises. The women" s movement has gained greatest momentum in Great Britain where their clubs, nearly one hundred in number, have already established a national unit which is doing extension work in British dominions. The writer is convinced that women who can spare the time from family affairs, need contacts with other women more than men need increased opportunities to meet their fellows. Business provides men with contacts and also with a form of discipline of which women, by reason of their sheltered lives, are deprived. If women are more critical than men, it is because they have had less experience with their kind. Inexperienced men are suspicious and difficult to deal with, while women whom circumstances have compelled to enter the field of business generally become less suspicious, broader in their outlook and more understanding.

Considerable effort has been made by business and professional women to have the doors of Rotary opened to them. Lady Astor, appearing before a Rotary conference in Great Britain in their behalf, made her usual strong appeal. While the business and professional women have

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been unsuccessful in their efforts to gain admission to Rotary, they have not been unsuccessful in their efforts to embrace Rotary principles. They now have several strong and growing organizations of their own.

The writer hopes that the organizations of the Rotary type now in existence will increase until the time arrives when there will be clubs for all business and professional men and women and youths who are imbued with the ideal of service.

Was it something like that you had in mind, Mr. Chesterton, when you coined the phrase, "This Rotarian Age" One of the outstanding reasons for the phenomenal growth and success of Rotary and of the kindred organizations which have followed, seems to the writer to be the fact that there is in the hearts of nearly all men, a desire for an ethical fellowship. The service doctrine affords a plat form acceptable to all: to devotees of the various religions, because they have already acknowledged allegiance to it; to those who have never subscribed to any form of religion, because they feel special need of it. It is the aim of Rotary to make its doctrine operative in all phases of every-day life.

Becoming a Rotarian neither necessitates adoption of any creed, nor does it do violence to any. One may hold membership in a Rotary club, and at the same time give his church whole-hearted support. A member" s standing is dependent upon the life he lives and not upon the faith he professes. He may be American, European, or Asiatic, Protestant or Catholic, Jew or Gentile, Mohammedan or Buddhist, so long as he is willing to do his bit. Rotary holds that the interests of society demand that there be a place where men of diverse races, faiths, and political parties

THE CHALLENGE

can meet in happy fellowship, and proposes to provide that place. If a more general spirit of tolerance proves to be the only permanent result of its efforts, Rotary will not have existed in vain.

Rotary is neither a religion nor a substitute for religion; it is the working out of an ancient ethical conception in modern life, and particularly in business.

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CHAPTER XI - THE MEANING OF THE SERVICE IDEAL

PAGE 139

 

"Work" s a grand cure for all the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind "“ honest work which you intend getting done." "“ Thomas Carlyle.

 

"What is meant by the service ideal? The author of the "˜Meaning of Rotary"  quotes several versions varying in word, but identical in spirit.

 

The Egyptian expressed it: "˜To seek for others the good one desires for oneself."  The Persian: "˜Do as you would be done by."  Buddha: "˜One should seek for others the happiness one desires for himself."  Confucius: "˜What you would not wish done to yourself, do not unto others."  Mohammed: "˜Let no one of you treat his brother in a way he himself would dislike being treated."  The Greek: "˜Do not that to a neighbor which you would take ill from him."  The Roman: "˜The law imprinted on the hearts of all men, is to love the members of society as themselves."  The Hebrew: "˜Whatsoever ye do not wish your neighbor to do to you, do not unto him. This is the only law; the rest is mere exposition of it."  Lastly, Jesus of Nazareth: "˜All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."

 

Clearly it cannot mean that whose who are wedded to the service ideal believe that wealth has no legitimate uses.

 

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The Rotary conception of the service ideal, as the writer understands it. Is placing service first in the sequence of events; in other words, he who professes to be a devotee to the service ideal must fix his eye on the service he is to render and not on the dollar he is to receive. When the dollar is place in proximity to the eye, it is difficult to see beyond. Dollar cornering per se is stupid procedure."

 

"While there are all too many professional men whose service fails to measure up to specifications, it is nevertheless the case that students of law, medicine, and theology are taught that the privilege of practicing their professions entails certain obligations which must be borne. The lawyer must remember that he is an officer of the court in the administration of justice. The physician, that he is first of all a servant of mankind. The preacher, that his is a sacred trust.

 

Lawyers must respond to the call of the court to defend gratuitously, impecunious prisoners; the physician must give a percentage of his time to patients who are unable to pay; the tradition of the ministry permits no discrimination between the prosperous and the indigent; and other professionals have their responsibilities.

 

A young lawyer recently, referring to an intricate law case which had been in progress for three years, said to the writer, "˜That was a wonderfully interesting case. I would have been willing to have handled it for nothing, if it had been necessary,"  It was the tradition of the bar which made the viewpoint possible. The young man loved his work. What wonders could be achieved if all men were in love with their work. The service ideal would quickly prove its practicability. "

 

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Humane societies have frowned upon the use of dogs, cats, monkeys, guinea pigs, and rats for experimental purposes. To medical men the practice seems amply justified in the advancement of science. That they are sincere in their viewpoint there can be no doubt. Many of the profession have jeopardized, and even sacrificed, their own lives through performing experiments upon themselves. If the doctrine of "Service above Self" seems to some too Utopian for practical purposes, they will do well to think of these high-lights of the medical profession.

The practice of medicine and the practice of law have had the benefit of time-honored traditions. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, promulgated on oath to be taken by his followers which rings true to the highest concepts of the present day, and the Justinian standards for the practice of law were no less idealistic.

Emerson" s cryptic utterance: "All men are as lazy as they dare to be," will stand considerable dilution.

Vocational training has accomplished much in the direction of enabling young men to find the work for which they are best adapted. The entire outlook upon life can frequently be changed for the better by shifting an employee from work he does not like to work that he enjoys. Progressive employers now recognize this fact and make the most of it.

The writer recalls the case of a man, a lover of the outdoors, who found himself working listlessly from morning to night in an indoor occupation; he had not been able to achieve success. He took himself and his prospects into account one day. Six months later he was engaged in work in his natural environment and success was soon attained.

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Vocational guidance experts contend that in the United States only four men out of one hundred are properly placed in business. If their contention is anywhere near true, the fault can be corrected and the millennium will be discovered.

Who is there to whom work makes no appeal? If there are such, they are to be pitied. The minds of Galileo, Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe, Pasteur, and Edison were not concerned with pecuniary gain. The greatest contributions to social welfare and understanding have been gratuitous. The labor of the masters has been inspired by a passionate love of exploration of new fields of service. Maeterlink" s "Blue Bird" delightfully portrays the happiness which comes from unselfish service. Lives of service are lives of happiness. Take two children of the same family: for one reason or another, one is taught to serve the other. Though the parents may not realize it, the one who learns to serve will have all the advantage in later years. In service there is happiness. In the vast number of human activities there are opportunities for all types of service. This from Anthony Adverse: "One never realizes the fulfillment of life until he loses the sense of self in service.

The professional schools teach the student that character is the most reliable foundation upon which to build a successful future; that success must depend upon the quality of service rendered.

The Bar Associations and Medical Societies of many cities, states and nations, have for years been engaged in round-ups of shysters and quacks, with the end in view of purging their professions of their degrading influence. 

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To be sure there is special reason why the practice of law and medicine must, in good conscience, be kept pure the relationship of lawyer and client, doctor and patient, are essentially trust relationships. In order to benefit from the lawyer" s advice the client must have implicit confidence, both in the ability and in the integrity of his lawyer; if he lacks faith in either, the purposes of the employment are impaired, if not entirely destroyed. A lawyer who betrays such sacred trust is an enemy of society and it is the duty of the authority granting him license to with draw his privileges through disbarment proceedings initiated by his fellow practitioners.

The trust involved in the relationship of doctor and patient is even more sacred, if such thing is possible. The duty motive and the profit motive frequently are in conflict. The surgeon who would unnecessarily operate upon an afflicted patient would merit the anathema of his fellow surgeons, and if the circumstances were known, it doubt less would be visited upon him; and yet surgical operations have undoubtedly frequently been performed, not because the patient needed the operation, but because the doctor needed the money; and it has probably as frequently been the case that law-suits have been started not because the clients"  interests were best served by so doing, but because the lawyer could thereby assure himself of a substantial fee.

It is the Chinese custom to pay the physician while the patient remains in good health rather than during illness, from which fact one may make his own inferences.

Professional men frequently encounter one difficulty which business men seldom have to face, and that is the opposition of their clients.

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A business man is not called upon to refuse to sell his customer the goods he desires, while the professional man frequently is. To institute a lawsuit merely because a client demands it and is willing to pay for the service would be a violation of the lawyer" s oath and the lawyer cannot justify himself for the acceptance of the mandate on the theory that if he does not accept it some other lawyer will. A lawyer must not for"  get that he is an officer of the court, that the court is sup"  ported by the public for the purpose of dispensing justice and not for the purpose of working injustice. The machinery of the law may be used to prosecute under proper conditions but never to persecute.

The minister of the gospel frequently faces conditions which make it necessary for him to choose between preaching his own doctrines and preaching the doctrines of his supporters. Frequently, the temptation to surrender his own views in favor of others probably less intelligent and less conscientiously, thoughtfully, and prayerfully arrived at, is almost overwhelming. The interests of his family tempt him to surrender his leadership or at least to corn"  promise it. Many a poor minister has refused to do either, preferring to resign his post to another willing to obey orders.

Frank Lamb in "Rotary, a Business Man" s Interpretation," quotes Ruskin in "The Roots of Honor"" who, writing of the soldier, the pastor, the physician, the lawyer and merchant, said that it is the duty of each, on due occasion to die for his profession; the soldier rather than leave his post in battle; the physician, rather than leave his post in plague; the pastor rather than teach falsehood; the lawyer rather than countenance injustice. What the "due occasion" for the merchant is, has not been so clearly defined; it" s for him to decide.

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But Ruskin goes on to say that to obtain profit is no more the function of the merchant than that of the clergyman; that the stipend is a necessary adjunct, but not the object of the life of either the clergyman or the merchant.

Ruskin does not attempt to point out to the professional politician his due occasion, but we find the professional politician, as a rule, most desperately in earnest when he is building his political fences; perhaps that is his due occasion.

The results obtained by Bar Associations and Medical Societies have not all been attained at once. They represent the cumulative effect of years of vigorous action.

Is there an essential reason why the work of the professional societies should not be paralleled by organizations of business men? Some one may answer, "Business cannot be placed on a plane with the practice of law and medicine, because the practice of law and medicine is personal service; the lawyer and physician have themselves only to account for, while business employs hundreds and even thousands of men and women.

Business is already becoming professionalized. Since the state of California passed its licensing law regulating operations in real estate, thousands of real estate sharpers have been put out of business and many other states are following suit.

What is there about business to render it immune to the service ideal? Even labor organizations are now proclaiming the dignity of labor, and why should they not?

The writer is convinced that business of the future will jealously guard its good name, even to the point of driving its crooks into tall timber to keep company with the shysters of the legal profession and the quacks of medicine. Organizations operating under the name of "Better Business Bureaus" are in fact already doing effective work to that end.

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Rotarians believe that their own respective businesses afford the average man the most available means of serving society; that in his own business one is necessarily an expert, while he may be a veritable tyro in the field of charities. Moreover, business is near at hand; it is unnecessary for a business man to explore Kamchatka or the South Sea Islands for an opportunity to do his part in making this a better world to live in; ordinarily he can render better service in trying to discover new means of kindling the fires of hope and ambition in the hearts of his own employees.

Rotarians believe that the world owes no one a living but that everyone should have an opportunity to earn one. Rotary encourages every member to activity in his trade association, particularly in work relating to ethical standards. The writer is a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and for two years had the honor of being chairman of the committee on professional ethics of the latter, a member of other committees, a delegate of the Chicago Bar Association to the International Congress on Comparative Law at the Hague, and a member of the international Committee of the American Bar Association. All positions afforded remarkable opportunities to carry the Rotary ideal of service to his profession. There are between eight and nine thousand lawyers in the city of Chicago, and the Chicago Bar Association has been doing titanic work in raising the standards of practice. Nearly
 

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three hundred lawyers have been made to walk the plank because they would not observe the canons of good practice. Rotarians have not merely been active in professional and trade associations; they have created many national trade associations in the United States and some in other countries.

The worship of wealth has been one of the greatest obstacles in the work of promoting acceptance of the service ideal. It is so general, so much a matter of course, that the "big" man has meant the rich man. He who lacked great possessions has had to be content to remain small, and it matters little what his contribution to human welfare may have been. We have even gone so far as to use the expression "What is Jones worth?" when what we wanted to know is, how much he possessed. There is no uncertainty about the meaning of the answer: "He is said to be worth one million dollars." His rating is entirely on his possessions. No allowance is made for the man. Perhaps to those who know Jones best, that manner of rating him does him no injustice.

During the course of a recent conversation with the writer, Rotarian Frederick G. Smith of Omaha impulsively inquired: "What real need can any man have of one million dollars? Why one million dollars, more than one million walking-sticks, neckties, or one million of anything else?" The best case I could make was to say, "Custom, habit, I suppose." If it were the custom to measure a man" s worth by the number of walking-sticks or neckties he possessed, the walking-stick and necktie factories would be working three shifts, night and day. Children work strenuously piling up heaps of sand, not because there is any scarcity of sand, but because they want to have piles

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of sand of their own, higher than the piles of other children. Children pile sand, men pile gold, but their motives are not far different; possession, coupled with the admiration and envy of those who do not possess. Of the two, the children are in one respect, at least, the wiser. There is no disagreeable aftermath to the accumulation of sand, while there is to the accumulation of gold, as King Midas learned to his sorrow in the days of old. Acquisitiveness is not compatible with the service ideal.

It is not as though the subordination of the profit motive to the service motive had never taken place before. There is nothing revolutionary about it. The doctrine is as old as the hills. For generations there have been individuals whose service motives have been so dominating that they could not see beyond them. Spinoza was tendered a gift of one thousand dollars by an admiring and grateful follower. It was promptly refused because the great philosopher thought that his poverty was essential to the fulfillment of his high purposes.

An American magazine offered Mr. Einstein a sum of money so large for an article that he became angry, as angry as it is possible for one of so serene a nature to be. His words were: "What do they take me for, a prize-fighter?" When Princeton University informed Mr. Einstein what his salary was to be, he exclaimed: "Preposterous" nor would he accept the position until the amount had been greatly reduced.

But one might say, the examples that have been cited are those of great geniuses who live in worlds of their own; they have their own compensations. It is quite different with us; we have to get ours as we go along. We

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are here once only and if we don" t have a good time now, we never shall.

If we stop, however, to think the thing through we shall realize that the service motive dominates the lives of millions of men and women who are not geniuses. If a person wants big money and the things that money will buy, will he ever, for instance, go into the educational field? Think of the school teachers who are content to give so much for so little.

But a new god has arisen to rival the money-god in the reverence of the great masses of people. One doesn" t hear so much about millionaires today. The new god is in some respects more pervasive than the money-god. It is the god of indulgence and pleasure. It is more pervasive than the money-god because it is within the reach of greater numbers. It requires determination and sacrifice to accumulate a million dollars or even a lesser sum; but indulgence and pleasure call for little determination, little sacrifice. It is the most simple thing in the world to become a pleasure-seeker. Little children could give their elders lessons in the art if their elders needed them, which, generally speaking, they do not.

It is still fashionable to worship mere things, which we hope will in one way or another contribute to our pleasure. Prosperity is still coveted and poverty is in anguish mourned. We are forgetful of the fact that adversity is and always has been the great character builder; that no strong nation was ever reared on prosperity. Prosperity leads to mental and physical indolence, and is the fore runner of destruction. Ancient Rome exemplified this fact better than any other nation. Scotland and the New England states are fitting illustrations of what rigors of

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climate and barrenness of soil can accomplish in character building, and yet we, who are old enough to know better, still yearn above all else for great material prosperity.

The late Charles Steinmetz, wizard of mathematics and the world" s foremost electrical engineer, was once asked by Roger Babson to state what line of research such as radio, aeronautics, power transmission, etc., in his estimation, promised most for humanity. His answer was that the greatest promise was not in any coming invention, but in spiritual forces, the greatest power in the development of men. He then stated that men would eventually find that material things do not bring happiness, and that when they do, the world will advance more in one generation than it has in the past four. This answer by the great scientist may seem an extravagant expression, but Steinmetz was not given to the use of extravagant terms. Exactitude was one of his most marked characteristics. What might spiritual forces accomplish? They might perhaps find a way to avert war. What invention could compare in value with the finding of a way to everlasting peace?

To Steinmetz, money was a means to an end merely and that end was the procurement of the necessities. Be yond that point, he feared it as a menace to the higher possibilities of life. He refused to accept any salary for his services, the value of which was beyond appraisal, but drew small sums from time to time as necessities presented themselves.

The late Luther Burbank, wizard of pollenization, told the writer that he had made millions for other people, very little for himself.

From time immemorial, the greatest of the great have proclaimed by word and deed their adherence to the doctrine
 

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which Rotary had summed up in the words, "Service above Self." Who shall say that the Rotary goal is unattainable?

"If profit and profit alone is the end sought by human effort," said Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler in a report as president of Columbia University, "then society must reconcile itself to steady disintegration, constantly increasing the conflict between individual groups and nations, and eventual destruction.

"It is only when men rise above domination by the profit motive and learn to subordinate profit to service that the
social, economic, and political orders begin to come in sight of a firm foundation and a continuing existence, with peace and happiness assured to the great mass of mankind.

"A very large part of the revolutionary spirit now in many lands would be quickly quelled could the mass of population be made to feel quite certain that in transacting the greater businesses of the world, the service motive comes first and the profit motive is subordinate to it."

Henry Ford says that when folks find out that they can make more money honestly than they can dishonestly, they will be honest. It may, with as much truth be said, that when folks find out that they can get more happiness from culture than from wealth, they will have culture. The relative value of wealth and culture was pretty dearly shown in a great American city during the depression year of 1932, "Suicide Year." During a period of twelve months a score or more of the city" s wealthiest men took their own lives. During the same period ten thousand school teachers, none of whom were possessed of wealth, worked without pay, owing to the desperate financial condition

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 of the city, and not one of them committed suicide. In the case of wealth versus culture, wealth comes out second.

The teachers had a wholesome philosophy of life to fall back upon " the Rotary philosophy of service. They still had an abundance of work to do " more than ever before, in fact. And when days of leisure came they knew what to do with them. They had friends " not friends attracted by their possessions; friends to share their thoughts with them.

Many had friends of other varieties. Some had feathered friends with whom they held woodland trysts; some communed with other forms of tiny creatures. Their range of interests extended all the way from microscopic wonders to telescopic mysteries. In short, life never became irk some; they never knew ennui; they never felt the slightest indignation to terminate their great adventures.

Rotary is not of the communistic order; it is not of any particular political order; its membership includes many orders. Rotary can have no uniform or official opinion as to forms of government. Rotary concerns itself with what its members do, not with what governments do. Rotary seeks through the interchange of thoughts and experiences and through participation, individual and collective, in activities, to educate its members in matters of social significance in this particular period, in order that they may be able to more intelligently discriminate between the good and the bad, the temporary and the permanent, the wise and the unwise.

Many fathers who recognize the futility of great wealth as a means of obtaining happiness for themselves, still desperately continue to fight for it as a means of bringing

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happiness to their children, oblivious of the fact that a father" s companionship is worth more to them than untold riches. The best heritage a father can leave a son is the best education possible, and the priceless opportunity of earning his own living.

One day two men were discussing the merits of a brilliant young man, the only son of a very wealthy father. The young man was gifted, studious, modest, and sensible, and one of the men expressed the opinion that he possessed every quality requisite to greatness. "All but one," said the other. "He has never suffered." Cardinal Mercier put it: "Suffering accepted and vanquished, will place you in a more advanced position in your career, will give you a serenity which may well prove the most exquisite fruit of your life."

Wise words! Fathers who shield their boys from every disappointment, all suffering, and every pain, also advertently shield them from life" s greatest privileges. The dean of men in a great university recently stated that ninety per cent of the failures in his institution were due to the indulgence of prosperous parents and the number of failures due to adversity were practically negligible. Thomas Arkie Clark had no desire to shatter a dearly beloved ideal in pointing out the mercilessness of indulgent parents. If the possession of great wealth is to result in the demoralization of our children, how can it possibly justify itself?

A formidable obstacle to international understanding and good-will is found in the varying practices in business matters. Differences in business codes frequently give trouble. But Emerson, at a time when business ethics were far below their present standard, said "After all, the greatest

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ameliorator of the world is selfish, huckstering trade." The gulf between the Anglo-Saxon conception of business ethics and the Latin conception was thought by some to be so great that they despaired at times of success in the international field. Mere differences in customs were frequently given unjustifiable importance and they generally disappeared in the light of understanding.

One frequently hears expression of doubt as to the practicability of promulgating the spirit of service as a guiding principle in business. The phrases, "Human nature is human nature," and, "Business is business," still ring true to many, and exponents of less sordid doctrines are considered vagarists or hypocrites.

"Business is business," the Little Man said, "A battle where "˜everything goes,"  "˜Where the only gospel is "˜get ahead,"  And never spare friends or foes."
" Berton Braley.

Business of all things has been considered immune to the crusading spirit and some of the past performances of business amply justify the low appraisal of its virtues.

And yet, from the beginning of time there have been crusaders; men who have been willing to stake their all on principle. The sacrificial spirit exists in the hearts of business men, as it does in the hearts of educators, ministers, priests, and missionaries who from time immemorial have deliberately turned their backs upon the road to riches. Business has lacked only the esprit de corps, and that it is gradually gaining. The crusaders of the days to come will be business crusaders and when business undertakes a thing, it generally goes at the task with thoroughness.

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The Americans, Rockefeller and Carnegie, and the Englishmen, Cadbury and Lever, were business crusaders. All four understood that wealth is a trust of which creditable account must be made. Thousands of lesser lights, have recognized the principle and given it expression, each in his own way. The present tendency of business crusaders is to give the toilers themselves, first consideration; to make sure that their factory and home surroundings are conducive to happiness.

"Life without labor is guilt,
Labor without art is brutality."" John Ruskin.

Business is no longer a hit-or-miss undertaking; men seldom play "hunches" now. Nothing short of the most scientific methods will stand the competition of the present age. Many business establishments of today are better equipped for scientific research than the universities of generations past. Scientific management enables big business of the present period to pay higher wages and heavier taxes than ever before, and at the same time to respond to the hundred' and one other demands made upon it.

Business practices have undergone particularly marked changes, and here the influence of Rotary has been strongly felt. Under the old order, a business man had but one thing to think about; that was how to get money. Today he faces a multilateral problem. He who would succeed must think much faster and deeper than the business man of past generations. He must stand four-square to the wind. He must be right with his customers, his employees, his competitors, with those from whom he buys goods, and with the public as well. It is no easy task, and yet most of the outstanding successes of the present age came as a result

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of the recognition of these manifold obligations. The exigencies of the times have challenged the resourcefulness of business, and business has risen nobly to the challenge.

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Chapter XII

IS THE ROTARY CONCEPT OF A WORLD AT PEACE, UTOPIAN?

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"Nations have recently been led to borrow billions for war; no nation has ever borrowed largely for education. Probably no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. "˜We must make our choice; we cannot have both.""AB FLEXNER.

 

If any of Rotary" s objects is especially high-sounding, it is this one: "The advancement of goodwill through an international fellowship of business and professional men united in the ideal of service," and yet sane, sensible, and successful business men of eighty nations have faith in it. Leading educators in as many different nations share the optimism of the business men.

The time when Rotary will be able to claim citizenship in a hundred countries is not far distant but can even such an organization with several thousand Rotary clubs located in the nerve centers of approximately one hundred countries, exercise an appreciable influence on the institution which we call "war"? That is indeed a serious question.

If war was rational, one might readily answer "yes," but war seldom is rational War pays neither victor nor vanquished, and at its very best is the very worst that human beings know. War is the result of passions unrestrained; passions aroused by greed and jealousy, intolerance,
 

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arrogance, rivalry, and eventually " hatred, whipped into fury by lies, probable and improbable, plausible and implausible, believable and unbelievable, sublime and ridiculous. In times of impending or actual war, the appetite for lies is ravenous; they are swallowed hook, line and sinker. He who manifests a discriminatory taste is put under the surveillance of a vigilance committee, the members of which teach him that all wartime lies are palatable and should be taken with a relish.

The respectability of lies being thus established, accomplished liars, whether their specialty be the written or the spoken lie, are in great demand. Publishers of newspapers and magazines and managers of lecture bureaus consider themselves, as a rule, purveyors to the public taste. Under such dispensation, the morale of a nation is soon broken down and expressions such as "I kept them out of war," and "There is such a thing as being too proud to fight," are changed in a twinkling to "This is a war to end wars" and the war gets under way. Lynching is anathematized because it is lawless; all wars are lawless.

Who is to blame? John Galsworthy in his introduction to Vivian Carter" s book, "The Meaning of Rotary," points the finger of accusation at three classes: the scientists (chemists, inventors, and engineers) who invent the means of destruction; the financiers, who provide the funds; and the press, which whips the fury of passion until it brings about the abandonment of reason. It is interesting to note that Mr. Galsworthy omits two classes which certain other writers would have included: namely, the men of military science, and the so-called diplomatists. According to Mr. John Maynard Keynes, the eminent British writer, secret diplomacy operative for years preceding the world war

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had put the great allied powers in positions from which none of the signatories could have extricated itself without dishonor. But Lord Beaverbrook now contends that changing conditions invalidate treaties, secret or otherwise, and that there is no dishonor comparable with war.

Be that as it may, the more we learn of people the less likely we are to think ill of them. Nothing can be more senseless than to foster ill-will through the written or spoken word. Rotary seeks to encourage the habit of kindly consideration in international relationships. It is just as easy to contract the habit of speaking softly as it is to contract the habit of speaking harshly, if one will only try. Most of the stories of war-time atrocities are pure propaganda, and entirely untrue. A university professor recently said: "Anyone who believes such stories, whether they are related by friend or foe, is a plain fool." Unfortunately there still are many "plain fools."

The late Judge Gary, while chairman of the board of directors of the United States Steel Co., once said that a fellowship of steel producers could make the way to war rough-sledding for propagandists. If there is truth in Judge Gary" s observations, is it not obvious that a world fellow"  ship of business and professional men can wield an effective influence? If one-half of the several thousand Rotary newspapers published in the eighty Rotarian countries will stand entirely true to Rotary ideals, war propagandists of the future will have one formidable force at least, to contend with.

If we must be belligerent, let us train our guns on Mars, for instance. It has a bad name anyhow and the Martians are beyond the pale of human pity " as yet.

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It is astonishing how many ethically-minded folks disencumber themselves of ethical-mindedness when their thoughts carry them across their national boundary lines. War is not the only manifestation of the spirit of inter"  national lawlessness. Treaties become scraps of paper. Agreements become valueless except as souvenirs. It is one thing to preserve a humanistic attitude of mind toward one" s fellow countrymen, a very different thing to apply the principle to outlanders. Distrust of foreigners and patriotism are synonymous terms in the minds of many. To such, he who customarily attributes honorable motives to his countrymen, is thought to do well; but he who counsels deliberation before condemning the motives of men of other countries is a traitor.

At a time when civilization had attained dizzy heights, when granaries were full to overflowing, spindles working night and dry, universities and colleges pouring graduates into the stream of productive life, a mischief-maker worked its way into the inner offices of journalists; into legislative halls; into the studies of ministers, poets, and philosophers; into the homes of peasants, craftsmen and laborers; even into prisons and almshouses. It came in the name of patriotism; its real name was fear. Fear, at first cringing, flattered by its favorable reception, became arrogant; its power grew and it eventually took command of all forces, civil and military, high and low, good and bad; not in one country only, but in nearly all countries throughout the civilized world. During a period of four years the forces under its command destroyed property beyond appraisal, and millions of human lives; sons, grandsons, brothers and fathers. Some whose lives were snuffed out, would have become immortals " Pasteur's, Tennyson's, Mozart's, and

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Edison's. They would have increased human happiness, assuaged grief, and enriched civilization. They were not the assets of any particular country; they were world assets.

There was only one victorious "army" in the world war; only one army which achieved its objective, and that was the Salvation Army, serving hot coffee and doughnuts to friend and foe, and proclaiming allegiance to one whom they called "The Prince of Peace."

Sir Norman Angell holds that the most important of all factors making for international peace, is understanding. In order to emphasize his statement, he adds that without understanding, good-will is worse than useless; that it may, in fact, become an absolute menace. Certain it is, that outbreaks of war have frequently followed on the very heels of friendly overtures. In such instances, however, fear, jealousy, commercial rivalries, secret treaties, etc., have generally been stewing in the pot for many years and the friendly overtures are made at the last moment by frenzied men in the desperate hope of averting impending calamity. The writer feels disposed to believe that Sir Norman, in his effort to drive home a sense of the importance of understanding, has over-pleaded his case; that good-will, with or without understanding, is to be desired; however, that is a matter of opinion, merely.

Sir Norman makes another statement with which the writer is in perfect agreement, and that is " when two nations resort to war, it is not the case that one enters, believing that its cause is just, and that the other enters, believing its cause is unjust; but rather, that both nations enter the conflict with full conviction that their respective causes are just. This fact ought to be self-evident, and in

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the light of reason, it is self-evident; but where is reason in time of war?

During the period of the American Civil War, a famous Northern essayist wrote: "This is the only time in history when all of the right is on one side." Such words are tragic.

What can a few thousand Rotary clubs of a hundred nations do to stem such a tide? The writer once heard a thoughtful British journalist make the statement that even one strong statesman might have prevented the outbreak of the world war had he only, in good faith, and with determination tried to do so before the war-fever had time to reach its height. It may be true, as many doubtless believe, that Rotary would be impotent in such a crisis; all will nevertheless concede that Rotary could not dishonor itself by trying.

However, the Rotary plan is not an eleventh hour expedient. Rotary began its campaign to promote international good-will and understanding many years ago. In that important field, Rotary is a pioneer. Rotary knows no frontier; its sun never sets. Throughout the length and breadth of its domain, in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Australia the work of promoting international good-will and understanding goes patiently and persistently on.

There are many obstacles to be overcome; differences in languages, religions, racial tendencies, customs, and the ever-present provincialism, intolerance, and the superiority complex. These obstacles, fortunately, are not insurmountable. In one way and another they are gradually being overcome. Through the instrumentality of fast- sailing boats, aeroplanes, the telegraph, telephone and

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radio, the extremes are being brought nearer together. The physical sciences are doing their parts. When the social sciences shall have accomplished as much war-clouds will disappear and the energies of all nations can then be turned to productive and cultural pursuits. God speed the coming of the day.

In its efforts to promote understanding between nations, Rotary makes use of the same measures that demonstrated their effectiveness in the early days of the movement " friendly intercourse. The only essential difference is that in the early days the experiment involved representatives of different racial and religious groups resident within one city only, while at present representatives of nearly all of the nations of the world have joined in the glorious ad venture. Annually, thousands of enthusiastic Rotarians, representative of many nations gather together in friendly communion at conventions. On a smaller scale and in a more intimate way the process of friendly intercourse between Rotarians of different nations continues uninterruptedly throughout the year.

One of the most interesting developments is the organization of meetings between Rotarians of various countries. Among the oldest is the inter-country meeting held yearly between Rotarians of Canada and the United States by the Rotary Club of Winnipeg, but many other clubs along the border between Canada and the United States also engage in arranging similar meetings. In the southern part of North America the friendliest contacts and inter-country meetings are held between Mexican, Cuban, and American Rotarians.

Because of more complicated international relations on the continent of Europe, it is perhaps of still greater

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importance that inter-country meetings are held in Europe. It is highly gratifying that such meetings have been held ever since Rotary was comparatively new on that continent. One of the first outstanding successes was the inter-country meeting between Switzerland, Austria, and Germany on the Bodensee.

Rotarians of France and Italy frequently hold inter-country meetings. Among the early ones was the memorable Easter trip of French Rotarians to Italy.

In the northern part of Europe (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) numerous inter-country meetings have led to the formation of an international committee under whose guidance such meetings and other activities for the advancement of good-will are promoted.

French, German and other European Rotarians have brought about the formation of the inter-country committees which have succeeded in arranging many meetings at which there have been discussions on various controversial questions affecting their respective countries.

In April 1931, members of the Rotary clubs in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain gathered at Cannes, France, for an inter-country meeting under the presidency of the governor of the French district. The following month a splendid example of the moving forces behind Rotary was observed on the occasion of the celebration of the first anniversary of the Rotary Club of Luxembourg in an international meeting in which Belgian, Dutch, French, German, Danish and Swiss Rotarians participated.

A very successful inter-country meeting was held in September of that year in Varazdin, Jugoslavia, between Rotarians of Austria, Hungary, and Jugoslavia, which was followed by another Rotary meeting between these three

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countries at Windon in September, 1932. Rotarians of Hungary, Jugoslavia, and Romania met in August 1932, at Subotica.

Organized international contacts between Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg date back several years and culminated, in September 1932, in an important meeting of Rotarians at Antwerp. This meeting was devoted to the discussion of mutual economic relations.

Meetings between Germany and Czechoslovakia started in November 1931, with an inter-country meeting in Breslau, followed soon after by a meeting in Teplice-Sanov. Similar meetings have been held in other clubs of these two countries.

In November, 1930 the first meeting of the Rotary clubs of Egypt and Palestine was held in Cairo, at which sixty-seven persons, representing twelve different nations, were present.

Innumerable are the contacts of Rotary clubs of Great Britain and Ireland with France, Germany, and other countries on the continent.

In April 1931, a most interesting inter-country meeting was observed in South America when the 63rd (Argentina-Paraguay-Uruguay) and 64th (at that time comprised of clubs in both Chile and Bolivia) districts held a joint conference at Puente de Inca, Argentina.

Particularly significant, however, was the meeting of Rotarians of Argentina and Uruguay in December 1932, at Montevideo. This inter-country Rotary meeting was held for the particular purpose of maintaining friendly relations at a time when official diplomatic relations had already been severed.

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Since the above-mentioned meetings took place, inter"  country meetings have been too numerous to mention and the campaign for good-will and understanding has been carried into the ranks of the young manhood of many countries. Youth is impressionable. Impressions received at the time when character is forming, often last for life.

Rotarians interested in the promotion of good-will have therefore turned their attention to young people of the school age, endeavoring to bring about opportunity for travel in foreign countries leading to acquaintanceships which frequently ripen into permanent friendships.

One of the first organized efforts in this respect was the tour of the Young Australia League to the United States. The Young Australia League was founded by a member of the Rotary Club of Perth, Australia. One of the purposes was to provide "Education by Travel" to a select group of Australian boys, members of the League, through annual pilgrimage to different countries. Many of the boys were Sons of Rotarians.

In January 1929, one hundred and sixty of these boys undertook a trip to the United States, landing in San Francisco, traveling through the southern part of the United States to New Orleans, thence to New York, Chicago, and through Canada, embarking after five months, from Vancouver, for Australia.

The boys, as ambassadors of good-will, were received and entertained by the Rotary clubs in the United States and Canada on their itinerary. After returning home they wrote many letters to their hosts, proving that the tour accomplished its primary object.

One of the young men of the League, while in San Francisco, was taken seriously ill with rheumatic fever. The

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contingent was due to sail for home in a few days and it was quite impossible to delay it until the youth recovered. Into the breach stepped a San Francisco Rotarian and his good wife, who took charge of the lad, and after seven anxious weeks of fathering and mothering him, brought him to the convalescent stage, and soon after he was able to sail home to his parents, fully recovered. Who can express in mere words the extreme value of the service this Rotarian family rendered to an Australian family 7,000 miles away? It is certain that such kindnesses lavished by Rotarians and their families have planted in the breasts of hundreds of young men, seeds of memory which will grow into trees of good-will, and produce much fruit of sympathy, tolerance, and understanding.

The leaders of the Young Australia League came in the spring of 1932 to the United States and organized a group of American boys under the name of Young America League for a return visit to Australia. This group " because of prevailing economic conditions " was not so large as the Australian group, but the members were splendidly entertained by Australian Rotarians in all cities which they visited.

Excellent means of developing international understanding are contacts through sport. Realizing this fact, President Muller of the Rotary Club of Davos, Switzerland, has brought together teams from the following countries to compete in hockey matches at Davos: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

Another adventure in international friendship is international summer camps for young men. In the summer of 1931, the Boys Work committee of the 54th district,

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Switzerland, under the presidency of Rotarian Gabriel Rauch of the Geneva Club, conducted the first Swiss camp for sons of Rotarians. The party comprised boys from thirteen countries, i. e., Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Portugal, Hungary, and French and German Switzerland.

The first week was devoted to getting the boys acquainted and creating friendships. Each morning there after, there was a lecture on a social, economic, scientific, artistic or other topic. The afternoons were spent in trips into industrial plants and other places of interest and in recreation such as swimming, tennis, and other sports.

A tour of Switzerland filled the following two weeks with the object of making the young men acquainted with the country, its beauties and language, its industries and inhabitants. Swiss Rotarians spared no efforts to make the sojourn interesting and instructive to their young guests.

Acting upon the example of Switzerland, Rotarians of other countries have made their contribution to the promotion of the sixth object of Rotary by organizing similar camps.

The Rotary Club of Vienna organized in August 1932, an international boys camp at Tantaiier Castle near Radstadt, Austria. One hundred and twenty sons of Rotarians from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Holland, Great Britain, Germany, Jugoslavia, Austria, Saar Basin, Switzerland and Hungary were thrown together and housed in four large dormitories under four experienced group leaders.

The camp was an unqualified success as, despite the language difficulty, the various nationalities mixed in a true

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Rotary manner, each striving to get firsthand knowledge of the other boys from strange lands.

Another camp was organized by the Rotary Club of Graz, Austria, in the "Sudmark" Students Home. It was particularly successful in starting friendships between young Austrians and Jugoslavians, and also students from Czechoslovakia, England, France, Germany and Jugoslavia.

Danish Rotarians have been for many years interested in the promotion of world-mindedness in young people and were among the first organizers of the international ex change of youth. Families of English Rotarians take as guests, children of Rotarians in other, especially European countries, and send in exchange, children of their own.

Essay writing contests in high schools on the subject of promoting international understanding and good-will has been another means used by Rotarians to create interest in the minds of young men and women, in that important subject.

Prizes totaling five hundred dollars were given to the successful contestants of the schools of the city of Vienna, Austria, at the time of the Rotary International convention in that city; and a like sum was given to the successful contestants in the schools of Boston, the year the convention was held there.

The judges of the contests were selected from professors of nearby universities who were especially well qualified to act.

Another movement of the same kind, but on a larger scale, is now under consideration.

If there was any one country where Rotary was to be put to more severe test than in any other, that country was

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India where irreconcilable religious differences have existed throughout the ages; where the caste system has constituted an almost insurmountable barrier to progress; and where political ferment has been the usual order. Could Rotary, virile, adaptable, and tolerant as it was, exist in such an atmosphere? It was a question. Clearly Rotary was to be put to its supreme test in India. Rotary has survived the test and has been proven to be the one satisfactory common-denominator.

Cairo, Egypt, seemed a serious problem and it was a serious problem, but there also Rotary has achieved success. In the charter membership of twenty-one, sixteen different races and eight different religions were represented and when the charter was presented, responses were made in twelve different languages. Can fellowship thrive in such an atmosphere? It does, and it is no less sweet than the fellowship which is to be found in the most homogeneous of all communities.


Lord Reading, then Viceroy of India, in an address delivered before the Rotary Club of Calcutta, expressed the belief that the influence of Rotary would prove of exceptional value in India. In India, Buddists, Mohammedans and Christians break bread together at Rotary club meetings, as Catholics, Protestants and Jews do in America.

His Excellency, the Governor and High Commissioner, Sir Cecil Clementi, speaking before the Rotary Club of Singapore, S. S., said: "The successful formation of Rotary clubs at Singapore and other cities of the Malay Peninsula has given me very keen pleasure, for I consider such clubs to be among the best means of preserving the harmony which so happily exists between all races and

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creeds in this country. Nothing has caused me greater anxiety in other parts of the British Empire in which I have served, than the fact that the communities of different races there resident, although in daily contact with each other, nevertheless move, as it were, in separate worlds, without any real comprehension of each other" s modes of life and ways of thought. It is essential that ways and means be found for breaking down these partition walls between various communities inhabiting the same land, and Rotary clubs are among the best means to that end." An article by W. E. Priestly, published in the April 1932 number of the magazine, Asia, bears testimony to the influence of Rotary on the business ethics in the Orient. It reads as follows: "The Rotary clubs in the Orient do almost as much to encourage high and universal, instead of local standards of business ethics, as to promote inter"  national goodwill. They are powerful factors in the breakdown of that wall of reserve with which the Oriental protects himself against the foreigner, and they greatly facilitate the making of business contacts. Besides the three clubs in Manchuria " at Dairen, Harbin, and Mukden " and the club in Hong Kong, there are *three clubs in China proper. These three " at Peiping, Shanghai, and Tientsin " have a combined membership of about two hundred and twenty Europeans, Americans and Orientals. The mixture is particularly noticeable in the Shanghai Club where more than a dozen nationalities, including both Chinese and Japanese, are represented. I have had the


* since the time this article was written, Rotary clubs have been organized in other Chinese cities as follows: Anioy, Canton, Foochow, Hangchow, Hankow, Nanking, Tsinan, and Tsingtao.


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pleasure of visiting many of the Rotary clubs in the Far East and I believe that the Rotary movement is doing more than anything else I know to build a bridge between Orient and Occident, and to further the interests of peace.

While on a round-the-world tour, Sydney Pascall of London wrote to headquarters as follows: "The Rotary Club of Bombay is a truly international unit. It consists of Hindus, Mohammedans, Parsees, British, American, Swiss, and other nationalities, so that it is a microcosm of Rotary International in itself. Rotary has a great work here in introducing fellowship between the races to their mutual advantage, and to the advantage of the great sub-continent of India. If the Bombay Club is characteristic of India, the standard is a high one.

 

"Wherever I go, I am received as President of Rotary International, by the great of the earth. For instance, yesterday we lunched with the Governor of Bombay, Sir Frederick Sykes, and Lady Sykes; and on Wednesday we are to lunch with the Viceroy; at Lahore and Madras we are to stay at Government House. Rotary is indeed receiving great attention."

 

International amity is the loftiest aspiration which has ever captured the imagination of men. One had better suffer defeat while fighting for such a cause than to safe-guard his right to say "I told you so."

The late Victor Lawson, publisher of the Chicago Daily News, was wont to say, "All nations rightly studied are likeable." All nations are needed in the world family.

Within the last six months of the life of Luther Burbank, he told the writer that he was confident that the American experiment in the mingling of races would ultimately

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justify itself; that the stolid Teutonic stocks would be enriched by the imagery of the Latin. The great student of plant life then lapsing into the terminology of his profession said, "The hybrid races have always been progressive."

Although Uncle Sam" s extra-territorial outlook may seem to older countries, especially those with colonial possessions, somewhat circumscribed, at home he is necessarily a prodigious mixer, and his varied and at times, strenuous experiences ought to serve him in good stead as sponsor of, and participant in the activities of Rotary.

Through business and social intercourse, nations become intelligible to each other. Strange customs, which in the beginning are irritating, eventually become interesting and frequently are copied, contributing to the enrichment of life. Can anyone of northern race fail to recognize the fact that there is charm in southern hospitality and courtesy after having once experienced it? The writer never had the slightest conception of the genuine lovable"  ness of the Mexican people until his Rotary duties called him to Mexico. Perhaps few Americans even now appreciate the fact that our neighbors on our southern border have a delightful culture of their own. Many would be surprised to learn the extent to which the United States is drawing upon the artistic resources of the Mexican people. Good news travels slowly, bad news " swiftly. Stories of gang murders in Chicago and political disturbances in Mexico flash around the world in ample time to be read the following morning at the break"  fast table, while stories of heroic achievements utterly fail to register.

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The superiority complex is common to all nations, but it is an illusion. If one nation excels in one respect, it falls short in others. Nations simply differ. As Immediate Past President, John Nelson puts it: "One must cast aside his national yard-stick when he is about to travel abroad.

Rotarians from countries bordering upon the Pacific Ocean have held four regional conferences which might well be considered "peace conferences." The first was held in Honolulu in 1926; the second in Tokyo, Japan in 1928; the third, in Sydney, Australia in 1930; the fourth in Honolulu in 1932; and the Fifth is to be held in Manila, in 1935. International President R. L. Hill has been appointed by the board to attend the Manila conference, and the writer and his lady will accompany the President and Mrs. Hill.

These Pacific Regional Conferences are attended by many delegates, earnest and sincere men intent upon the promotion of international friendships in their respective parts of the world. Messages of encouragement and good will from rulers, premiers, and other leaders of world renown are received and read.

A delegate to one of the conferences closed his address with these words: "When International peace does come, for come it must, it will come not through the labor of statesmen, nor the efforts of diplomats, nor the scheming of politicians, but through the united efforts of tradesmen. When all the world learns the truth that "˜He profits most who serves best,"  then the dream of dreams of all ages will be realized in international peace."

The closing words of another were: "The Pacific, bordered by many nations speaking many languages,

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worshipping many gods, with many and different ideals and outlooks, and harboring people of different colors, is at peace. Only mutual understanding can keep it so. The Pacific has been the center of much distrust due to the lack of understanding, but thanks to Rotary, that lack of understanding is gradually, but surely, being swept away. Everywhere is seen the true spirit of Rotary working towards peace."

Cecil Rhodes, who founded the Rhodes Scholarships, may never be credited with having averted a war; credit for having taken a most progressive step in the interests of better understanding between Great Britain and other countries, however, can not be denied him. His far-seeing provision for the education in English universities of young men from other countries, already has its counterpart on this side of the Atlantic, and scores of organizations are promoting understanding and good-will through the inter change of students, teachers, employees, and sons of representative business men

Institutes of international affairs are springing up in increasing numbers and Rotarian speakers from abroad are being drafted to expound their views. Debates between university students of the United States and university students from over-seas have been in vogue for several years and are growing in popularity. Arnold Bennett declared: "A league for universal travel would be worth forty leagues of nations." Better men are required in the consular service of the United States, and Princeton University sees the need and is preparing the right kind of men to fill it; while other American universities, keenly appreciative of the opportunities which public life offers to capable and specially prepared young men,

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are at this rather late hour following the trail blazed long ago by Oxford and Cambridge.


Developments during the last decade justify the conclusion that temporary residence abroad will eventually be come a necessary part of a liberal education; probably also a necessary part of the preparation for business life. Why should it not be so? Is not everything to be gained and nothing to be lost?

During the world war, American soldier boys, sons of American Rotarians were entertained and cared for during convalescent periods in the homes of British Rotarians, with the result that intimate friendly relationships followed. Since then, Rotarians traveling abroad have been frequently entertained in the homes of Rotarians. It has been the writer" s privilege to be entertained in many Rotarian homes in many countries. No experiences of life have given him more happiness or proved of greater spiritual value. Thomas Hardy wrote:

"The exchange of international thought is the only possible salvation of the world."

If school boards will be more particular about the character of histories taught in future years, than they have been in the past, one very prolific source of misunderstandings will thereby be removed. Vainglorious and inaccurate statements of military campaigns are poor makeshifts in attempts to record the achievements of a people. General literature is far more dependable. The truths of fiction, in fact, frequently lay bare the lies of history.

And will not someone find a way to arouse in the minds of travelers a sense of responsibility to their own countries

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which they voluntarily represent? Provincial boastings and comparisons create unfavorable impressions from which misunderstandings arise. No true patriot will needlessly create enmity toward his homeland through boasting or through criticism of the institutions of other countries.

The day of international organizations has begun. Rotary might have been exclusively an American institution; it is not that, because the vision extended further. There was no more reason, however, for Rotary" s becoming international than there was for any other institution, religious, ethical, scientific or otherwise becoming international. But now that Rotary has gained international standing, other organizations of the same character and organizations of different character will gain international vision. One way in which those interested in the preservation of peace can serve, is through encouraging the affiliation of various national organizations. The broader viewpoint will enhance the interest and increase the effectiveness of the component organizations.


Local chambers of commerce were succeeded by state chambers, state chambers by national chambers, and national chambers by the International Chamber, bar associations, medical associations, etc., etc., following the same course. The progress of Rotary has been a matter of fascinating interest to many who are not Rotarians. Rotarians are pioneers blazing a trail which many will follow.

There are those who believe that there is no definable technique in making friendship; that to pursue friendship is to frighten it away " as fatuous as Rasselas"  search for happiness; that friends come and go by caprice or chance. There are also many who honestly feel that the encouragement of international amity is inimical to the maintenance

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of proper consideration for the interests of one" s own country; that those engaged in such work are lacking in patriotic spirit. It is the writer" s belief that national patriotism is the inspiration of much of Rotary" s efforts to bring about international understanding and good-will; that Rotarians love their respective countries so dearly that they seek that which seems to them best calculated to safeguard them against the devastating effects of war. Submarines and poisonous gases are not the only means by which we may serve our respective countries.

There are those who believe that the best assurance of peace between two neighboring countries is a row of fortifications on the borderland, though it has been repeatedly demonstrated throughout the ages that it will not work. One hundred unbroken years of American Canadian friendship which has existed along three thou sand miles of unfortified borderland discredits the case of those who proclaim the inevitability of war.

The writer prefers the existing order; if changes are to be made, he suggests that the imaginary lines between his country and its neighbors on the north, and his country and its neighbors on the south be lined with universities, hospitals, libraries, churches, parks, athletic fields, play grounds, and other constructive influences. Barracks are as expensive to maintain as dormitories, and they are suggestive of war, not peace.

On the eighteenth day of June 1932, another bond of friendship between the United States and Canada was forged in Glacier Park, Montana, through the formal linking of two of their playgrounds " Glacier National Park and Waterton Lake Park. These preserves are to be known henceforth as Waterton-Glacier International

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Peace Park. Other international parks are in process of creation along the border lines.

While Rotary was struggling toward internationality, the writer took to himself a wife of Scotch birth and rearing, thus internationalizing his domestic relationship. While not intended for that purpose, the alliance has pro"  vided an excellent proving-ground for his theories. Suffice it to say that it has demonstrated the fact that there are things which will work, and other things which will not. If there are other New England Yankees contemplating taking to themselves Scotch helpmates, to them he would say, "Well and good! You can" t do better."

His lassie very naturally fell into the way of enter"  taming Rotarians from the British Isles. At his fireside, with feet encased in comfortable slippers, they have sipped tea, smoked pipes of peace, and indulged in quiet conversation and happy reverie. But guests have not all been from the British Isles. The home has been a rendezvous for Rotarians from all parts of the world. There have, at times, been as many as eight nations represented at table. To some the writer" s home in the suburbs of Chicago is a villa; to others, a chalet; to Jean and to the writer, it is merely a comfortable little American home fashioned after the dictates of our own hearts. It has been named "Comely Bank after the street in Edinburgh where its mistress was raised. "The Beauty of the House is Order " The Blessing of the House is Contentment " The Glory of the House is Hospitality."

In the garden at "Comely Bank," trees have been planted in honor of guests from different countries. It is hoped that all nations will eventually be represented by living, growing trees. The first tree of the writer" s goodwill
 

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 garden was dedicated to the late Walter Drummond, a Rotarian of Melbourne, Australia, after his untimely passing. It was a beautiful blue spruce and Walter had admired it while visiting "
Comely Bank." On his return to Australia he planted one like it in his own garden. Our tree has been photographed time and again by Australian visitors and is as well-known in the country "down beneath" the equator as in the country of its nativity. The planting of trees of friendship may be gestures merely; but gestures often lead to either weal or woe.
 

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Sydney Pascall of London, past president of Rotary International, has planted trees of good-will in more than a score of cities in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand; and the writer has planted them in Germany, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, South Africa, and he hopes to have the privilege of planting trees in several countries of the Orient during the coming year.

If the writer" s experiences of the past twenty years in entertaining guests from other countries can be repeated in tens of thousands of American and European homes, spears may be beaten into pruning-hooks; the dream of the Bard of Ayr will have come true. The writer has frequently expressed the desire that his list of personal friends may eventually include representative citizens of all civilized countries, a desire which in the light of recent events, seems possible of attainment. Exchange of friendly amenities is of paramount importance in promoting international understanding and good-will.

Many Rotary club addresses are broadcast and national hook-ups are not uncommon. In several instances, international connections have been made. Joint meetings have been held by Rotary clubs of the United States connected by wireless with Rotary clubs in countries as far distant as Australia and Argentina. The possibilities of the radio as a means of bringing the Rotarians of the world together are beyond imagination.

The official magazine, "The Rotarian," and its special edition in the Spanish language, the "Revista Rotaria," interpret the spirit of Rotary to Rotarians throughout the world and the two excellent British publications, the "Wheel" and "Service" are read in all English-speaking countries. There are also district and club publications

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without number, some of them being of astonishing merit in view of their necessarily limited circulation.

The three conventions of Rotary International which have been held over-seas, (Edinburgh, Ostende, and Vienna) have served not only to cement friendships between Rotarians, but also to promote a better under"  standing between countries of the Old World and countries of the New World. Canada has had one convention " in Toronto. The next convention will be held in the City of Mexico and conventions will undoubtedly be held in countries other than the United States, with greater frequency in the future.

Rotarians feel that in the ways above-mentioned and in many other ways, they have contributed substantially to better international understanding, but they do not by any means think that their resources in devising new and effective methods have been exhausted. Rotary is still in the experimental stage and more effective measures undoubtedly will be found as the number of active participants in the work increases and as the influence of Rotary grows. New and better methods of surmounting the barriers are constantly revealing themselves.

Rotarians believe that just as the responsibilities of business men have multiplied of late, so have the responsibilities of statesmen. Future statesmen will have the welfare of other nations to think about as well as the welfare of their own. Forward-looking educators in America now see dearly that public life is a suitable field for ambitious young men and they are preparing them for service in it. This is one of the most hopeful developments of recent years. The records of a class of Harvard University, graduating several years ago, reveal the fact that the

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overwhelming majority went into the more lucrative fields of business and the professions; one only, went into public service. The reason manifestly was that it was the popular belief at the time, that public life was only barely respectable. Small wonder that the most important of all vocations has fallen into the hands of self-seekers who lack both capacity and inclination for honorable service in American public life. Fortunately the drift is now changing.

With the exception of one unit comprising Britain and Ireland which exists for administrative purposes only, all Rotary is entirely under the jurisdiction of the international board composed of fourteen members. The board, with the assistance of twelve committees, two honorary general commissioners, eight honorary commissioners, seventy-nine governors and European and Canadian advisory committees, constitute the official family of Rotary. The secretariat is in Chicago, and offices are maintained in Zurich, Switzerland, London, England, and at changing points in Eastern Asia. Field service is also maintained in a few countries.
Rotary clubs in Great Britain, the north of Ireland and the Irish Free State, constitute what is called "Rotary International " Association for Great Britain and Ireland." They are, however, all members of Rotary international, and subject to the jurisdiction of Rotary International except in administrative matters. For the effectuation of their administrative purposes, Rotary International " Association for Great Britain and Ireland, has a board of directors consisting of twelve members " president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer; and various committees, and seventeen chairmen of district councils

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who function somewhat similarly to the district governors of Rotary International.

Whether the organization of a separate administrative unit for the British Isles was fortunate or unfortunate is a serious question. To Rotarians outside the area it is, as a rule, considered unfortunate for the reason that it creates a wheel within a wheel, thereby giving rise to delicate questions of prerogatives, tends to arouse a strong sense of nationalism in an organization which aims at least to be international in character, and to isolate British Rotarians from fellow-Rotarians of other countries.

While some Rotarians within the area in question recognize and deplore the tendency toward isolation, others are much attached to their national administrative unit under which they have developed what they believe to be a type of Rotary which, for their needs at least, is superior to all others and which they would not care to jeopardize by further subordination to the international movement. There are also a few British Rotarians who believe that the interests of Rotary would be best served by devolution and by the establishment of administrative units in all countries which are sufficiently advanced in Rotary to assume administrative responsibilities. The opponents of devolution contend that the only possible purpose served by devolution would be to relieve British Rotary of its sense of being the only national unit outside the international fold.

Whatever one" s opinion may be, no one who is conversant with the facts attaches blame to British Rotarians for having formed the separate administrative unit. It was done openly and with the full consent of all. None at the time, had vision to see the prospects of complications.

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The plan seemed the most practical method of making rapid and effective progress in Britain and Ireland.

The fact that Rotary had its beginning in the United States and got a flying start before it had gotten under way in other countries is responsible for its having taken on American characteristics and also for the fact that it yields somewhat slowly to internationalization. Americans still constitute the majority of Rotarians, though more clubs are now being organized outside the United States than within its borders. The lack of balance has served at times to accentuate differences as is doubtless true in the case with Great Britain. British Rotarians, not infrequently raise the question: "Is Rotary really international?" To the minds of some of them devolution would be preferable to continued adherence to an organization which they feel is international in name only, but American in character.

American Rotarians feel that British Rotarians should exercise patience " that concessions are being made as rapidly as is consistent with the fact that the great bulk of the support, financial and otherwise, still comes from American Rotarians. The majority of the board of directors are now drawn from the membership outside the United States.

British Rotarians contend, however, that the advantage is more imaginary than real, that a small percentage only of the members from outside of the United States can attend regularly and that when they are present, they generally defer in most matters to the judgment of American members who have had more experience with Rotary problems.

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The writer thinks that the contention would have been justified if it had been made a few years ago, but the proportion of representation has been rapidly changing and, in fact, it still continues to change in favor of countries other than the United States; and he also believes that another very important change is taking place. It was true, for some years, that members of the board from countries other than the United States were inclined, at times, to defer to the greater experience of members from the United States; but the writer believes that it is no longer the case. Over Rotarians have gained much experience since that time, and the writer is convinced that they now have no hesitancy about expressing their views.

The writer has, on the invitation of International President Hill, been in attendance at the board meeting of January 1935. Of those present and participating, eight were from North America (United States and Canada) and five were from countries outside North America, the two members from Canada holding the balance of power.

If representation of the various countries was in proportion to the number of Rotarians, North America would be entitled to approximately twice its present number of members, but that principle has never pertained and probably never will.

During the meeting referred to, the overseas members spoke frequently and convincingly. They exercised a strong influence in the direction of internationality.

To the writer" s mind there is some merit in the British contention for a broader outlook, but not enough to justify devolution. If there is anything to be preserved in this day of extreme nationalism, it is the internationality of

IS THE ROTARY CONCEPT...? 189

Rotary. The writer believes that the way out is through making Rotary more international in character as rapidly as circumstances will permit. To accomplish the desired result it may be necessary to slow up extension in the United States, and to speed it up elsewhere; to elect more presidents from overseas; to hold international conventions more frequently abroad; to transact more of the business in countries other than the United States; to frequently exchange staff officers and editors, residents of different countries where officers are maintained; and to further internationalize headquarters at Chicago by drafting more workers from other countries. If these things are done, the writer is convinced that the cry for devolution will not be longer heard.

A truly international commission is to make a serious and scientific study of this most important question. Is Rotary to follow the old trail of nationalism which men have followed from time immemorial; or is it to continue in its efforts to blaze a new trail for unborn generations to follow? In either event, or in any event, Rotary marches on.

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Chapter XIII

How do Members View Their Privileges?

Page 193

A just appraisal of the movement cannot be made without giving a measure of consideration to what Rotarians themselves think of their organization. Aside from natural bias, they ought to be the best judges. What value do Rotarians place upon membership?

There are indications from which conclusions can be drawn. Rotary is thirty years of age. Although there has been little more than one year of Rotary for every century of the Christian era, there are at present nearly four thousand clubs. The clubs therefore range from one to thirty years in age.

Since February 23, 1905, the day when the first Rotary club had its first meeting, up to the present time, comparatively few clubs have given up their charters. When one considers the ephemeral nature of many organizations, the longevity of Rotary clubs is surprising, particularly so in view of the fact that all clubs must be active in order to retain their charters. Even during the depression, Rotary has held its own remarkably well. At the present time the increase in the number of clubs and the increase in the membership of existing clubs, steadily continues.

But how about attendance? Do the members attend, or do they merely hold membership? The answer to this

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question is that each member must attend at least sixty per cent of club meetings or forfeit membership. Sixty per cent is the minimum; the average is much higher, and it is increasing, not decreasing " a healthy indication. During the early days of Rotary, an attendance of one hundred per cent of the club" s membership was an unusual event; today one hundred per cent attendance is hardly worthy of mention. If a club holds a series of consecutive one hundred per cent meetings, it will command attention, providing the series is long enough. A dozen or fifteen consecutive one hundred per cent meetings are no longer remarkable; thirty or forty are, though there are Rotary clubs which have held consecutive one hundred per cent meetings weekly for more than a year, and one club kept a perfect record throughout a three-year period. The records of some individual members continue without break for a score of years. Members having such records, are most naturally anxious to preserve them. Continuous good health is an essential, because illness does not excuse absence so far as the records are concerned.

Of course, such results would not be possible were it not for the constitutional provision whereby members absent from their home cities are credited for attendance at meetings of Rotary clubs in other cities.

There must be some strong attraction to lure busy men from their offices once a week, year in and year out. Rotary is ever virile, active, enthusiastic, and never has there been a finer esprit de corps. We have a cause and will to serve it.

It is not always convenient to set aside an hour and a half at noontime for attendance at club meetings. Attendance frequently necessitates many miles of travel. There

MEMBERS"  EVALUATION OF ROTARY 195

have been extreme cases in which attendance at important meetings has necessitated hundreds of miles of travel. In the face of such evidence it is fair to conclude that members think well of Rotary.

A Rotarian writes as follows: "Just as Rotary blends the practical and the ideal, so Rotary blends good fellowship and informality with respect and dignity. It has long been an unwritten law, but a well-respected law, that no speaker before a Rotary club is at liberty to use off-color stories or say anything before the Rotary club that he wouldn" t say if the wives and daughters of the Rotarians also were present. Just as the meeting of the Rotary club is neither the time nor the place for the off-color story, so the club publication is not the place for anything that may offend any member or his family. The fact that such a story may be funny does not entitle it to a place in a Rotary publication."

There are values which men rate above dollars and cents, and at the top of the list stands friendship. The writer has been deeply impressed at times in the strength of the appeal which friendship makes and in the number whom it influences.

Friendship thrives in the atmosphere of Rotary where formalities and artificialities are brushed aside; where men, regardless of rank and station, meet on a common plane. It is customary, though not compulsory, in American Rotary clubs, to use the first name in greeting fellow-members. It comes naturally to some, while others acquire the habit gradually. Few fail to adjust themselves to the custom. In a large percentage of cases the novitiate is happily surprised at the ease with which he acquires the

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habit, and after it has once been acquired, embarrassment is at an end.

The members are drawn from all ranks in business life, though the average rank is high. The bank president may find himself sitting at luncheon by the side of the proprietor of the tonsorial establishment in his building, and if he does, the chances are that he will be glad of the circum stance and enjoy the contact.

Not infrequently both father and son have membership and enjoy the fellowship together. In such cases, it is often difficult to determine which gets the more, the younger or the older man. The roster of most clubs includes the names of several semi-retired business men of advanced years, who retain membership because of the enjoyment they experience in the entertaining and cultural programs and in the spirit of the meetings.

The writer recalls the case of an, elderly and partially invalided Rotarian, now passed to the Beyond, who had entirely completed his years of business service. He traveled nearly twenty miles for the purpose of attending the weekly meetings, and the chair reserved for him was seldom vacant. It might be difficult for the author of "Babbitt" to determine what Bob Beck got from Rotary, but it is safe to assume that he got something which he deemed worthwhile. It may have been a hand-shake which paid him for his long Journey, or possibly a smile. One of the best one-word sermons ever preached is the sermon "Smile"; it cheers men in all walks of life and provokes friendship. Smiles quiet the tempests that rise in the hearts of men. The writer once saw an angry and vociferous crowd of men and women who had been unreasonably delayed at a railroad station on a hot summer afternoon,

MEMBERS"  EVALUATION OP ROTARY 197

calmed and pacified by the irresistible magic of a smile. Smiles warm one in the winter, cool one in the summer, and cheer one all the year around.

There are on the face of the earth, those to whom such doctrine is mere piffle. They consider themselves high above such things. From the exalted heights of their imaginations, they look down scornfully upon such childish exuberance.

Fortunately for the rest of mankind they, and not those whom they look down upon, are the abnormals. They are not more discerning than the average of men; they are less discerning. They judge others by their own standards and their standards do not meet with the approval of men.

The late Cyrus Curtis, who, through his publications, The Saturday Evening Post, The Woman" s Home Journal, and The Country Gentleman, exercised a more powerful influence on the thinking of the American people than any other publisher, was one among many whom the superior mortals above-mentioned could not claim as their own. Mr. Curtis was an honorary member of three Rotary clubs," Portland, Maine, his native city; Philadelphia, the city of his adoption; and Miami, Florida where he spent his winters. Mr. Curtis was a regular attendant at Rotary club meetings whenever circumstances permitted. Would it have shocked the sensibilities of the superior"  minded men to hear the sage and venerable publisher accosted by his first name? It didn" t shock Cyrus Curtis. To Rotarians, he was always Cyrus, and he loved it.

During the course of a dinner on his yacht, one of the most beautiful in the world, Cyrus Curtis told the writer that his greatest regret was that so few of his friends could take time from their business to enjoy long cruises

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with him. Cyrus Curtis loved his fellowmen and to him their hand-shakes and smiles were not mere piffle; they were what made life worth living.

Henry Ward Beecher expressed the spirit of Rotary when he said:

"Nothing on earth can smile but man. Gems may flash reflected light, but what is a diamond flash com pared to an eye-flash and a mirth-flash? Flowers can not smile " this is a charm that even they cannot claim. It is the prerogative of man; it is the color which love wears, and cheerfulness, and joy " these three. It is a light in the window of the face, by which the heart signifies that it is at home and waiting. A face that cannot smile is like a bud that cannot blossom and dries upon the stalk. Laughter is day, and sobriety is night and a smile is the twilight that hovers between both " more bewitching than either."

Rotary aims to encourage the enrollment of young members. Youth is enthusiastic and determined and con tributes much to the movement. Youth, middle-age, and old age, all have their parts to play, and all can profit greatly in their contacts with each other. In many in stances the abundant energies of youth, and capital sup"  plied by older members, have been combined with telling effect.

Rotary has frequently proven a blessing to the older members when the day for retirement from business comes. Many not only attend meetings of their own clubs but also meetings of numerous other Rotary clubs. Rotarian visitors at many clubs frequently out-number the local Rotarians in attendance.

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Cicero was responsible for the statement that in advanced years men must turn their minds to the affairs of state; it was but another way of saying that man must, as he grows older, wean himself from thoughts of himself if he is to realize life in full measure. This is a wonderful world to one who is really of it. Every revolution of the earth on its axis, brings new wonders to view. Kaleidoscopic changes in the affairs of men fascinate the thoughtful observer. Opportunities to play worthy and interesting parts in the game of life abound on every hand, and yet in the face of all this plenty, members who have occupied important positions frequently think that they have nothing to live for when their day for retirement comes.

If one thinks that he has been robbed of all that life holds dear, be might with advantage turn to David Grayson" s books and read "Adventures in Contentment" and "Adventures in Friendship." Life is always worth while to him who enjoys the companionship of good friends.

Is there anything more pitiable than one who approaches the end of the Journey with nothing to think about except himself? Self will soon cease to exist, but time goes on forever. Long after we shall have been summoned, the world we have learned to love will still be struggling on. There is significance in the words of the old hymn, "Pull for the shore, sailor, pull for the shore. Leave the poor old stranded wreck and pull for the shore."

Labor is a blessing, not a curse. It gives one the satisfaction of feeling that he is pulling his own weight, but life is more than labor and business should not be permitted to absorb one" s entire being. It has been said that the average life in the United States of a business man, after

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retirement, is three years. If it is true, it is a startling demonstration of the truth of the saying that it is easier to rust out than to wear out. What a pity that in this world of so many needs there is so little that retired business men can find to make life interesting. The first sixty-seven years of the writer" s life have been high times. He wouldn" t have missed them for anything. During the last four years he has been on the retired list, so far as his law practice is concerned; the result of a nervous breakdowncaused by over-drawing his account. After he had liquidated his obligations to nature for overwork, he contracted another for over-rest before he eventually succeeded in getting his books balanced. He is now transacting his business on a cash basis, and enjoying life. Manifestly he must get back into business if he is ever to be at leisure again.

The late Dr. Francis Patton, the venerable past president of Princeton University, with hearing greatly impaired, and eyesight almost gone, found absorbing interest in writing. He told the writer that he and Mrs. Patton, the latter totally blind, had made a great discovery; they had discovered that human happiness was not dependent upon the possession of either eyesight or hearing. His affliction had thrown wide open the doors to a beautiful world of thought; doors which succeeding events had almost closed at times. What can an enfeebled man, bereft of hearing and eyesight, do? If his heart is unimpaired, if he has the courage of a Dr. Patton, he can still find a way to make himself useful, and thus find happiness.

Men who during many years have been absorbed in business, frequently find that physical ailments which seemed of little importance during the days of urgent business,

MEMBERS"  EVALUATION OF ROTARY 201

after retirement press forward for attention and soon become more engrossing than business ever was; in fact, they become the victim" s business, and a worrisome business at that. A checkup at the hospital may help some, assuming that the diagnosis is favorable; but an idle mind will get into mischief. Wealth will not help; the chances are that wealth will aggravate the misery. One may be fortunate in being too poor to worry about his health; it is difficult to worry about two things at one time and do both worries justice.

The things that will be helpful are not the ponderables of life; they are the imponderables " kindliness, neighborliness, friendliness, and love. Unless one can successfully cultivate such attributes, in many instances leisure proves unbearable and life soon terminates. How different with Dr. Patton. He rose above material considerations. In a sense very different from that intended by Lord Byron, he worked the mine of youth to the last vein of ore.

William Lyons Phelps, Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Yale, and loved by all Rotarians because of his sweet philosophy of life, says that one" s happiness depends upon the diversity and depth of his interests; and Professor Walter Pitkin, of Columbia University, in his admirable book "Life Begins at Forty" states that the life expectancy of professional men exceeds that of business men; that the life expectancy of business men exceeds that of laboring men; that the best way to keep the body in good condition is through keeping the mind in good condition, and the best way to keep the mind in good condition is through keeping it stimulated by wholesome, active thoughts on a wide range of subjects.

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While in Glasgow recently, the writer learned of another remarkable instance of a Rotarian who had found himself. For fifteen successive years he has been lying on his back, incapable of moving either body or limbs. His fast failing sight has made even reading impossible, and yet this heroic man greets friends who call, with ringing laughter. He wrote recently that his so-called affliction was anything but that; on the contrary, it had proved to be his richest blessing. A mutual friend reports that the so-called afflicted is continuing to carry on, and that his noble example is serving to reinforce the courage of many disconsolate. We who are in the enjoyment of life" s normal blessings should be ashamed, in the light of such fortitude, to give way to petty grievances. Equipped with such spirit as that of Dr. Patton and George Walker, one can bear up under the most grievous burden that circum"  stances can impose. Their experiences make it easier to imagine what Mr. H. G. Wells meant when he said that our present civilization is merely the raw material out of which it is possible for men, if they so incline, to create something really worthwhile.

The following excerpt from an article appearing in a recent number of "The Pinion" published by the Rotary Club of Sydney, Australia, is refreshing:

"If ever there was an object lesson for you and for me, it lies in the later years of Rotarian Sir Edgeworth David whose death is chronicled in this issue.

"Bent, racked with pain, and moving with great difficulty, that cheerful, kindly, uncomplaining soul fought his way to and fro " to the University, to Rotary " clutching his way on trams with extreme difficulty. Sometimes a Rotarian would give him a lift back after lunch, but

MEMBERS"  EVALUATION OF ROTARY 203

more often than not Sir Edgeworth crept quietly around the edge of the crowd, and made his own laborious way, hating the very thought of giving trouble. So, while we rolled at our ease in cars, that poignant, white-haired soul, with his habitual haversack and stick, battled his way through the riotous and noisy city. The dignity and the courtesy of him were like a blissful breeze from the cool heights."

 

"A little more tired at close of day,
A little less anxious to have our way;
A little less ready to scold and blame;
A little more care of a brother" s name;
And so we are nearing the journey" s end,
Where time and eternity meet and blend."
"Roflin J. Wells.

 

Rotarian Eddie Guest, who explores the depths of everyday affairs for overlooked beauties, thinks that there is nothing in nature more beautiful than the maple tree in its autumnal coloring. To his poetic fancy, it is a pageant, a grand outburst, a final celebration just before the leaves fall off and die; it reminds him of the final days of some old folks he has known. I am sure that Eddie would have included Sir Edgeworth" s name on his list of inspiring celebrants had he known him.

Under the Rotary plan, business is an important part of life but it is not the all of life. It is recognized that there are arable areas in life well outside that part assigned to business. He whose vision extends no further than the field of business is to be pitied; it matters not what his success in that field may be. What will he have to fall back upon when business reverses come? How will he

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occupy himself when his time for retirement comes? Rotarians who are true to their cause will have interests to fall back upon. The Rotary philosophy of life will serve in good stead. Public service is the best kind of hobby; it is far more satisfying than collecting coins or postage stamps.

Health and happiness count far more than material possessions. The outdoor life contributes to both health and happiness; therefore, let us cultivate a love of the out door life. It is full of interest whether our particular hobby be birds, flowers, or landscapes. My own hobby is landscapes. Give me a view of long rolling hills with well- kept farms, contented cows and sheep grazing on the hillsides and a meadow lark, thrush, or robin singing in the distance. I have never been able to determine which is the more beautiful, the hills of Scotland with their gorse and rhododendrons in the spring, or the mountains of New England with their sugar maples in the fall. Both are exhilarating. Jean revels in sunsets and I enjoy them with her.

One retired friend of ours has taken up painting and another, gardening. The latter is to be seen in his garden from the awakening of the first crocus in the spring until the last chrysanthemum goes to sleep in the autumn. Another friend loves books and revels in the companionship of the great thinkers of all time. These are simple, whole some pursuits and available to all, rich and poor.

During the course of years, many interesting testimonials of the value of Rotary have come to the ears of the writer. Rotarians have frequently called at his office and occasionally, with tears coursing down their cheeks,

MEMBERS EVALUATION OF ROTARY 205

stated that Rotary has been the greatest influence which has ever come to their lives.
Women have told him that Rotary has been the making of their husbands; that they have been far more considerate and thoughtful since becoming Rotarians " better husbands and fathers than ever before.

Granting that some of these expressions may have been overdrawn, the results which these witnesses claim to have discovered are precisely the results which Rotary is striving to attain. Rotary aims to be practical, and hopes to enrich life; its philosophy is a wholesome philosophy. Rotary is without dogma, and tolerant at all times.

While the objects of Rotary do not include any reference to the domestic relationship, it naturally follows that father and son days and ladies days, which are frequently featured, serve to reveal parental and conjugal responsibilities, as does also boy work, crippled children work, and so forth. The member who finds satisfaction in opening opportunities to boys in need is not likely to be indifferent to the needs of his own son.

The friendly spirit of the Rotary club meetings frequently serves to change the member" s entire outlook on life. There are miraculous qualities in friendship. The writer can call to mind men who, to use the Biblical phrase, have been "born again." For example, there was in a small city of Illinois a man, whom we may call John Smith. He was a man of indomitable purpose, who through his own unaided efforts had created a huge manufacturing plant of national fame. His eighteen hundred employees were always sure of their pay, but they were given in no uncertain terms to understand who was boss. Smith was a man of iron.

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He worked from early morning until late at night, and he could always be found "on the job." His devotion to business had obscured all other interests in life. He walked from his home to his office and from his office to his home, bowing neither to right nor left. He neither had friends nor felt the need of them; he was self self-centered, austere.

One day while visiting one of his offices in a distant city, his manager asked him to attend a Rotary club meeting. Smith accepted the invitation, though he would have preferred to have lunched elsewhere. His impressions were not favorable. There was too much noise and confusion, too little dignity, and the singing was not up to standard. After the meeting, however, many of the incidents came back to him and as he thought of them it seemed to him that there was something about the spirit manifested that reminded him of something which had once been in his life and had passed out. Eventually he determined to restore that something, and when he returned to his home city, he organized a Rotary club. His fellow members thought so much of the newborn John Smith that they elected him president for six consecutive years. A few years later, when he built a beautiful home, he caused a large Rotary wheel to be fashioned in cement and given conspicuous position in the front of the house so that passersby might see it and realize that there lived a Rotarian.

Three years ago, John Smith paid an installment of four hundred thousand dollars to the John Smith foundation for dependent boys and crippled children.

Does it not seem strange that so capable a man should have permitted himself to have gotten into such a rut as be formerly was in, and is it not amazing that he could have

MEMBERS EVALUATION OF ROTARY 20" 7

been lifted out and landed on the broad highway of life again by so simple an expedient, as the friendship of his fellowmen? The fact is, that until he came, through Rotary, into intimate social contact with men, he simply did not know them. When he once knew them he became aware of their fine qualities and loved them.

John Smith departed this life recently and when he realized that the end was near, he said to the writer, "It is not the question, Paul, how long we are to be here; the question is, have we finished our jobs?" In the passing of John Smith, the writer lost a staunch friend whom he greatly admired.

Among other provisions in his will was one by virtue of which thousands of helpless children will come into the birthright which Merciful Providence must have intended for them. John Smith had finished his job and was ready to lay himself down for well rest. Thousands now sing the praises of the once friendless John Smith and his friends bear testimony that the miracle of John" s new"  birth was the result of the friendly spirit of Rotary. To some of the so-called intelligentsia, John Smith might seem beyond understanding, but to those who knew him best, he was no quandary.

Men have expressed wonder that so simple an idea has carried so far; that it has made itself at home in so many nations. To the writer" s mind, the effectiveness of Rotary is partially due to that very attribute, its simplicity. There are thousands of John Smiths in Rotary, who are enjoying fuller and richer lives by virtue of the simple and yet miraculous attribute of man, friendship. Whatever critics may have to say, these men of position and character are ready at all times to rise and call Rotary blessed.

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"He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth" s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory was benediction.

Adult males only are eligible to membership in Rotary clubs, and the curriculum constitutes a splendid course in adult education. In Rotary the practical values of every"  day life are brought out, and members are taught ways of making themselves useful. According to old standards, when a boy finished school, his educational work was sup"  posed to have been completed, whether it had extended beyond the sixth grade or stopped short of there. According to the new standards, life throughout is viewed as an educational process. All praise to the adult educational movements which seek to give older members of trade and professional organizations, opportunity to keep up-to-date in their practices. Rotary sympathizes with their efforts. One is never too old to learn.

Weekly Rotary club meetings, committee meetings, board and intercity meetings, district conferences, district meetings of presidents and secretaries, meetings of the board of directors of Rotary International, international assemblies, and Rotary International conventions are all calculated to awaken civic, national and international consciousness, raise standards of thought, broaden vision, and

MEMBERS"  EVALUATION OP ROTARY 209

to help in promoting better understanding between members of different groups.

Not least in importance in the Rotary curriculum is the education which comes through contact with fellow members. The secretary of the Rotary Club of Chicago once remarked, "Chicago Rotarians seldom realize that they are better for having known B. 0. Jones, but they are." Truer words could not have been spoken. "Sunshine" Jones has for twenty-four years been carrying help and good cheer to thousands. He is Rotary" s ambassador to the afflicted. It is an honor to be elected president of a Rotary club; it means that the members have stamped the president- elect with approval; it also means that he who has been thus honored stands an exponent of Rotary ideals. During his entire year he is to appear before the membership, week after week. To many he becomes a model after whom, consciously or unconsciously, they fashion their lives. It is a still greater honor to be elected president of Rotary International. He who occupies that post stands as an exemplification of Rotary to the entire membership. Whatever be his nationality he stands as an example of the manhood of the country he represents, and the Rotarians of other countries are thereby given a new vision of his country. The mere exhibit of a fine, manly, modest personality does wonders.

Three Canadians and one Englishman are of the number who have thus far been the recipients of Rotary" s highest honor, and the Americans who know and love them have kindlier thoughts of Canada and England than they have ever entertained before. Each has made magnificent contribution to the movement.

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THIS ROTARIAN AGE

Rotary International has been extremely fortunate in its selection of presidents. It would be impossible for the writer to over-express his appreciation of their joint and several contributions to the movement; it would be impossible for him to over-estimate their loyalty, their devotion, the sacrificial spirit which they have so frequently made manifest. He wishes that it might be permitted him to write the stories of their various administrations, but to do so would be to write the history of the movement and would require several volumes. The writer has no doubt that it will be accomplished in the course of time.

The following is certainly not intended as a catalogue of the virtues of the men who have served as international presidents but rather as the impressionistic views of the writer as to specially outstanding characteristics of each international president which have contributed signally to the advancement of the interests of the movement:

 

Glenn C. Mead of Philadelphia, Pa
Russell F., Greiner of Kansas City, Mo
Frank L. Mulholland of Toledo, Ohio
Allen D. Albert of Chicago, Ill
Arch C. Klumph of Cleveland, Ohio
E. Leslie Pidgeon of Montreal, Canada
John Poole of Washington, D. C
Albert S. Adams of Atlanta, Ga
Estes Snedecor of Portland, Oregon
Crawford C. McCullough of Fort William, Ontario, Canada
Raymond M. Havens of Kansas City, Mo
Guy Gundaker of Philadelphia, Pa

Rectitude

Tenderness

Eloquence

Grace

Devotion

Christianity

Modesty

Fellowship

Courage

Understanding

Buoyancy

Thoroughness

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Everett W. Hill of Oklahoma City, Okla... . .
Donald A. Adams of New Haven, Conn.. . .
Harry H. Rogers of Tulsa, Oklahoma 
Arthur H. Sapp of Huntington, Md 
I. B. Sutton of Tampico, Mexico 
M. Eugene Newsom of Durham, N. C 
Almon E. Roth of Palo Alto, Calif 
Sydney W. Pascall of London, England. .. .
Clinton P. Anderson of Albuquerque, New Mexico 
John Nelson of Montreal, Canada 
Robert L. Hill of Columbia, Mo 
(Present incumbent)

Versatility

Idealism

Strength

Kindliness

Geniality

Chivalry

Sportsmanship

Personality

Efficiency

Diplomacy

Lovableness


Rotary is very fortunate in that two only, of the above list, Albert S. Adams and Ray Havens, have passed to the Beyond. All others remain as a group of elder statesmen, ready to respond to any and every call.

The writer might add that his own name is generally included in the above list. He has had the privilege of knowing each and every one of his fellow Past Presidents intimately and considers himself singularly blest in their friendship.

The writer is also frequently referred to as the founder of Rotary. When James Davidson and Colonel Layton Ralston of Canada left for their pilgrimage to Australia and New Zealand for the purpose of establishing Rotary clubs in those countries, they expressed a desire to meet the writer personally and one of them at that time, said that it did not seem to him proper to depart on so important a mission without first having met the founder of Rotary. He who is called the founder, expressed his appreciation

212 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

of the sentiment, but also said that it was quite possible that the value of his work had been over-estimated, whereupon Chesley Perry remarked: "I suppose, Paul, that the desire to see you is somewhat akin to the desire men have to see the source of a great river."

The analogy appealed greatly, yet it had one fault. We know that rivers do not have their source in any one spring. We know that rivers are the sum total of the hundreds of rivulets which course down the hillsides and pour their volume into the channel of the great river. And thus it is with Rotary. Rotary is the sum total of the contributions of hundreds of big-hearted, broad-minded men who have given of themselves to the movement. If, however, Rotarians must have, one to think of as the spring, they must also remember that rivers have currents as well; strong, resistless currents that run unceasingly. Rotary has its current, persistent, indefatigable Ches Perry.

Rotary" s spread throughout the Far East has been an unusually fine testimonial of the devotion of members, who have been willing to sacrifice their own important business affairs in the interest of the cause. The late James Wheeler Davidson heads the list. Jim, whose varied experiences included service as press correspondent in the Russo-Japanese War, American Consul in the Far East at several places, Arctic explorer with Admiral Perry, and President of the Rotary Club of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, visited Australia and New Zealand with Colonel J. Layton Ralston (then president of the Halifax Rotary Club and subsequently Canada" s Minister of National Defense), and established Rotary clubs there. In 1928 he and his wife Lillian Dow Davidson, and their daughter Marjory


MEMBERS"  EVALUATION OF ROTARY 213

were invited by the board of Rotary International to make a tour of the Levant and Orient in the interest of Rotary, with the expectation that he would be gone about eight months. Their journey, occupying actually two and a half years, took them from Egypt, Greece, Turkey, and Pales"  tine to Iraq, Syria, Persia, India, Ceylon, Burma, Malaysia, the Netherlands Indies, and Siam, and thence to China, Manchuria, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.

More than a score of Rotary clubs in these countries are a tribute to Jim" s energy and personality. In a few cases he found self-organized clubs desiring recognition as Rotary clubs, lacking only knowledge of the procedure. He had equipped himself in advance with letters of introduction from men of high rank in the political and business life of several countries. In many places he was able to persuade the highest public officials to participate actively in the organization of Rotary clubs, in the hope that they would serve to bring Europeans and natives together. Usually the rigid caste lines and social customs gave way before his genial contention that Rotary clubs should be as truly representative as possible of the leading business and professional classes of the city without regard to religious, political, or even social differences.


The Davidsons experienced many hardships but Providence seemed to protect them. An auto smash-up on a road through a Malay jungle happened immediately in front of a clump of thatched huts from which the natives sprang to rescue the party from drowning in a ditch. Jim had several varieties of fever, and Marjory was seriously Ill as the consequence of an insect bite. And still they kept on planting Rotary clubs in the Orient. Jim brought together groups of business and professional men of as

214 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

many as fourteen nations, while Lillian kept Rotarians throughout the world on the qui vive of interest through writing illuminating articles for "The Rotarian."

The brother of the King of Siam, Prince Purachatra, became the founder president of the new Rotary Club of Bangkok, Siam, and Malay Sultans became members of others.

East of Suez, Jim wrote that serious problems were arising in the Far East and that the only agency that was even trying to develop better understanding between these various national, racial, and religious groups, was Rotary. The chain of Rotary clubs he established from the eastern Mediterranean on through the Orient to China and Japan, forms a series of outposts from which good-will, tolerance, and international amity will be radiated among the count less millions of people mixed together in Asia.

Among the Rotary clubs organized by Jim are those at Athens, Greece; Jerusalem, Palestine; Cairo, Egypt; Bombay, Delhi, and Madras, India; Colombo, Ceylon; Rangoon, and Thayetmyo, Burma; Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Ipoh, and Kiang, Federated Malay States; Batavia, Bandoeng, Malang, Semarang, Java; Medan, Sumatra; Singapore, Malacca, and Penang, Straits Settlements; Bangkok, Siam, and Hongkong, China. In addition he surveyed Istanbul (Constantinople), Damascus, and Bagdad, where conditions were not, in his opinion, favorable for a Rotary club at that time.

Jim was far from well when he and his family embarked upon their great expedition but the man who had faced the rigors of Arctic winters was not one to shirk responsibility. He heard the call and responded to it. When he returned, it was manifest to his friends that he had spent

MEMBERS"  EVALUATION OF ROTARY 215

his all. He survived a brief period only, but he had carved his name on the imperishable records as Rotary" s ambassador deluxe, first and foremost of a long and distinguished line of men who have given of themselves generously in the interests of Rotary and without compensation other than their inward satisfaction in having done a good job well.

There have been thousands of other instances where the sacrificial spirit of Rotarians has found expression in diverse and sometimes individualistic ways. At the head of the list of individualists appears the name of George W. Harris, of Washington, D. C., the friend of each and every President of the United States who has held office during the last thirty years. George" s peculiar fancy is to serve in the capacity of Sergeant-at-Arms at the annual International Assembly. Year after year he travels at his own expense to the assembly city wherever it may be, frequently bringing his family with him. He is now known to everyone. Swiftly he glides about in the performance of his tasks. His devotion glorifies a post which few would have chosen.

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Chapter XIV

Page H. L. Mencken

Page 219


The denouncement of sham frequently is the response to a worthy instinct; it is very necessary at times. He who understands, feels called upon to lay pretense bare in order that those who have less understanding may profit there by; hence comes the critic.

The considerate critic will nevertheless weigh his words carefully, lest he overstate in his enthusiasm for his work. To err is human, and even critics are human. Critics may err through the insufficiency of their information concerning the objects of their criticism, and they may also err through misunderstanding of themselves.

To pass fair judgment on the conduct of others may be exceptionally difficult to one who erroneously believes his own nature to be normal. The normal reactions of average men may easily be misjudged by those of entirely different emotional natures. Herbert Spencer said that education which directs the emotions into proper channels is even more important than education of the so-called intellectual capacities. Students of psychology and educators of the present day recognize the truth of the statement. Rotarians who would not quite like to have Rotary develop into a purely high-brow movement find satisfaction in the fact that the great English philosopher recognized the importance of harnessing the emotions of men for the benefit of the social order.

220 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

Rotarians may seem to their critics, unnaturally enthusiastic and demonstrative at times. The warmth of their welcome may seem exaggerated, even assumed; but in reality it is natural and genuine.

Rotary has been designated a bourgeois organization; but England has been designated a nation of shopkeepers; the United States a nation of pork packers, and so forth. England and America have survived, and Rotary bids fair to do so. Rich and poor, princes and commoners have enrolled in Rotary.

Rotary in the United States has been designated by certain well-known critics, as shallow, boastful, and opinionated, entirely satisfied with conditions "as is" in our "great and glorious country", and intolerant of opinion at variance with the conventional; it has at other times been designated an agency of impracticable reformers, dreaming of a world at peace, and dangerously dissatisfied with things "as is" in our "great and glorious country." As a matter of fact, Rotarians are not extremists one way or the other. Idealists they are, to be sure, hoping for the best and willing to make sacrifices for it.

It is not to be expected that a movement would attain the proportions of Rotary without arousing criticism. Rotary" s conspicuous position makes it a mark for professional critics. The friendliness and informality of Rotary gatherings sometimes lead to an effervescence of spirits on the part of excitable members which finds expression in boyishness. Such manifestations constitute alluring opportunities for attack. It is not difficult to caricature an individual who caricatures himself.

Another favorable opening to attack has been found in the natural tendency to adopt high-sounding names and

PAGE H. L. MENCKEN 221

phrases. The term "Service" has at times become hackneyed. Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions clubs are frequently referred to as "Service Clubs." Terminology may go far to make or break a movement. "Piety" is an example of words which have suffered through excessive use.

High-sounding words and phrases suggest to the inquiring mind the question as to their sincerity, and adverse judgment frequently follows. There is at present a growing tendency in Rotary to get away from too frequent repetition of stock terms and phrases, and to be more conservative in expression. The term "usefulness" is less pretentious and probably more suitable than the term "service." Rotary is a business men" s organization and business men like to keep their feet on the ground.

The practice of opening meetings with invocations has aroused criticism and has been taken as an evidence of hypocrisy. It has, however, worked out satisfactorily to the great majority of Rotarians, including those who do not ordinarily incline toward religious observances. It is believed that the effect sought has been realized; that is, that the practice has resulted in raising the general tone of meetings.

One might well go farther and say that the practice of invoking Divine Blessing in Rotary is anti-bigotry rather than pro-bigotry, it being the case that no favoritism is shown in the selection of invocationists. One day it may be a Protestant minister; another day a Catholic priest; and another, a Jewish rabbi. In countries where other forms of religion are represented in sufficient number, Mohammedan, Buddhist, or whatever they may be, an invocation in form familiar to them might be in order. In fact, the only members who could logically take offense are

222 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

those who view all forms of religion as menaces to civilization, and of them there are not many.

However, criticism has its proper part in the affairs of men. Few attain eminence without being subjected to it. It should neither be fought nor ignored. It should be made to serve a purpose whenever possible. Many of the criticisms of Rotary have dealt with the superficialities rather than with the realities. They have been scathing, and at times brilliant. If the critics had been versed in the history and life of the movement, the subject would have proven less tempting, but the public would not have had the benefit of the extravaganzas which have been so entertainingly presented.

Rotary" s reaction to criticism has in the main been commendable. The leading critics have been frequently invited to speak before clubs, and in one instance the Chicago club offered to let one of the best known name his own terms for an address.

The writer thinks that Rotarians should be especially heedful of the deliberate, thoughtful criticisms of the committee selected from the social science experts of the University of Chicago. They cannot be brushed aside as the vagaries of unpractical men. They are not superficial; the committee had ample opportunity to study the literature of Rotary and to consult with many Rotarians, and it has availed itself of the opportunities. Their criticism is not inspired by ill-will; it is inspired by goodwill. It should serve to shake complacent clubs out of their complacency; indifferent clubs out of their indifference; and to arouse all clubs to higher sense of responsibility. Such criticism is in marked contrast in its spirit with Mr. Bernard Shaw" s

PAGE H. L. MENCKEN 223

flippant "I know where Rotary" s going; it" s going to lunch."

One of the recommendations of the University of Chicago Committee to the Chicago Club, resulted in a change of the by-laws giving sanction to discussion of controversial issues. The resolution in favor of amending the by laws of the Chicago Club passed with an overwhelming majority and the discussion of such questions is already being tried out.

The report of the committee treats the subject at considerable length and very capably. To them, here lies Rotary" s supreme opportunity to harness the power of our world-wide organization. To the committee, the Rotary Club of Chicago, composed as it is of nearly seven hundred business men of influence, representing as many different trades and professions, constitutes an ideal forum, for the discussion of important questions and an ideal group in which to develop civic leaders. To the committee the prospects are so transcendent that they make the accomplishments of the club in philanthropic and charitable endeavor seem insignificant. The writer hopes, how"  ever, that Rotary" s present fields of useful endeavor will not be abandoned; surely not until experiment clearly shows the wisdom of such course.

The progress of an organization which must blaze its own trails is necessarily largely by trial and error. The great difficulty is to assume and maintain the experimental attitude of mind. Henry Ford was once asked by a newspaper reporter if he was willing to concede that he had made a mistake in a certain policy. The great industrialist answered that he did not remember ever having made a
 

224 THIS ROTARIAN AGE
mistake; that he had tried a good many experiments, some of which had failed to work.

Pride of opinion is difficult to overcome, particularly in large organizations in which there are many leaders. The temptation to become dogmatic is natural; one sees his own ways so clearly, other ways so dimly. The writer is especially conscious of the difficulty because of his own frailties. He tries to be fair, un-prejudiced and to pre serve the experimental attitude of mind, but he Undoubtedly fails at times.

In Rotary as elsewhere, there is much talk of fundamentals " but what is fundamental? Is, for instance, the elimination of discussions of political questions of a controversial nature, a fundamental? It has long been so considered. In fact, many Rotarians believe that Rotary" s unprecedented success in bringing men of diverse races and faiths into one fellowship has been based on the very fact that in Rotary the members have found sanctuary, freedom from propaganda and proselytism in any form. Rotary" s plan of recruiting its membership is both a strength and a weakness; it is the cement that binds and it is, at the same time, the TNT which could blow the structure into a thousand pieces if carelessly handled.

The proponents of the old order believe that its preservation is doubly important now that Rotary has assumed international character. When one crosses international boundary lines, he will do well to tread softly if he desires to make friends for his country. He had best not preach, speak patronizingly, lecture, or advise; he will almost surely fail of his purpose if he attempts to do so. He can advantageously use a few flowers, at times; and flowers of speech always are in order. The writer does not believe

PAGE H. L. MENCKEN 225

that a traveler should be a servile flatterer; no one likes a sycophant. If one can" t think sweet thoughts, in common honesty, he ought not express them. He had better remain silent, but he should remember that we are all of one great family, facing the same problems, sensitive to unkindness, responsive to friendly overtures.

The writer does not believe that one is called upon in the interest of international good-will, to remain silent if his own country is ridiculed or reviled. It seems to the writer, a good policy never to provoke an attack and an equally good policy never to permit unjust charges against one" s own country or one" s countrymen to remain unchallenged; but when engaged in the discussion of international issues, if Rotary is to engage in such discussions, whether the subject be tariffs, debts, armaments, or what-not, we must be courteous at all times lest we do more harm than good.

While the writer is deeply interested in education and hopes that Rotary will play an increasingly important part in the promotion of a better understanding of international problems, he realizes, nevertheless, that one-sided education is worse than none. He believes that if a representative of one nation is permitted to present his country" s case before a Rotary club, a representative of the country holding opposing views (if there is any) should be permitted to present the generally accepted position of his country men. The writer would put it stronger; he would say that both sides of all important moot questions should be heard, or neither. As a lawyer, he knows that in the trial of cases, juries will almost invariably find in favor of the plaintiff unless the defendant also presents his side of the case. There is tragedy in the fact that the policy of nations

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with respect to declarations of war, generally has been based on ex parte hearings.

In one way or another, Rotary" s problems find a way of solution and the problem in question will probably prove to be no exception. Of all the problems which have confronted Rotary, perhaps none has ever called for the exercise of so much patience and forbearance. If the experimental attitude of mind is preserved, if pride of opinion is subdued, if infinite care is exercised lest Rotary be made a means of nationalistic propaganda, something worth while may come of it. In any event, Rotary clubs are autonomous within the limits of the constitution; it is the privilege of European clubs to experiment as they please within these limits. Rotary has long been committed to the policy of permitting Rotarians of different countries, great latitude in their methods of expressing the spirit of Rotary in manner best adapted to their respective needs. The needs of the New World may be one thing; the needs of the Old World, somewhat different; and all Rotarians find satisfaction in the adaptability of Rotary. The writer believes that much progress in the direction of finding a common denominator has been made; that American clubs are more like European clubs than they once were; and that European clubs have discovered values in American activities which were not discernible at first.

The comments of the University committee on fellowship, are of interest, and especially that part appearing, under the caption, "Is Rotary Fellowship a Detriment to Service?" It reads substantially as follows: "The incisive question which must be raised is whether Rotary fellowship is of a type conducive to service to society or

PAGE H. L. MENCKEN 227

detrimental to it? Are Rotarians "˜hail fellows, well met"  who pay lip-service to Rotary ideals but who are interested, primarily, in personal friendships and cordiality; in what might be termed an in-growing type of fellowship; or are they business and professional leaders who associate with one another for the promotion of an outward-looking type of fellowship for the fulfillment of the ideal of service through individual or group action?"

The answers to the question regarding fellowship which was included in the questionnaire sent by the committee to the membership of the Chicago Rotary Club moved the committee to conclude that: "the great majority of the members are bound together by a warm and deep cordiality which feeds on itself, is self-sufficient, and furnishes relatively little inspiration for individual or group action in fulfillment of the service ideal; and that the type of fellow ship is wholly desirable per se, and constitutes the psychological foundation for one conception of the service ideal."

Further on the committee reports: "The type of fellowship prevalent resembles the type found in social clubs and lodges. This is perhaps as it should be and in modern urban civilization, with its cold impersonality and confusion, any type of fellowship, any form of cordial, personal relations is to be welcomed as a social good. But the fact remains that fellowship of the prevalent type is not conducive to the type of service which seems most desirable. The question of policy must therefore be raised: Should Rotary endeavor by somewhat different types of programs and group activities to promote a type of fellow ship different from that caricatured in "˜Babbitt"  and closer

228 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

to the type symbolized by common-spirited devotion to an active and socially significant program of action?"

It seems to the writer, as before stated; quite in order constantly to endeavor to improve the programs and thereby increase interest in the hope that a larger percentage of the membership will become active participants in the work of Rotary. The reader will bear in mind that the survey was limited to the Chicago Club, by far the largest club in the entire movement, and that very large clubs are more likely to be "listeners" clubs, than discussion clubs. The tendency in the large clubs is to bring in important speakers from outside the ranks of Rotary, and the possibilities of general discussions are limited. The committees of the Chicago Club are much larger than the entire membership of some of the smaller clubs, and committee meetings to a certain extent make up for the lack of intimacy between club members in general. At such meetings, members of common mind and interest experience the useful fellowship approved by the University committee.

The spirit of criticism is back of all progress. Industry makes rapid strides because of its spirit of discontent. Progressive industry is ever exploring new fields, reaching out into the unknown. Any manufacturer who is content with simply maintaining present standards, will soon be. out-distanced. The most interesting department of any great manufacturing establishment is its research department, its expression of its essential spirit of discontent. Rotary" s greatest leaders are inspired by discontent. Rotary is not inclined to be impatient with sincere criticism.

 

"Wud some power the gif tie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us."

 

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Chapter XV

Of Tomorrow

Page 231

Rotarians are appreciative of their inheritance from generations which have preceded them and not forgetful of their duty to generations yet to come. The methods of serving youth are numerous. Some of them manifest originality of thought while others follow conventional lines. Quite naturally, the Boy Scouts are the favorites and many Rotarians support the movement by the expenditure of time as well as money. Boys"  clubs of various types have been helped and hundreds of boys"  clubs have been organized and supported by Rotary clubs. The writer visited some excellent schools for under-privileged boys in South Africa, recently. They were maintained by individual Rotary clubs. Rotarians throughout the world are throwing themselves enthusiastically into this activity.

Recognizing the importance of education, more than two hundred student loan-funds are now being permanently financed by Rotary clubs. The boy of today will be the man of tomorrow.

Rotary clubs have for many years financed Dr. Charles E. Barker" s lectures to high school students throughout the United States. In this way it has been possible to reach approximately one-half million young men and women of the critical adolescent period and to take to them the most important of all messages. Of scarcely less

232 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

social value is Dr. Barker" s famous lecture to men, "A Father" s Duty to His Son," and to women, "A Mother" s Duty to Her Daughter."

Boys"  week was the inspiration of the Rotary Club of New York City. The "Back to School" movement has been one of the activities in nearly live hundred Rotary clubs.

The present attitude of the adult toward the boy is quite different from the attitude of earlier generations. The great aim formerly was to keep the boy in his place; the modern plan is to gain his confidence and affection. It is more practicable to lead a boy than to push him. A nation" s most valuable asset is its youth, and it is worth studying. How can the best results be obtained? How can the lives of young men and young women be so directed as to make sure of their future welfare and happiness and of the stability of the government which will come within their control? Taken at the psychological hour it is a comparatively easy matter to switch a boy from the wrong track to the right track. The Union League Club of Chicago experimentally established a boys"  club in a ward which was considered by the police to be one of the worst wards in Chicago with the result that crime diminished to the point of being almost negligible. The boys of the ward had been switched to the right track.

In the day of our forefathers there were few idle moments in the life of the average boy. His services were needed on the farm, in the store, or whosesoever else his life was cast. Work served not merely to keep the boy out of mischief; it served also to provide him wholesome discipline. Labor-saving devices have cut down the father" s hours of labor and almost entirely deprived the boy of

OF TOMORROW 233

the necessity of working with his hands. What is he to do to consume his restless energy?

The question: "What are the boys to do with their restless energy?" is being answered in part by the boys themselves in the various types of youth movements. Many Americans view the hitchhiking epidemic as a national menace and would suppress it by process of law. To the writer, some manner of regulation seems more in order. The temporary camps seem a step in the right direction. To say the least that can be said of the hitch"  hiking development, it does serve to give energies an out"  let; it does give the participants an opportunity of learning something of their own country, of experiencing life as it is, and last but not least it provides many young men with wholesome hardships, and even with characters building suffering of which many are much in need.

In any event, if one is to condemn the hitchhikers, it should be some person other than the writer, who in his own youth worked his way to most every corner of his own country and across the Atlantic Ocean three times, in search of knowledge of the world and experience in real life, and suffered every manner of hardship available at that period in the world" s history. What the hitch needs, in the writer" s estimation, is regulation, not suppression. If adult leaders will not arise, youthful leaders will. What then?

The certainty that hours of labor will constitute an even smaller percentage of the day in the future, is cause for alarm. If hours of leisure are to exceed in number hours of labor, why should education center entirely upon teaching the boy how to work? It is essential that the boys of tomorrow learn how to employ their leisure time.

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What will business success avail a boy if he lacks the capacity to enjoy the fruits of his labor? Business is important, but life is more than business. Culture is more than technology. Americans might advantageously take a chapter from the book of Europeans. The writer, after many visits abroad, has become convinced of the fact that the people of the older countries view business relationship to life in saner perspective than Americans, at present. The trouble is that Americans in the process of building up a country territorially great, have speeded up productive machinery to a point where it threatens to get out of control.

The development of National and State parks to lure youth away from the neurotic influences of city life into the beautiful out-of-doors seems to the writer to be one of the most promising indications of the times. It is almost unheard of that a true lover of nature is a vicious person. Nature soothes and rests tired nerves. It is a refuge to fall back upon in time of stress and strain. Emerson said that beauty is a necessity and so it is as far as the higher life is concerned. Let us cultivate a love of the outdoors in the hearts of our boys; it will pay rich dividends. If we carry on faithfully today, the coming generation will carry on faithfully tomorrow.

The work in the interest of crippled children is steadily progressing. The movement has vast economic as well as spiritual value. Thousands of children who otherwise would have become charges upon their communities have been helped to become happy, independent, self-sustaining, self-respecting members of the social system. Rotary clubs in some cities also have vocational guidance committees through which rehabilitated children find suitable

OF TOMORROW 235

employment. The humanitarian appeal to individual Rotarians has been remarkable.

In keeping with the spirit of Resolution thirty-four, heretofore referred to, the crippled children work is not monopolized by Rotary. All other agencies interested in it and willing to lend it support are invited to participate. Rotary provided the initiative and much of the capital in the beginning and divided responsibility with others as rapidly as was consistent with orderly progress. It may in truth be said that the International Society for Crippled Children grew out of Rotary. It is a great humanitarian achievement of which we may well be proud, and it should be of interest to those inquiring as to whether or not Rotary is worth while.

At its tenth annual convention, held in Cleveland, the International Society for Crippled Children adopted a resolution entitled, "The Crippled Child" s Bill of Rights," the closing paragraph reading as follows: "In brief, not only for its own sake, but for the benefit of society as a whole, every crippled child has the right to the best body which modern science can help it to secure; the best mind which modern education can provide; the best training which modern vocational guidance can give; the best position in life which its physical condition will permit, and the best opportunity for spiritual development which its environment affords."

The International Society for Crippled Children has brought about two gatherings in Europe for the exchange of ideas and for the advancement and coordination of the work for handicapped children. At the second, nineteen nations were represented. The progress in North America and in Europe justifies the belief that the time will come

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when there will be no such thing as a crippled child, except in cases beyond surgical remedy.


From the ranks of the young folks who have been beneficiaries of Rotary" s ministrations, many civic leaders will be recruited in the days to come.

The extraordinary progress of Rotary has, most naturally, necessitated the expenditure of large sums of money, but the financial policy has always been conservative and sound. There has always been a substantial surplus in the treasury available for all emergencies which can be foreseen by prudent and far-sighted men.

Though the annual budget seems large, it is nothing as compared with what it would necessarily be were it not for the fact that much of the Rotary service is entirely gratuitous. Thousands of Rotarians throughout the world are giving their best efforts in the interest of the movement without any compensation other than the satisfaction they find in the work itself.

But a sound fiscal policy is not the only means adopted to make certain the uninterrupted flow of Rotary service. For many years, Past President Arch C. Klumph ofCleveland has been devoting time and energy in organizing and financing the Rotary Foundation.

Two elements are essential to important achievement:  first, vision, without which there can be no beginning; second, determination without which there can be no successful end. He who would launch a great movement must be prepared to walk alone during many weary discouraging days. Great movements are the result of devoted, self-sacrificing, individual effort. Leadership is not vested in regiments or platoons; leadership is individual. The writer long ago became aware of the fact that Arch

OF TOMORROW 237

was struggling under his heavy burden, but he knew Arch and he has always been firm in the belief that his persistence would eventually be rewarded, that it would not always be necessary for him to walk alone. Long after Arch" s journey is ended other men will be following the trail he has been blazing throughout the years. Results thus far obtained justify the belief that the Rotary Foundation will eventually take rank as one of the important humanitarian enterprises due to the vision and determination of one devoted member. With justifiable confidence Rotarians look forward to the morrow.

 

Please see the History of The Rotary Foundation

 

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Chapter XVI

For a Neighborly World

Page 241

 

"He drew a circle that shut me out" Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!"
"EDWIN MARKHAM.

 

The melting-pot is still boiling furiously in Chicago and patriotic citizens are still hastening to cast wholesome ingredients into the pot, in full faith that the final product will be delectable. If the city of Chicago, U.S.A. was not a suitable place for the birth of Rotary, the fact is a reproach to Americans, and to Chicagoans, in particular, be cause no country has had better opportunity to experiment in fusing diverse and discordant elements into homogeneity than America, and no American city has had so many serious social problems to solve as the windy city of the lakes, the hottest of all hot-spots in America, socio logically speaking.
The movement, which a few brief years ago was con tent with its part in welding together a small group of men of diverse political parties and religious faiths, has outgrown its swaddling clothes. Its successes thus far achieved give rise to expectation of great influence in the years to come. If Rotary continues to make progress

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materially and spiritually during the next quarter century as it has since its inception, it may safely be said that it will become one of the most potential influences in favor of international amity.

It is true, however, that eternal vigilance will be necessary to the realization of what is believed to be Rotary" s high destiny. Many movements have failed in the attainment of their purposes because of complacency. It is to be hoped that Rotary will never become complacent; there is too much serious work at hand. There is much for Rotarian newspaper men, publishers, educators, lecturers, preachers, authors, playwrights, theatrical producers, lawyers, and business men in general of all nations yet to do. Flames which have been fanned by unnumbered generations are not easily extinguished. Red is the most discernible color on the horizon at present, but generations as yet unborn presumably are still to live here, and there is room for hope that they at least, will not be color-blind.

One of the parasites to be exterminated is the "laissez- faire" more popularly known as the "Let George do it" parasite. It manifests its presence in Rotary and in fact, everywhere. In churches, many members render their most valiant service in their pews where they serve consistently so long as the minister can be depended upon to have some thing impressive and "quite regular" to say. In Rotary, many render their most conspicuous service at the lunch eon table where they serve consistently so long as the meals and programs are up to par. As it requires a resourceful minister to exterminate the parasite "laissez-faire" afflicting has followers, it also requires a resourceful club president to exterminate the parasites afflicting his. Good addresses

FOR A NEIGHBORLY WORLD 243

are of much importance to insure good attendance, but they do not constitute the Alpha and Omega. There is still something to be done. It is up to the leaders to find the needs and to respond to them.

The resourceful leader will find a way to draw out as well as to fill in. In the final analysis, his success will depend more upon the former than upon the latter; it is more important to bring men out than to thrill them with eloquent words. There is a natural tendency to select finished speakers for presidents of Rotary clubs. The writer believes that ability to speak well need not necessarily be a handicap to a president, but that it frequently proves to be that if it predisposes him to depend too much on that faculty. Choosing between a poor speaker who is a real worker and who realizes that his opportunity is to be found in the development of men in service lines, and an eloquent president who thinks that his opportunity is to be found in thrilling members by inspirational messages, it seems to the writer there can be but one choice and that is the worker.

Most everything that needs to be said has been said, but much still remains to be done. To make the point emphatic, the greatest president of all time might even be one who never appears before his club in the capacity of presiding officer. He might be one who, like a general of an army, remains in the background planning, managing, directing, and assuming responsibility in the larger affairs. Such a president would develop many capable leaders in his own staff who in turn would develop men of lesser authority under their command, and so on down the line.

To the writer the movement has been an experimental laboratory wherein he has had a grand opportunity to

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study the reactions of men.. He has learned more than he has been able to teach. He has studied the mental processes of men and frequently found himself in the hopeless minority in his conclusions. It is not his policy to insist upon having his way, but to be patient, rather, and to await developments. By the pursuance of this policy he has frequently found it possible to avert misunderstanding; almost invariably doubts have eventually cleared up, and not infrequently it has been made manifest to him that his original conclusions were unsound.

Emil Ludwig states that he has never known an uninteresting person nor been bored by anyone; that he has always been able to learn something.

Rotarians have been greatly encouraged by the fact that their friends are not confined to the membership, nor to one nation. Men and women of all ranks and of all countries have repeatedly expressed their admiration of the movement and amazement at the rapidity and extent of its growth.

From the seats of the mighty throughout the world, come the following expressions which were compiled by Past President Klumph.

Theodore Roosevelt: "I thoroughly believe in the idea of meetings such as Rotary International are holding, just as much as I disbelieve in political cast-iron covenants and alliances. No alliance and no treaty will hold nations in amicable relationship where their interests diverge, and where they are out of touch with each other" s sentiments. On the other hand, no alliance is necessary between governments whose people understand and sympathize with each other. Contact between men such as compose Rotary

FOR A NEIGHBORLY WORLD 245

International will certainly contribute towards mutual understanding."

Woodrow Wilson: "The only cement which will hold the Nations of the world together in permanent peace will be the cement of friendship between the people " irrespective of their government officials."

The King of Siam: "It is a matter of gratification to see the rapid progress achieved by the Rotary movement and the strength it has acquired, and the support it receives wherever it spreads. You meet with a view of exciting thoughts and ideas so as to contribute further to the better understanding between peoples of many nations and creeds. It is the international character of the movement that helps materially to promote the general happiness of mankind."

Prince Iyesato Tokugawa, while president of the House of Peers of Japan: "It is a matter of profound gratification that most excellent work has been done by Rotary, ever since its inception, for the common good of humanity. Rotary truly deserves the congratulations it is now receiving from all parts of the world."

Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minister of Great Britain, in a message to a convention of Rotary International then convened at Vienna: "In times like these, a convention like yours is especially opportune. The disarmament conference will only succeed if all those participating can rely confidently on the whole-hearted backing of the peoples they represent, and in arousing public enthusiasm for the ideals after which the conference will strive. Who can do more useful work in discriminating true and just ideas than Rotary International, representing as it does. all classes of all nations?"

246 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

The late Albert, King of the Belgians and a Rotarian: "A lively and active civic spirit is the root of all good government. Rotarian principles are those that make good servants of the state and develop among members of a nation and of a society, true friendship " that great need of the world."

Benito Mussolini: "Rotary does good; it may continue its work and it will always have my approval."
The words of Mussolini are characteristically brief but they are to the point and their sincerity has frequently been made manifest. It is customary both for Mussolini and for the King of Italy to send messages of congratulation to newly elected governors of district 46 of Rotary International, which comprises all of Italy.

The late Senator Theodore E. Burton, from Ohio: "I believe in Rotary. You have the best organized piece of human machinery in existence throughout the world to day, to develop acquaintanceship, friendship, understanding, and good-will, leading to international peace."

A Briton said to an American that in his estimation the Rotary clubs had exercised a greater and more beneficial influence upon his country than any other movement which had originated in America. The American happened to be a Rotarian though the Briton was not aware of the fact.

A non-Rotarian British divine made the statement that the most significant development of the period was the rise of the Rotary clubs; and the president of Northwestern University (Chicago) described Rotary as one of the- world" s greatest achievements.

Sir Henry Y. Braddon said: "You and I have seen certain members expand under the influence of Rotary as

FOR A NEIGHBORLY WORLD 247

flowers expand in response to the rays of the sun. Rotary did not create a new spiritual form and breathe it into such men; it revived and encouraged the latent good qualities which were slowly atrophying for the lack of exercise. Rotary asks of members conscious and willing sacrifice of time and convenience to the end that this world may be"  come brighter, healthier, safer, and happier for those with whom we come in contact."

His Excellency, Sir John Asser, Governor of Bermuda, told the writer that Rotary had done more to encourage good-will in Bermuda than any other agency.

The Reverend W. Thompson Elliot, Vicar of Leeds, and past president of Rotary International-Association for Great Britain and Ireland, designated Rotary as an integrating force among the many forces of disintegration.

In a message of greeting to a district conference at Schenectady, New York, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said: "Thinking of Rotary, I visualize a series of concentric circles which, starting with the smallest and going to the largest, I denominate as the community, national, and international influence. In the center I see Rotary International as a generating force of incalculable value in creating civic and international consciousness. The healing spirit and uplifting influence of Rotary are sorely needed in the world today. Standing as it does for inherent honesty, fair dealing, orderly justice, and the rights and worth of the individual and the definite obligations of the individual to society and of society to the individual, I see Rotary in this ever world as a powerful stabilizing factor designed to secure common understanding and peaceful relations among men and among nations.

248 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

I speak for Rotary International a continuously increasing effectiveness and power."

Thomas Jefferson said that neighborliness was almost the most important circumstance in life. Rotarians believe in that doctrine so sincerely that they aspire to spread it around the world.

Friendliness and neighborliness are natural and will thrive if given a chance. To waste one" s opportunities to cultivate neighborliness and friendship is more foolish than to cast diamonds into the sea. Are you heavy-laden with cares of the day? A neighborly call at eventide will drive dull care away and start you out anew. The world needs more well-beaten pathways from door to door and, incidentally, neighborly pathways should lead to back doors, not front doors. In the days of our fathers, folks just "dropped in." It is much better to "drop in" than to "call" and may we never forget the "extra plate"; it is a harbinger of goodwill. A neighborly visit is the best tonic that" s known " better than beef, iron and wine. Try it, I beseech you.

There is a path from "Comely Bank" to the home of Silvester, the first man to whom was breathed the first word of Rotary. It is a well worn path winding through the oak wood made fragrant in the spring by countless blossoms, and radiant in autumn by blazing sumac. The wood is full of melody in the warmer months, and redbirds and a few other feathered friends stay the year round.

This particular path has been showing the imprint of Schiele and Harris boots and shoes more than twenty years now. An experienced observer might have discovered that some of the shoes were down-in-the-heels at times. When
 

FOR A NEIGHBORLY WORLD 249

the Schieles and the Harrises run back and forth, they go as they are. Their visits are not dress parties.
Silvester took to himself a wife who could never out"  wear her welcome anywhere were she to try ever so hard. Jessie is a distinguished personage in her own right; President of the Illinois Board of Baptist Missions; President of the Women" s Department of the Chicago Federation of

250 THIS ROTARIAN AGE
Churches; and twice President of the Women of Rotary. She is of Scotch extraction and Jean considers Scotch ex traction second only to being out-and-out Scotch.

Silvester and the writer have been stumping along together for thirty-eight years, now. He is my long time friend.
The writer knows a man who during the period of so"  called prosperity lived within himself. No one was permitted to disturb him in his sanctum sanctorum. His house was his castle in very truth. Had he lived in feudal days, he would have surrounded his castle with a moat. The drawbridge would have been kept up and the portcullis down. None could have gained admittance except in the sacred name of business.

A business crash came and with it crashed the castle. His business partner took his own life. But not so he " in his veins flowed stronger blood. He took inventory of his assets. Among many which had become worthless, were some which were of astounding value. They had been overlooked, almost forgotten, in the days of so-called prosperity. In former days of adversity, they had been prized. This man of iron dug them out and now nothing on earth could ever replace them again. They are beyond price. Take a look at the list: neighborliness, friendliness, sympathy, love. Place them against whatever else you will " stocks, bonds, or what-not. This man of iron lost his castle, but he found a home.

Emerson in his delightful essay on friendship, said:

"The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed: there is no winter and no night; all tragedies, all ennuis vanish " all duties even; nothing fills the proceeding eternity but the forms all radiant of beloved per sons."

FOR A NEIGHBORLY WORLD 251

Elbert Hubbard held that friendly intercourse was as essential as food and drink. Certainly this would be a dreary world without it. One can stand poverty and even ill-health, in fact, almost any form of vicissitude, but he who is friendless, has little to live for.

Conversation is not always essential to friendly inter course. Carlyle loved to spend long winter evenings in the silent companionship of a friend. They sat and smoked together. Are there any who have never experienced the joy of silent communion with a friend? One doesn" t need to chatter like a magpie while in the companionship of a friend.

Rotary craves no greater distinction than that of being enrolled among the forces devoting themselves to the shaping of a tradition of individual, national, and international neighborliness, kindliness, friendliness and helpfulness. Civic, national, and international behavior must be immeasurably improved.

The Duke of Kent, youngest son of the King of England, who is Patron of Rotary in the British Isles, during the course of an address which he delivered at a recent conference of Rotary clubs in Folkestone, England, said:  "We are living in difficult times. We all know it, and if we do not, there are plenty of people and facts to tell us so. If in the face of the world crisis, we can still succeed in holding aloft the sign of cordiality and cooperation between business men of all nations, we may have confidence that in years to come it will seem well worth while to have done it. Confidence is a thing the world requires today, and I hope we are displaying it; confidence in the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace " there is no nobler sentiment or nobler task."

252 THIS ROTARIAN AGE
 
The progress of man is painfully slow. In tracing through the ages what he terms "The Rise of Man," Doctor James Henry Breasted records the transition from savagery to civilization; the first defeat of materialism; the dawn of conscience; the discovery of character; and the emergence of social idealism, as having taken place approximately two thousand years before the birth of Christ. But the process of development of social idealism continues. From the period of its inception to the present day, it has never ceased. Cataclysmic outbursts have periodically threatened civilization" s collapse; but in the course of centuries unmistakable progress is manifest. The rule of one generation becomes the exception of the next, and ultimately fades entirely away in the light of clearer concepts and brighter promise.

 

"And step by step, since time began, I see the steady gain of man."
"Whittier.

Dr. Edward S. Ames, head of the department of philosophy of the University of Chicago, predicts that all students of the university will soon be required to have a world outlook and to be able to make comprehensive surveys of the biological and social sciences and the humanities. Dr. Ames states that a goodly number of the undergraduates are already able; that, in fact, they have already done it.

In view of the unprecedented progress in aeronautics and other mechanical devices for the acceleration of speed in intercommunication, it is manifest that it is necessary

FOR A NEIGHBORLY WORLD 253

for institutions of learning also to expand their views, and it is gratifying to know that they are doing it. The world is really becoming comprehensible.

Thirty years have passed since the first small gathering in the name of Rotary. Within that period the Walter Drummond blue spruce tree which stands in my garden of friendship, bowing gracefully in gentle breezes to friendly visitors from distant countries, has gained appreciably in stature, but the twin oaks looking condescendingly down on all ephemeral things, are as they were.

Within that period, the green level of the cemetery lawn has been frequently broken, leaving mounds sacred to the memory of friends passed on.

Within that period, children have passed through the various stages from infancy to manhood and womanhood. Sons have begun their business careers; daughters have married, and now have families of their own; but to Mother and Dad the happiest days of all their lives, the days when childish laughter rang throughout the house, seem but yesterday. Thirty years is nothing to undying love.

Those who have Rotary" s interests at heart, trust that we may always continue to view it and its children, the other so-called service clubs, as contributions merely to social progress within our chosen sphere; that we may view ourselves and our work in proper perspective; that we may never become complacent; that we may stand ready to face adversity or prosperity, war or peace; that our thoughts may never become crystallized; that we may ever continue to grow. This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.

254 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

Time and tide wait for no man; but time is of relative, not absolute importance. Determined men take time by the forelock and make it do. their bidding. In thirty years earnest men have flung Rotary around the world and into the nerve centers of eighty nations.

Have Rotary ideals any perceptible effect? That is the question. It is difficult to visualize the growth of the spirit of a generation. Could we, like Rip Van Winkle, have gone to sleep in one generation and wakened in another, we might see the changes more clearly.

Why did Rotary come into being in the year of our Lord 1905? Social movements, like individuals, are subject to the laws of heredity and environment. Rotary inherited the growing spirit of tolerance and the "I WILL" spirit of Chicago, the incorporeal hereditaments of many generations. No president or officer of Rotary International, no district governor, no club president has failed to leave his imprint, and as the individual member is in turn the product of heredity as well as environment, it is necessary to look far back into history to find the Why of the rise of Rotary in Chicago in 1905.

It is safe to say that its tap-roots were deeply embedded in the civilization of the period and that the forces which made the movement possible had been in accumulation for centuries.

The freedom and the friendliness of the West is proverbial. The West is not given to cherishing ancient animosities. Wounds, even though they may be ever so deep, have a way of quickly healing. When General Robert E. Lee, commander-in-chief of the Confederate forces tendered his sword in token of surrender to General Grant, commander-in-chief of the Federal forces, at the close of

FOR A NEIGHBORLY WORLD 255

 

the Civil War in the United States, the latter said to General Lee that he had demonstrated himself to be too brave a soldier to be deprived of his sword and he bade him to return it to his scabbard. Today, there is no music which receives such enthusiastic applause in the northern part of the United States as "Dixie," the Confederate War Song. This is the kind of spirit which must find expression in all peace terms if they are to be enduring; it is the kind of spirit which we trust will always be the controlling spirit of Rotary.

 

The West is the offspring of the East; the New World, the offspring of the Old. New England, long before the birth of Rotary, threw off the intolerance and bigotry which characterized its earlier days and became the Cradle of American Liberty.

 

Like Platonic philosophy, Rotary concerns itself with the here and now. February 23, 1905 was the psycho logical day; Chicago, where the forces of righteousness were waging the fiercest battle against unrighteousness, where the social maelstrom was seething white, was a very suitable place for the birth of Rotary.

 

Rotary is still in its infancy. Thirty years is a long time in the life of an individual, but a brief time in the life of a social movement. We are still in our experimental stage; still fathoming new depths, exploring new fields. Perhaps we have not yet found ourselves, our great opportunity; but we are not discouraged. We shall press persistently on.

 

Long before the birth of Rotary, in the year of our Lord 1905, long before the beginning of the period characterized "This Rotarian Age," Rotary had been in the making. For centuries increased enlightenment had been revealing cosmos in the midst of chaos. Shivering twilight had been

256 THIS ROTARIAN AGE

 

giving way to break of day. Superstition had been surrendering power to understanding.

He in whose bosom first dwelt the spirit of good-will toward all men had been called home eons ago. Immortals who, in the name of religion had preached the brotherhood of man had come to untimely ends far in the distant past. The bard who sang,

 

 

"That man to man the world o" er
Shall brothers be for a"  that,"

had left his imprint upon time and had passed to his reward. The indomitable Pilgrim fathers, fighting for their faith, had made their contributions, as had also less rigorous and more tolerant generations which followed.

 

In 1905 the forces contending for physical and social hygiene in the city of Chicago were making a courageous and determined fight against filth, drunkenness and corruption. Chicago was emerging. Business was beginning to have class consciousness, and to suspect that it might possibly not be kin to brigandage. Even the public in general was awakening to a sense of civic pride, the forerunner of community service.

 

Rotary must ever be grateful for its birthright. Without it, success would have been inconceivable. With it, all things were possible.

 

Rotarians are indebted to the public for its manifest sympathy and for the consideration it has shown in forming judgments. Words of condemnation have been few; words of commendation, many. If possession of the spirit of Rotary were the only qualification requisite to member ship, our numbers would be increased a thousand fold. There is, fortunately, no copyright on the spirit of Rotary.

 

FOR A NEIGHBORLY WORLD 257

When this book emerges from the printer" s hands, the writer and his lassie will in all probability be sailing summer seas, as they were last year. From far below the equator, we extend our greetings, to the comparatively small body of Rotarians and to that inestimably larger number, who are Rotarians in spirit only.

 

May Rotarians continue to be ambassadors of good-will to high and low, rich and poor, to all races, to the devotees of all religious faiths and to members of all political parties, purveyors of tolerance, forbearance, justice, kindliness, neighborliness and friendliness to the inhabitants of this snug little world, the best little world of which we know.

 

Far back through the centuries, back to the man in whose bosom first dwelt the spirit of good-will toward all men, to Him who died for the love of men, and to the bard of Ayr who saw all so clearly, are echoed the words of Edmund Hamilton Sears:

 

"For lo, the days are hastening on,
By prophets, bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years,
Comes around the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth,
Its ancient splendor fling,
And the whole world send back the song
"˜Which now the angels sing."

 

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