Home' Rotary Down Under : July 2015 (International) Contents MESSAGES FROM HQ
| 4 | ISSUE 574 JULY 2015
The Future Vision Plan was
developed to remedy some
weaknesses in our Rotary
one of which was the
Foundation’s slowness in
handling applications for
Matching Grants. As a result,
the Future Vision Plan sought
to simplify the Foundation’s
programs, to give Rotarians
more voice and ownership in these
programs, and to reduce the time
required for the processing of
In 2010-11, the Future Vision Plan
started with 100 pilot
districts. The full launch
of the plan for all Rotary
districts was achieved in
2013-14 . Rotary uses a
three-year cycle for the
implementation and testing
of its new programs,
and as a result the first
of the full launch will occur
in the third year – which is this year!
A full and fair evaluation of the
Future Vision Plan, now referred to
as the new grants model, is the most
important task of the year for me
and the other trustees. I encourage
you to take advantage of the
various surveys and polls that will be
conducted in the next few months
to test the effectiveness of the new
Comments from Rotarians were
solicited earlier for consideration by a
committee of past presidents chaired
by Bill Boyd, and the comments
received were a good prelude to the
more formal part of the evaluation
process now underway.
Foundation Trustee Chair
We in Rotary aspire to do
great deeds. We admire
those who gave great gifts to
humanity: Abraham Lincoln,
who gave the gift of human
dignity to the downtrodden;
Mother Teresa, who gave
the gift of compassion to
the forgotten; Mahatma
Gandhi, who gave the gift
of peaceful change to the
oppressed. Their very lives became
gifts to the world.
We can be inspired by their example.
We can be inspired to ask, “How can
I become a gift to the world?” As I
considered my theme, I thought of
the lessons I have learned through my
Hindu faith. I thought especially of the
story of Sudama.
Sudama was a poor child and a
bosom friend of Krishna, who was
born in a royal lineage as an avatar
an incarnation of the divine. As the
two boys grow up they drift apart,
and while Krishna becomes a military
leader and king of great repute,
Sudama remains a humble villager.
The years go by and Sudama’s
poverty deepens. Finally, he lacks even
food to feed his children.
His wife reminds him of his
childhood friendship with
Krishna: Perhaps it is time
to go to the mighty ruler for
help. Reluctantly, Sudama
agrees, but resolves that he
will not go empty handed.
He gathers together a few
handfuls of rice – all the
food his family has left – and
wraps them in a piece of cloth as a gift
for his friend.
When Sudama enters the palace,
he is overwhelmed by the grandeur
and by Krishna’s gracious welcome.
His meagre gift seems a humiliating
reminder of his poverty. Krishna
embraces Sudama, who hides the
hand holding the rice behind his back.
Krishna asks what he is holding.
Far from being disdainful, Krishna
accepts the rice with gratitude and
consumes it with joy as the two sit
and talk together. Hours pass, during
which the pleasures of their rekindled
friendship push all thoughts of his
desperate plight from Sudama’s mind.
When evening falls, Sudama sets out
for home – and only then realises
that he has neglected his task. He is
returning with nothing, and Krishna
has eaten his family’s last grains of rice.
Sudama steels himself to return
to his hungry children. But standing
before his gate, as dawn begins to
break, he sees that the hut he left
yesterday has become a stately home,
and waiting to greet him is his own
family: well-dressed and well-fed by
the baskets of food that appeared in
their kitchen as Krishna ate each grain
of Sudama’s rice.
Krishna understood what Sudama
had brought him: everything he
had to give. In return, Krishna gave
him everything he needed. Just as
Sudama’s gift to Krishna became a
gift to Sudama, what we give through
Rotary becomes a gift to us. And we
all have a choice: whether to keep
our gifts to ourselves or give them to
others and Be a Gift to the World.
President, Rotary International
What we give through Rotary becomes a gift to us
A penny for your thoughts: about the Future Vision Plan
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