By Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.
Rotary International has been around since 1905, doing good now at all corners of the globe. At some point of its development the organization adopted as its main motto, “Service Above Self,” coupled with the reminder that “He profits most who serves best.”
I’ve been proud to be member of a local Rotary club since 1977, where those principles are continually emphasized through tangible activities for the benefit of many. It should not take too long for you to grasp that you help yourself best when you aid others first, not the other way around!
Nevertheless, this ideal needs not be limited only to members of an organization where it is repeated and practiced. Every human can and should adopt this ideal in one’s daily operation. As Paul D. Moody had eloquently stressed, “The measure of a man is not in the number of his servants but in the number of people whom he serves.” Servant-leadership is a noble quality to manifest!
As individuals and as a nation we have been, and continue to be, a most favored people, especially in terms of material benefits. All the blessings that come to us should not be stored somewhere, to guarantee their availability whenever we desire them.
Many of the good things of life have an expiration date; several shall be corroded and will decay, becoming good for nothing after a while. Thus, we should never block those blessings by keeping them from flowing out of us to impact a large number of people in need. Good deeds have no expiration date for human need is ever present around the globe!
During prosperous times as well as in periods of difficulty, we always have enough to share with others so as to minimize their need and renew their hope for better things to come. In fact, during his successful life on earth, the late Sir John Marks Templeton recognized that “real success can never be achieved without the elements of usefulness, of service.”
As I’ve often stressed, the giver of any gift is never impoverished through the giving; on the contrary, such person becomes a real beneficiary of that gesture when it truly proceeds from the heart. Perhaps one reason why America never ceases to be blessed is a consequence of the generosity of its people in so many ways to so varied situations! Let us never lose this fervor!
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