Valentine's Day and Rotary: Care in Common
Posted by Diana Martinelli
on Feb 15, 2016
THIS WEEK’S MEETING
WEEK BEGINNING: FEBRUARY 15, 2016
PRESIDING TODAY IS: DIANA MARTINELLI, PRESIDENT-ELECT
A Reflective Moment
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
A Light Moment
In keeping with our “did you know/trivia” theme of the last several weeks, below is some information about Valentine’s Day, from History.com, npr.org and List25.com:
- In addition to the U.S., Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Italy and Japan.
- The 19th century industrial revolution made mass-produced paper cards possible, and Hallmark sold its first such valentines in 1913. Today, 141 million Valentine’s Day cards are purchased annually (not including children’s multi-pack card sets), making it the second biggest card-giving holiday (behind Mother’s Day).
- In Victorian times, it was considered bad luck to sign Valentine’s cards.
- Red roses are said to represent love and are, therefore, perhaps the most common of all flowers given on Valentine’s Day. Did you know that Rotary has had a float in the Pasadena, California, Annual Tournament of Roses Parade since 1981? In 2015, more than 53 million people watched the parade, and 28 million were outside the U.S. (To help support this highly visible, but expensive, activity, go to http://www.rotaryfloat.org )
This week’s Program:
While people are celebrating Valentine’s Day to honor romantic love, they also use the holiday as an opportunity to recognize other types of love and affection: for family members, friends, co-workers, classmates and even pets! It is in that spirit that Rotary International conducts its work: through fellowship, collegiality, friendship and an unselfish love and concern for others.
To illustrate this point, consider the key objective of Rotary: the "ideal of service," and Rotary’s motto, “service above self.” Rotary literature often describes the following four types of service:
- club service,
- vocational service,
- community service and
- international service, which in addition to humanitarian efforts, such as Rotary’s campaign to eradicate polio, also includes efforts to enhance understanding, create goodwill and facilitate peace around the world.
Even Rotary’s code of ethics, the “4-way test,” reminds us to be gracious, generous and positive in our dealings with others—to enhance relationships with others rather than diminishing others or selfishly boosting ourselves.
February is the perfect time to remember these Rotary values, for the first Rotary meeting was held on February 23, 1905—nearly a decade before Hallmark’s first mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards. As discussed in one of our recent meeting’s videos, the first Rotary Club started in Chicago, Illinois, by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to perpetuate the friendliness of his small town upbringing through a professionally oriented group. The name "Rotary" was adopted to exemplify the early practice of rotating club meetings among its members’ respective business offices.
Merely 16 years later, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents, and the following year, in 1922, the organization added “International” to its name. In addition to expanding geographically, the group was also expanding its mission beyond that of a professional and social club to community support and service.
Today, Rotary International pays homage to its February founding by recognizing February as World Understanding Month, and February 23, as World Understanding and Peace Day.
After this year’s Valentine’s Day candy has been consumed, its flowers have wilted, and its romantic dinners linger as mere memories, Rotarians will continue to demonstrate their love and care of others through service above and support beyond self.
In researching today’s lesson, a number of Rotary facts were obtained from the Rotary Club of Pico Rivera, California’s web page “50 Things Every Rotarian Should Know about Rotary.” To access it, go to http://www.picoriverarotary.org/50ThingsEveryRotarianNeedsToKnow.html; it’s worth bookmarking!
Thank you for participating in this week's meeting!