What’s in it for me? Have we ever asked that question of ourselves as it relates to being in Rotary and a member of our Rotary club?
I have some observations as to why it is so important to us to be a part of our Rotary clubs.  Men and women have a natural desire to belong to a tribe. This desire to belong is so universal that it cuts across all cultures. We may not even be conscious or aware of this need. 
Among the benefits of belonging to a tribe-family, having friends, co-workers, community,  and Rotary are such things as having purpose, support and a way to fend off loneliness. 
Studies have shown that volunteering helps people feel more socially connected thus warding off loneliness and depression. Another study found that volunteering slows the cognitive decline associated with aging.

A survey by the health insurer, Cigna, in 2018 found that 54% of the people surveyed were lonely. In 2020, the same survey showed that 61% of the people were lonely. And this was before the “stay in place” order due to the pandemic. This is a disturbing trend.  Loneliness is really about being disconnected from others and the world.
Service to others is the antidote to loneliness. Service takes the focus off us and puts it on someone else. It reminds us that we have value to add and give to the world.
This is where Rotary comes in. Rotary opens opportunities to serve. To repair the world. To heal ourselves.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle once noted that the essence of life is: “to serve others and do good.” Doesn’t that sound like Rotary? 
By doing community service here at home and around the world we lead a more meaningful, purpose-driven life.
And, one of the hallmarks of being in a Rotary club is the fellowship we all enjoy and value.  In going to club Zoom meetings almost daily for the past month, I found these attributes in common throughout: The club members want to connect. Zoom is not their connection of choice, but it beats not seeing each other at all. There is a pent up longing to see each other in person. And when that happens: look out. 
There will be an unleashing of love and fellowship like we’ve never seen before. There is also a yearning to do community service. We understand that people are hurting everywhere and we can help.
The world needs Rotary now more than ever. Thank you for being an important part of our Rotary family. 
And, finally, congratulations to the first woman President of Rotary International (2022-2023), Jennifer Jones.  It's about time!