A couple of days ago, my Rotarian Magazine began a transatlantic journey across the room where my club holds its meeting. It was an exciting meeting with an engaging speaker or should I say an attentive audience? Often I have sat through meetings without a verbal contribution, save the occasional ‘hi’ and ‘smiles’. I just sit there enjoying the conversation and thinking ‘should I say something’ or ‘what do I say’. Then there are those moments when I actively participate in meetings, move across the room and get to meet the wonderful everyday people who are my Club members.
Our last meeting provided such an opportunity. One of our members, Emmanuel, is passionate about stamps so the August edition really fired him up. He took us on journey through National Stamps that have carried the Rotary Logo at any point. All you needed to do was make a contribution and you will be rewarded with the story of Rotary stamps in your country (Rotary eClub One membership is drawn from across the world). You also get to see a picture of such stamps. So I made my occasional contribution, was rewarded with Rotary stamps from Nigeria and Niger.
By participating, I learned about Emmanuel’s passion and the work he does with children who are interested in stamp collection. I also got a few tips on how to start collecting without spending 🙂 and my magazine began its journey across the room. That set me think about other members sitting across the room and my interactions with them. There is Dave, who devotes over 50% of his time to organizing RYLA programs and still manages to keep his job; Chris who happens to be the go-to person on matters relating to eClubs; Henry-never misses a meeting and lightens up the house; Carol our IPP, makes me feel I can (physically) see everyone in the room when she leads the meeting. There are so many other members with whom I have interacted with, just by crossing the room and others who I look forward to interacting with.
Being in a Rotary eClub is not rocket science, it is like being a member of any other Rotary club. Of course, there is the aspect of using technology to facilitate activities, extended meeting duration and the ease of maintaining membership requirement. Anytime, I login to the Club House I consider myself to have taken a seat in the room. My first action is usually to look around and see who else is in the room, sitting beside me or across the room. The added plus is that I can bring myself up to speed on the agenda without disrupting the meeting; decide what my contributions will be and make same at my convenience. Hmm, at my convenience is not always a good thing though, as sometimes another member will have stepped up with same ideas I had wanted to share.
Being in a Rotary eClub will not provide an escape from Rotary membership requirements, however it may make it easier for you to fulfill them.