One of the reasons I think many of us love living in Prescott is the fact that we have four seasons and last week, winter finally hit us in full force. We got about 2 feet of snow at our house.
That’s not unusual. We typically get one of these types of storms each year. The unusual thing was I didn’t get to experience it at the time. I was on the road as I have been most of this year. Last week was the President Elect Training Seminar in Los Angeles. This is a milestone marker in the Rotary calendar, not just for presidents but for governors too, where the incoming leaders begin to shape up plans and put together new teams for the coming year.
And transitions in leadership can be a time when conflicts arise. Disagreements about direction, speed of change, key roles, etc. can sometimes lead to tempers flaring and harsh words. But the only way to make progress is to go through these transitions and improve. It is one of the big positives that comes with one-year terms of office. Just like the changes in seasons, it forces us to take steps we might not normally take if we were continuously relaxing in the warmth of a summer afternoon.
As one of our areas of focus is peace and conflict resolution, we should begin with ourselves and our families, and then extend to our clubs. A good place to start is with some personal meditation and self-care.
Then clubs can be sure they are fun and welcoming, and the leaders should be on the lookout for trouble spots where a conflict could arise. These will inevitably be made worse if ignored, or they can be shut down before they flare up by simply giving members the ability to be seen and heard. Usually, the club bylaws hold the key to resolution if there is a serious disagreement.
Then we can be intentional about our efforts to promote peace with projects in our communities and in the world. Those efforts could take the form of a district or global grant or any type of club project. Remember, every act of service is an act of peace.
Most of you have heard me speak about the Peacebuilder Network of clubs in the district. Currently, the network is leading an effort to lobby the Arizona state government to pass a bill to erect a Rotary Peace Pole at the state capitol (SB 1513), which has bipartisan support. If you are of a mind, please help us by contacting your state representatives and asking them to support this effort.
Kevin Pitts
Rotary International District 5495 Governor