Michael F. Walstrom
Rotary: The Gold Standard
Gold has served mankind for millennia: as a currency, a store of value, and hedge against uncertainty. It has stood as a standard for good; we have a Golden Rule to teach social mores, and give gold medals or gold stars as signs of top achievement. Gold itself is a unique and remarkable element, impervious to corruption. It can be submerged in corrosive ocean waters for hundreds of years and will emerge entrancing and untarnished.
Today, gold is gone from our daily lives in all but as a symbol. It is no longer in our coins; it no longer backs our currency. Even that age-old “Golden Rule”, which asks us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, is uttered far less often than in days past.
And so, we have Rotary . . . the new gold.
When times are difficult for our community, when there is strife, disaster or disease, the hand of Rotary is there as that hedge against uncertainty. Rotarians are an army, more than one million strong, working to make the world a better place, one District or Global Grant at a time.
Rotary is a standard for good. In communities the world over Rotarians are know as good citizens. A Rotarian’s pin is a universal symbol that pronounces his or her intent, “Service Above Self” to all they should meet. We can be counted on, we can be trusted, and we are respected, because we have a purpose!
As President, my goal is to keep our club, like gold, unique and remarkable. We must remain impervious to corruption. This is the purpose of our Four Way Test, recited at each and every meeting. It has guided us for more than one hundred years, and must for one hundred more. That we will, even beneath the weight of the world itself, keep true to it, in all the things we think, say and do, ask ourselves: IS IT THE TRUTH, IS IT FAIR TO ALL CONCERNED, WILL IT BUILD GOODWILL AND BETTER FRIENDSHIPS, WILL IT BE BENEFICIAL TO ALL CONCERNED, thereby helping humanity to emerge always entrancing and untarnished.
As Rotarians we must be the new Gold Standard. May we all Be The Inspiration, and shine like Gold!
Michael F. Walstrom
President, The Rotary Club of Downtown Boca Raton