The Light of Rotary

There is a tradition at a local Rotary Club (the original Rotary Club of Vero Beach) wherein an award is presented each year at Christmas to the member who exhibited “Service Above Self” – someone who has clearly exhibited the true meaning of “giving” in the Club over the past year. The emphasis is mainly on personal volunteer efforts, with the focus on active involvement in a cause that helped local charities.

The recipient of the Light of Rotary Award receives well-deserved recognition for his or her contributions, including a prize in the form of an idiosyncratic lamp that has a very colorful history. Their name is engraved on this trophy, which also lists the other exemplary recipients before them. It is fitting that the award be a lamp, because the good deeds performed were truly meant to light-up the lives of those less fortunate in the community.

One of the expectations is for each recipient to leave a little of their personality with the lamp. It could be a surprise decoration hung from the shade, a flag or sticker affixed to the stem, or something else with special meaning. Such contributions have molded and transformed the lamp – as if to bring it to life as the perfect Rotarian.

Those most deserving of any humanitarian award are genuinely shocked when they find out they were selected as the recipient. Why? Because they had no expectation whatsoever about receiving it… their time and effort was truly for someone else’s benefit – and not their own.

Here’s the Point: ’Tis the season to give freely to others like never before – with no expectation of gratitude, but rather to just feel good about helping someone else.

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