By: Mihail Kunitsin, RC “Novosibirsk-initiative
Translation by: Lyubozar Fratev RC Plovdiv-Puldin, Chairman of ICC „Bulgaria-Russia”
We worked as saviors the other day. Presidents of RC from Tomsk and Novosibirsk arrived to us and we over 6 hours tried to awaken the interest in their indifferent eyes.
The told us how „great” they were. What first class projects they have done. “When? – In 2008”. They are much more experienced then us. But they have gone through their peaks and seem very close to closing. The members of such clubs are fantastically interesting and bright people. And they find it boring in the clubs. What is going on?
At first the club loses its goals. There is no objective to make 15 projects for a year. Not even 3 projects. “We just do not find it interesting together”. There is no idea to be invited new people. It is not sure what kind of people will they turn to be? “We just do not find it interesting together”.
There is no objective and intention to be earned money and these to be used for projects. “Our time is too expensive to waste it for raising funds through charity. It is easier to win through what I can do best, and for the project I will pay from my wallet”. And then: “may be it is time for you to stop taking from us?” And more “We just do not find it interesting together”.
There is not a set target to get involved in Rotarian programs, to send our and receive foreign students on programs, to receive grants, to chose the person in the district committee. “we actualy do not need this, we just do not find it interesting together.”
And then an activist leaves the club. The activists are not interested when there is not movement. Yes, it was just perfect that we sat like that. Yes, we sat again just perfect. Yes, we sat perfect, just like the other week. “Listen, my friends, I just happen to have another meeting by this time, and I shall not come this week.” And that is the end. Like in a family when the two decide to live separately. People become used to living without one another and never come back together again. This particular Rotarian planed a meeting at the same time with the time of the club meeting by HIS OWN.
So, he leaves, he is not interested to sit. As if nothing has changed, and those who remained find it interesting together. Only the club is different. Another Activist shall never come here again. It is boring here. And the club gradually turns to a “sedianka”. We just sat sat.
Ted Trublad, one of the governors in our Alaska district, shall perfectly say for such a club: “Nice club, excellent people, great relations! It is not clear why it is Rotary?”
Rotary has two “kits”, two principles, that allow the organization to exist for more than 100 years. I am sure that these were found by a chance and thus was made the true Rotary:
In clubs, districts, zones – the management is changed everywhere. Thus they are prevented from turning to „idols”. Although you were a great leader, in spite of the successes of your club – you will be substituted. Without a throne and sophisticated bravado. You are among the equal ones. On the other side, if you were a poor president – the club will survive it. People will help. Just calm. Because on the 30th of June you will leave also. Without a throne and sophisticated bravado.
No one – Rotary International, or a district, or a governor – has the right to interfere with the internal affairs of the club. The club sets the rights. To accept or not someone as a member, to expel from the club, to determine the club policy, to determine the club activity – all this can be done by the club направи клубът. It may even die. Alone. By its will.
The rest may only give advice. To be bothered. To talk. To show their own example. To pet on the shoulder. But they can not impose themselves if the club does not want them.
Presidents of dying clubs do not realize what is going on. They go around with their eyes extinct, telling how united they used to be and how the world has changed in the last years. And they are truly outraged when you tell them that they killed their own clubs the very moment they decided that “they just do not find it interesting being together”.
We have set a rule in our club – you can be a president in our club for one term only. We shall close the club if a person who have already been a president claims for the position again. Because this is a diagnosis. This means that the club does not have new members. Or there are such but they are prevented from becoming presidents. What is the point in this case? What kind of a club is this?
Each new president think how to surpass the previous one. But there is a rule – our clubs makes no less than 12 projects per a year – which is mandatory for all presidents. This is an axiom. Otherwise – what is the point? Each of us in his life was a member of many associations, movements and other non-governmental organizations with average life duration of 2 years. And what is the point?
It is a pity that one of our clubs, at its last dying stage, is the club of our fathers. The club that gave the start of Rotary in Novosibirsk. A club in which it was impossible to be enrolled, it was necessary to be a candidate for a year and a half. When did they step on their way to the sunset? I believe that was the moment when they decided: “this is our club and we find it interesting to be together”.