Posted by Phoenix West Rotary "West Side Story"
In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs: that of friendship and fellowship. It is one of the reasons why Rotary began in 1905. The second original reason for Rotary's beginning is businessdevelopment. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross section of every business community. Its memberscome from all walks of life. Rotarians help each other and collectively help others.
The world’s first service club was founded on February 23, 1905 when lawyer Paul Harris and three friends met in a small office in downtown Chicago. These men wanted to rekindle in the turn-of-the-century city the spirit of friendliness they had known in their hometowns. How wise these men were. Today, we join Rotary for many different reasons, but it likely that one of the major reasons we “stay” in Rotary has to do with the friendships formed and fellowship developed over the years.
As I read an article in a recent issue of The AZ Republic “Never Forget Your Friends” by Harvey Mackay, a business man, author and syndicated columnist, I thought, surely he must also be talking about Rotary and the friends we make there. Do you agree?
Mackay began his article with a father advising his newlywed son, “Never forget your friends. They will become more important as you get older. Regardless of how much you love your family, you will always need friends. Remember to go out with them occasionally or keep in contact with them somehow." Although thinking it strange, the young man followed his father’s advice, kept in touch with old friends and made new friends along the way. He became more and more aware that his father was right—children grow up, become independent and begin their own families. Grandchildren are a blessing, but can't be expect to be at our beck and call. Your family will love you regardless of who you are or what you do, jobs/careers come and go, we can't do what we did physically when we were young, parents pass on, but we persevere. Colleagues forget the favors we did. The race to achieve slows. But true friends are always there, no matter how long or how many miles away they are. “Love your parents, take care of your family, but keep a group of good friends”, says Mackay.
Mackay refers to a study by Harvard University that tracked the physical and emotional health of 700 people. They followed these people and tested them (e.g., blood samples, brain scans) for 75 years. Here's the primary conclusion: "The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period,"said Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development. The analysis showed a 50 percent increased likelihood of survival for participants with stronger social relationships.
"Social relationships, or the relative lack thereof, constitute a major risk factor for health -- rivaling the effect of well-established health risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure, blood lipids, obesity and physical activity," stated the three authors of the study. “Good relationships will help you deal with life's minor annoyances and your most challenging problems. Without good relationships, you'll have a hard time finding customers, making a sale, securing a job, hiring the right employee and having great friends.”
Mackay likes to say, you must "Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty," the title of a networking book he wrote. He shares what he calls the most important line in that entire book: "If I had to name the single characteristic shared by all the truly successful people I've met over a lifetime, I'd say it is the ability to create and nurture a network of relationships." “You can take all my money! You can take all my factories! You can take all my land! But leave me my network of relationships, and I'll be back to where I was today in three to five short years,” he says.
Mackay goes on to say, “If you want one year of prosperity, you grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, you grow trees. But if you want 100 years of prosperity, you grow relationships. With the coronavirus tipping the world upside down, one thing will remain constant -- the relationships we develop over a lifetime. Relationships matter.”
Mackay's Moral: “In my entire career, I have never once heard a successful person say he or she regretted puttingtime and energy into working on their relationships.”
"Treasure your relationships, not your possessions." ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo