Paul Harris Founder of Rotary

A Friend of humanity

Paul Harris His Life and Message 17th June 2009

Paul Harris-His early life
‡ Born on April 19, 1868 in Racine near lake Michigan 60 miles north of Chicago. ‡ Father George and mother Cornelia. Four brothers and one sister. ‡ Parents were great spenders. He once said that his father¶s idea of budget was first incur the expenses and then try to find the means to pay. ‡ In 1871, he went to live with his grandparents at Wallingford, Vermont. ‡ His grandfather Howard taught Paul work ethic and the need for tolerance. Life is not measured by what you have but what you are.

Paul Harris- Education
‡ Paul Harris studied at Wallingford Grammar School but was average in studies and known more for mischief. ‡ He joined University of Vermont in 1886. two years he topped the class and again due to some wrong accusation got expelled from college. He was readmitted two years later. During this time he worked as an office boy at a salary of 1 dollar /day. ‡ To fulfill the dream of his grandfather he joined State university of Iowa to study law. He graduated in June 1891 (Gandhiji graduated the same month ). ‡ He got his Honorary Ph D in 1933 from University of Vermont but never used it.

Paul Harris ± Travel lust
‡ After hearing a motivational speech in his college, he decided to travel and understand the world. ‡ He worked as a news paper reporter in Los Angeles. ‡ He then moved and acted in a drama company. ‡ He worked as fruit picker, teacher, cowboy, night clerk in hotel, salesman for a marble company, crew member in a ship. ‡ While he travelled in the ship to Liverpool he learnt the rough ways of life and how people ill treated others. ‡ When people found it difficult to find a job in their own town, how he could land different jobs? ‡ He made it a point to dress well . He was willing to give his best to any job . He never wanted anything free.

Chicago beckons
‡ In 1896, he came to Chicago and said ³ I have not come here to make money but with the purpose of making a life´ ‡ Chicago in those days was totally dominated by crimes and frauds. Ethics was something unheard of. ‡ He found the big city barren and dull with no friend. In 1900, his meeting with a lawyer friend changed everything. The concept of club for friendship was born.

Paul Harris ±Marriage and family
‡ In 1910, Paul met Jean during a hiking where his coat got torn and Jean offered to help. They got married subsequently. ‡ They had no children and Paul claimed that Rotary is his daughter. ‡ At the age of 44, he suffered his first heart attack and continued his work with vigour. ‡ 27th Jan 1947 at the age of 78 Paul Harris passed away at South Chicago in his house. ‡ Jean passed away a year later in Edinburgh.

Paul Harris-Experiments
‡ Paul studied his experiments with several groups. (Churches, political parties, nightclubs to know how the groups work). ‡ In USA at that time only two types of clubs existed. 1. Place of origin oriented 2, Professional societies. ‡ Rotary was a revolution as it was open to all based on equality of people and only on one human value called friendship.

Principle of classification
‡ Classification:
± Vocations are the only things that can be asked to a Rotarian. ± What is your vocation? ± My vocation is marine engineering. ± No designations. ± No Dr Prof CA Just name.No pundit Shastri Ji Saab just name. ± In one stroke the equality has been created.

Rotary 1
‡ 4 members all belonging to different professions and religious beliefs. (Paul harris, Sylvester Schiele, Gus Loehr, Hiram Shorey.) ‡ Rotating meeting place ‡ attendance compulsory fine 50 c if absent. ‡ Chairman different for every meeting. ‡ members are reelected every year. ‡ No political/religious discussions allowed.

Message 1-Rotarian¶s Values
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Faith-Trust in positive side of life Hope- Optimism-Everything turns out OK Charity-Help the needy and the poor Fair Business-Do follow rules and ethics.

"Faith, hope, charity and clean business, these four and the greatest of these is clean business. Charity sometimes destroys initiative and demoralizes character; clean business never does. If business is clean, there will be much less need of charity because clean business means not only a fair deal to the buyer, but also a living wage to the employee. Rotary will continue to be charitable but it can do more than that; let it remove the cause of that which makes charity necessary

Message 2-Overcome Differences
‡ People divide based on language and religion. Paul Harris found that this ignorance does not go with education because it wins over intelligence. ‡ Knowledge does not help. ‡ It can be won only by friendship. ‡ He said Start with acquaintance then to understanding and then to friendship.

Message 3-Promoting Diversity
‡ Paul Harris said ³Rotary is not a product of my genius´ ³Nothing under the sun is new´. ‡ But quite a few things are new and revolutionary. ‡ All nations are respectable and they can choose to believe in any religion. ‡ All professions are respectable and every profession will be honoured by others. ‡ In a way, every club is supposed to reflect the diversity in the community and still work harmoniously. Homogenity is not the aim.

Message 4-Defining Rotary
‡ Rotary What it is and not what for it is.
± Look at others with more kindness. ± Tolerate the faults which others have. ± See the best in others ± Cultivate pleasant and helpful contacts . ± Capture and radiate the joy of life. ± Be natural Do not be formal it is ridiculous. ± Approach life as if you are a boy fun loving and forgiving not like an old man.

Message 5- The distant sense
‡ If Rotary has lost its meaning to you.
± Possibly you haven't the right perspective. You have worried yourself so much over the little unimportant things that you haven't even given yourself a momentary glimpse of the tout ensemble. ± Stand back, a few paces, for a moment, ± far enough away from the picture so that the details may assume their proper proportions and disclose their true relationship toward each other. ± It will profit you to get the distance sense.

What we Rotarians should do?
‡ Celebrate April 18th (birthday of Paul Harris as friendship day. ‡ Observe 27th January (the day Paul Harris passed away) as Tolerance day. ‡ Have one Director dedicated for Paul Harris ideals propagation. ‡ Give the books on Paul Harris free to all new members.

See you again in future

Paul Harris-An Author
‡ Founder of Rotary 1928
± More on the life of Paul Harris.

‡ The Rotarian Age 1935
± More a text book about Rotary and a must read for every Rotarian.

‡ My Road to Rotary completed in 1947

Quotes memorable
‡ A material Rotary would soon be dead Rotary. A Rotarian who seeks nothing in Rotary beyond the business he can get out of it is a dead Rotarian and sooner he can be buried the better the cause. (1919) ‡ Friendliness is not a lone star. Its sisters are kindliness, neigbourliness and cheerliness. (1934) ‡ In politics, importance is given to differences among men, In Rotary the approach is entirely different. Emphasis is placed on similarities among men.(1937) ‡ Is everything all right in Rotary? No, thank God everything is all wrong. (1945) There is probably no part of Rotary which cannot be improved. ‡ Have you got a plan to beautify your town? No then it is a pity. Every Rotarian must have a plan to beautify his town.

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