Rotary is a world-wide organization of business and professional leaders, providing humanitarian service, encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations, and building goodwill and peace in the world. There are more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in about 200 countries, with more than 1.2 million members. The sun never sets on a Rotary meeting or service project! Rotary is a local service club, bringing together a community of civic minded citizens for fellowship and service. Membership is by vocational classification, with the expectation that Rotarians represent their business or profession in Rotary, and in turn represent Rotary and its principles among their colleagues.
The Object of Rotary
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
The Rotary Four-Way Test
One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, it has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It does not mandate any decision or action, but simply asks four questions: Of the things we think, say or do:
- FIRST: Is it the TRUTH?
- SECOND: Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- THIRD: Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- FOURTH: Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”