Basseterre, St Kitts (14 January 2014): I count it a joy, a privilege and a pleasure to greet you all at the start of this New Year, 2014.
A New Year always affords us the opportunity to look back and to look forward. As we look back, we recognize that the past offers a marvellous record of what we have been able to accomplish in Rotary in general, in the Rotary Club of Liamuiga (RCL), among family members, and in the wider community of St. Kitts as a whole. But it is through our experience of the past, that we can trust and place our living hope in the future.
On the other hand, the present is usually a time of waiting for events to unfold; it is a time of being strengthened and informed through a series of multiple endeavours which in a high-tech age, such as ours, involves multi-tasking and very often instant mass communication. The present is lived in the ‘here and now’ and in this present scene, we can be made strong to endure. In fact the present is where we are now; waiting with much expectation for our next move which normally is intended to be an improvement on the past and an anticipation of the future.
In any case, the future is not ours to decide on essentially, though in our plans we can make preparation to safeguard our future (as much as we may) to make it brighter and more beautiful. Someone has said that the future is promised to no one – a thought believed and expressed to highlight the transient nature of life “with all its hopes and fears” as one hymn-writer has put it.
Certainly, if we believe ourselves to have been enriched both in the past and in the present by reason of education, personal development, training and experience, we can be confident about the future. This is our only guarantee in as much as the past influences the present and helps to direct the future. Indeed, we learn from the lessons of the past so that we do not repeat those same mistakes, neither in the present nor in the future.
Rotary should be seen as a way of life especially through the Four Way Test. It is a giant tool and a great medium for maintaining our freshness especially in the day to day business aspects of our lives. Our efforts at improving the lives of others through a variety of social programmes should be strengthened this year. Our sharing in the measures to provide care, fellowship and support for our families, must be given equal attention in 2014. May we never abandon this willingness to work with zeal for the welfare of all in our society.
A Happy New Year to every one!