President Sean McMillan's Swan Song
Laraine Mestman - "Elder Abuse"
Al Osborne, Sr. Asst., Dean of Anderson School of Management
President Sean McMillan's Swan Song
IMPORTANT: June 27
Demotion of President Sean, Beach Club
THE FOUR WAY TEST at WVRC on June 4th
MIKE YOUSEM led the Pledge. LEO TSENG gave the Invocation. It was perhaps St.Francis of Assisi’s best known prayer. “Oh Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace! Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is discord, harmony. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sorrow, joy. Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is dying that we are born to Eternal Life.” That just about says it all good choice, LEO. LENNY squeezed in a song, and we enjoyed America.
Our Speaker was also our Visiting Rotarian Carol Shafer from LA 5. It’s always great to have GEORGE COX with us, accompanied by his daughter, Mary Beth Johnson. SUNNY of course was with LENNY. And there were two Special Guests. JOHN HEIDT brought Madison Goritsan, who is with J.P. Morgan Chase, in the loan business. TOM BARRON’S guest was John O’Keefe, and he was introduced by PP ERIC LOBERG.
The Head Table was introduced, with the usual invitation to speak their mind, free! PP STEVE SCHERER declined, pointing out that he has found such remarks to be counter-productive I think he meant they end up costing you a fine anyway. DAVID FRIEDMAN did make a specific business announcement Sarah Leonard Jewelers will feature a real BLOWOUT SALE on Friday, June 26th from 6 to 10 pm. All items will be reduced, in some cases by 70%! Of course some wag wondered if they would be marked up before the reduction, but that idea was considered a non-starter, apparently. In addition, there will be goodies served, so Save the Date!
PEGGY BLOOMFIELD broke her usual Head Table silence to point out that we will learn a lot from today’s Speaker, Carol Shafer. MARCIA BROUS reminded us of the Book Drive, which is now underway. The plan is to sell the collected books to a company that specializes in these events, with the money earned then being used to support literacy in Africa. This is a Yearling Project, and is certainly worthwhile so do look through your library, right away!
PP STEVE SCHERER called DAVID FRIEDMAN to the Podium. He not only announced that DAVID had served his penal time at the Yearlings Table, but after reciting that well known series of rhymes, he was now free to sit anywhere during meetings! The verse referred to was written by JOHN HOAG in July 1983 that’s awhile ago, but it’s a nice touch!
After a bit of Alphonse and Gaston act, ELLIOTT TURNER and PP ERIC LOBERG chose ERIC to provide today’s Inspirational Moment. It seems there was this old man, who needed to go to the hospital. The nuns took him in, and asked about his resources..Did he have insurance? “No”, he replied in a raspy voice. “Do you have any money?” Again, “No” still rasping. “Do you have any relatives?” The raspy voice, “My sister is a spinster nun”. The indignant nun quickly informs him that nuns are NOT spinsters they are married to the Lord. Last raspy reply, “So send the bill to my brother-in-law”. And it should be noted that ERIC is now l for 10, more or less, in not offending anyone with his story…
We made a little money, when ED JACKSON was found without his pin ten bucks, by golly! And we are sad to lose the following members by resignation: SAROSH MOTIVALA, TONY MARRONE, and WARREN DODSON. You guys are always welcome do come back to visit, please.
But not content with one story, President SEAN provided more Irish humor. It seems that Seamus O’Brian, who was born and bred in Limerick, had been hailed as the most intelligent Irishman for three years running. It was suggested by the Irish Mensa board that he should enter into the English Mastermind Championships which he did. On that evening, he sits down and makes himself comfortable. The lights dim and a spotlight shines on his face. Magnus, the emcee, proceeds: “Seamus, what subject are you taking?” Seamus responds, “Irish history”. “Very well, your first question in what year did the ‘Easter Rising’ take place?” “Pass”, says Seamus. “Okay, Who was the leader of the Easter Rising?” Seamus responds, “Pass”. “Well then,” says Magnus, “and this is your last chance. How long did the Easter Rising last?” Again, Seamus responds, “Pass” . Instantly a voice from the audience shouts out: “Good man, Seamus Don’t tell the English anything”.
PEGGY BLOOMFIELD introduced our Speaker, Carol Shafer who you will recall is a member of LA 5. She owns the Carol Shafer Jewelry store, where she is a personal fine jewelry consultant, and active in her South Bay community. Carol received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts School of Music, where she studied opera. She spent some time in musical theatre, while her husband went to Dental School (at UCLA). She is also a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America. Carol is married to her high school sweetheart, and their daughter, Heather, recently graduated from USC with honors. Her topic today is the Four-Way Test.
Carol began by pointing out that her intention was to give us a better understanding of the core values of Rotary. The Four-Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships?, and Will it be beneficial to all concerned? She began her involvement with the Test when the President of LA 5 asked four members to each take one chapter of a book he had on the subject, and report on it in depth. She was so impressed with the whole concept that it has become her passion to pass along the word. This has involved her visiting a number of Clubs, and she has found that many members really don’t have a clue about the Four-Way Test.
No more enduring statement of the principles of Rotary can be found than in the Four-Way Test. It is composed of only twenty four words, and they have major implications. She quoted Dr. William Hall of the Birmingham Club “The Four-Way Test is full of the Rotary ethic and the source of our distinctive lifestyle in business and civic endeavors.” Each of these tests asks a question, rather than delivering a commandment. The first test causes us to examine ourselves as human beings, and our ability to engage in honesty and integrity. All of life must be based on reality, rather than deception. We learn that the lie takes on a life of its own. When we no longer mean what we say, this inevitably leads to the collapse of trust.
Is it fair to all concerned? The magnitude of this problem is evident by the huge increase in fraud that is part of our daily life. The enormous greed that we find today has resulted in a serious erosion in public confidence. There is an increasing disregard for ethics in our world today. We see CEO’s failing to report their true incomes, and cheating stockholders. America has turned into a vast junkyard of greed, instead of companies who will pay any price to maintain their integrity. We are surrounded if you take the D off of devil, it spells evil!
There are several powerful antidotes to this corruption. First is education business schools in particular need to offer students courses in ethical practices we need campus forums on morality. The second bulwark is religion. It is up to ministers, rabbis and priests to teach biblical values. The third defense is politics. More and more, the modern media create representative figures who are not models of morality. And the fourth, of course, is Rotary. We were founded as a voluntary association. The Four-Way Test is the soul of our ethics.
Will it build goodwill and better friendships? In Rotary, this focuses on behavior, not status. Aristotle defined a friend as another self. We must unlock the door of friendship, and keep it unlocked. Friendship must be our common ground. The test of authentic friendship is whether or not it builds goodwill. Carol suggests that one of her great joys at a Rotary meeting is to sit back and watch friendship at work. To have a friend, you must be a friend.
The fourth test, Will it be beneficial to all concerned? The word beneficial comes from the Latin word for kindness it means to do, create, and enjoy that which is good. This test causes us to focus on examining a philosophy of life. Life is a set of relationships, an exchange of values with everyone we meet. There are only three components taking, keeping, and giving. First, does the world exist to bless me, or do I exist to bless the world? Do I live to see how much I can get from others, or do I live to see how much I can give to others? For those with a life of stewardship, they live to add value to every situation. They are determined to leave behind more than they receive, investing richly in the lives of others, and taking quiet satisfaction when their investment turns out well.
If we are successful enough to get into Rotary, then our lives should be successful enough to have a multiplier effect. We ought to have it said of us, we lived a value-added life. We are surrounded today by negatives, by greed and self-absorption. Half the value of being beneficial to all concerned is to cultivate a sensitivity to the deepest concerns of others. What is the deeper meaning of the Four-Way Test? Some live only for themselves, but this Test leads us to live for others. This Test causes us to live and give what is best. Do you know the Test by heart? Do you explain it to your children? Do you consistently apply it to every business decision? What a wonderful effect it could have if all the members of our 32,000 Rotary clubs worldwide could answer all these questions in the affirmative! Carol suggests she would like God to say to her, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”That’s a standard we could all aspire to.
And of course, Words of Wisdom:
When you are feeling bad, just remember out of 100,000 sperm, you were the fastest, OR Get a new car for your spouse; it’ll be a great trade.