PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - Laine Kohama, President 2015-2016
Aloha Rotary E-Club members and fellow Rotarians!
Last month, our club was blessed to work with the Downtown Honolulu Club and the Honolulu Sunset Club feeding the homeless at the River of Life Mission again. We really enjoyed giving back to the community, seeing old friends, and making new ones too.
Our newest member Tippi (who wasn’t a member at the time), volunteered and brought 3 folks with her. Her other half Eddie let me know that it was his first service project, and he had a great time. He is interested in doing another service project in the future. Also, Annette came along with Tippi. She is a nanny, and volunteers at the River of Life mission with her church several times during the month. Lastly, there was another gentleman who came too, and he was awesome (I’m sorry I forgot your name).
From the Downtown Honolulu Club we had Judy and Bill. They were so wonderful to help us on our project, and they really appreciate us always supporting them. Judy's shoe broke before the project, but she toughed it out, taped her shoe, and came down. What a trooper. Lastly, Dawn from the Honoluu Sunset club came by, and helped too. We all got the chocolate tour and had fun tasting some new stuff chocolatier Ana is cooking up.
Overall we all had a great time, and hope to do this as a group again in the future. This weekend Ray, his wonderful wife Carol, Capsun, his lovely wife Linh, and Nalani helped at the Taste of Kauai, which turned out to be a fundraiser for her club. I’ll be sure to report back next week. We all had a great time and a BIG MAHALO to Ray for getting this fundraiser for our club, and for he and his wife on letting us stay with them. In addition, another BIG MAHALO to Nalani, Capsun, and Linh for coming and supporting our club. You guys are the BEST!
This week is our District Conference, and I hope to see you folks there. Don’t forget our board meeting next week on June 15th. We will be inducting our two newest members, and I invite you all to come. Also, we have set the date to watch Kama play on June 17th at the Ilikai. I hope you all can make it. Lastly, we’ll be having our President induction ceremony on June 18th. I hope to see you all there. Mahalo to Capsun and Rory from the East Honolulu Club for working so hard on the event. I would like to leave you with a quote, “Do not be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Speaker: Altruism - Individual Serving
By: Carol Hart Metzler; From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian
The sun rises on a new school day. In rural Ganguli, India, 450 students climb aboard school buses. Five years ago they couldn’t have gone to school because the distance from their village was too far to walk.
In San Agustín, Ecuador, students used to attend classes in the town morgue when it rained, because their school had no roof. Since 2012, hundreds of children there have learned to read and write in a real classroom.
Quietly orchestrating these and other projects was Vasanth Prabhu, a member of the Rotary Club of Central Chester County (Lionville), Pa. When he was growing up in India, education was not free, and he saw how hard his father worked to pay for schooling for eight children. Understanding how school can change a person’s life keeps Prabhu working to provide education to those with no access to it, he says.
“I feel that everyone is a diamond in the rough,” he says. “But it must be cut and polished to show its brilliance.” So instead of spending his money on luxuries, he is using it to bring out that brilliance.
There are three ways we can deal with enormous problems and our emotional responses to them. We can let them overcome us until we feel too paralyzed to act. We can bury our heads in the sand. Or we can act. And when we help others, we often find that we benefit as well.
“Taking action allows me to exercise passion,” Prabhu says, “to give it a good place to go.”
James Doty, director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, wrote Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart. “We’re adapted to recognize suffering and pain; for us to respond is hard-wired into our brain’s pleasure centers,” says Doty. “We receive oxytocin or dopamine bursts that result in increased blood flow to our reward centers. In short, we feel good when we help.”
Caring for others brings other benefits, too. “When we engage in activities that help, it also results in lowering our blood pressure and heart rate,” he notes. Research shows that it can help us live longer. And the good deeds we do can inspire others.
On the flip side, Doty says, “People can create mistrust or fear by implying that another group is threatening our safety. When that happens, fear or anxiety makes us want to withdraw into our own group and not care for others. Hormones are released that are detrimental to long-term health. But generally speaking, most people will be kind and compassionate to other people.”
For years, Peggy Callahan has told stories that are hard to hear. A documentary producer covering social justice issues, she’s also a co-founder of two nonprofits working to help people who are enslaved or caught in human trafficking. But perhaps paradoxically, her difficult work brings her happiness, and, thanks to neuroscience research, she understands why. “When you do an act of good, you get a neurotransmitter ‘drop’ in your brain that makes you happy,” she says. And there’s a multiplier effect: “Someone who witnesses that act also experiences that, and remembering that act makes it happen all over again.” She wondered how she could leverage that.
The result was Anonymous Good, a virtual community and website where people post stories or photos of acts of kindness they’ve carried out, observed, or received. For each act posted, website sponsors make a donation to feed the hungry, free people who are enslaved, plant a tree for cleaner air, or dig a well for clean water.
“One act of good is much more than simply one act of good,” says Callahan. “It’s part of a much bigger force.”
Like Prabhu and Callahan, P.J. Maddox – a member of the Rotary Club of Dunn Loring-Merrifield, Va. – has felt the joy of tackling issues that seem too big to face. Rotary projects she has supported include funding a nurse-led clinic in war-ravaged rural Nicaragua. She has also mentored and made a Youth Exchange trip possible for a student otherwise unable to participate because of hardships at home.
“Some problems are so complicated and huge, it could be easy to say, ‘Why bother?’” Maddox says. “But in addition to Rotary’s power of collective talents to make something happen, I realized that the outcome of these projects wouldn’t have been what they were if I wasn’t there. I realized that a single human being can change the world.”
As the sun sets around the globe – as students in India head back home on the school bus, as pupils in Ecuador close their books for the day, and as people in many places are well-fed, free, and happy – the world looks a little different. Because one individual extended a hand, there are people newly ready to change the world tomorrow.
Carol Hart Metzker is the author of Facing the Monster: How One Person Can Fight Child Slavery and a member of the E-Club of One World D5240.
Rotary E-Club of Hawaii
E-Club Meet Up at Cinnamon's
Date: June 17th
Time: 6 - 8 pm
Where: 'Ilikai hotel
Parking: Cinnamon's at the 'Ilikai will validate your valet parking if you dine with them or free public parking and metered parking is available by the harbor.
You may BYOB or purchase a limited selection of alcoholic beverages at Cinnamon's at the 'Ilikai which will be sold in a plastic cup to be consumed on the 'Ilikai property.
You can purchase food at Cinnamon's at the 'Ilikai and dine in or place take out orders. You may also purchase a selection of cold food at the small store in the hotel. You may also bring your own food.
Here is a link to the dinner menu at Cinnamon's at the 'Ilikai.
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