Rotarians are guided by a set of unified values and philosophies based on the desire to share goodwill and volunteering actions to create solutions in our community at large.
Since it was founded in 1905, Rotary International has been one of the world’s leading non-governmental organizations (NGO) in the fight against disease, poverty and conflict. We do this by becoming involved at the local level—such as joining a local Rotary Club—and then choosing to follow a path where a Rotarian’s involvement contributes with his or her experience, skills and knowledge to the advancement of a variety of initiatives and programs.
Still, Rotarians from every corner of the world follow these important tenets of Rotary Life as our guiding principles:
- The Four Way Test: We use this simple ethical test test to determine if our thoughts, words and actions—or those of others—are worthy of our time and effort. Therefore, the Four Way Test asks of all the things with think, say or do:
- Is it the Truth?
- Is it Fair to ALL Concerned?
- Will it Build Goodwill or Better Friendships?
- Will it be Beneficial to ALL Concerned?
- The Object of Rotary: This is another core value, where Rotarians are encouraged to “foster the ideals of service as a basis of worthy enterprise” focusing on the following four objects:
- First Object: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. This is why we value Fellowship so much in Rotary, which allows us to get to know or fellow Rotarians on a personal level that fosters trust and respect.
- Second Object: 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 Object: The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
- Fourth Object: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
Each of these builds a foundation of Service Above Self, which in turn creates benefit for not just the local level, but across Rotary Districts, Zones and the global community. Rotary provides People of Action a vehicle to develop their leadership skills and good citizenship among like-minded individuals.