Weekly Newsletter | June 14, 2016

Our Indian exchange student, Nishka, will be finishing up her yearlong stay with us very shortly. While at the District Conference last month, Nishka participated in a speech contest with the theme, “Be a Gift to the World.” I can offer you no finer words than the text of her speech, which she gave permission to reprint. Her theme is kindness. Read, enjoy, and appreciate the wisdom of this young citizen of the world.
It is said that in order to really know someone, you must walk a mile in their shoes. By taking that metaphorical stroll, you can hopefully gain insight to that person’s past, his or her beliefs and ideas, and the reasons behind their personality. Why they are, what they are.
If I were given a chance to share something with the entire world; it would most definitely be the gift of kindness and understanding others. While we’re fighting off our inner demons and trying to find the perfect balance of life, we often forget that everyone is else is going through it too. Just like you’d rather keep wounds hidden than have them on display, you need to realise everyone else does the same. You can’t always be the prettiest or the smartest. Be can always be brave. And you can always be kind. And these are the things you SHOULD be. Because your qualities and principles matter more than just physical characteristics.
So do more. Be more. Venture out from physical and psychological boundaries just like we have done by coming on exchange by breaking stereotypes and being independent and responsible at such a young age, and coming out of the protective nest and taking a flight to a completely new environment. We as youth and the next generation need to be the change and as Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you need to see in the world.”
As we all know Rotary’s motto is ‘service before self’ and Rotarians have done several projects to uphold it and taken measures to help alleviate poverty and eradicate polio. They are able to do this since they have the resources to do so. But we as the youth and the ones providing the change might now have the same resources, so we can do something more humanitarian.. And the most important gift that we can give is of kindness, generosity, being more accepting and more open minded to other’s beliefs and lifestyles just like we are doing right on exchange.
This is wonderful opportunity and a great platform that Rotary has given us and 8,000 other exchange students across the globe to expand our horizons by adapting to a new culture and giving up on the game of superiority and just opening hearts for more. Everyone has different talents, some people are very creative and artistic, some have the aptitude for studying and some have natural athletic ability. But rather than being arrogant from these talents we should be compassionate. And more than just taking in what the world has to offer for us we should also try to give back to it thus making a real difference in society and in the world.
Many of us are always unsatisfied with what we have. We always tend to look for more, for more meaning in life, more wealth and happiness, more power and attention. Always see the greenery on the other side and being jealous with what others have. But we need to realise we get out of life what we put into it.
So if we just embrace our own talents and spread kindness and compassion we would be able to view the world in a different light and thus make it a better place. So the time is now to act on our abilities and spread peace and with our actions, acceptance to be who we are and who we can be. BE A GIFT TO THE WORLD.

This week’s meeting: Chemeketa Community College Updates.
Chemeketa President Julie Huckestein will share an update on the college: its programs and partnerships, recent initiatives to support students and the community and future plans. Executive Dean of Career and Technical Education, Johnny Mack will provide a tour of the college’s newest facility, Building 20 which houses the Machining, Drafting and Engineering programs.
The meeting will be in Building 20…the college’s newest Applied Tech building on the Northeast side of the Lancaster campus. CCC will host the lunch and the cost is $15.
Chemeketa Community College, Building 20, 4000 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem
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