The warmth of fellowship is often experienced in Rotary through a small but memorable experience .I had my first taste of it soon after I joined the Rotary. The summer of 1984 was a seemingly endless nightmare for us, with my wife lying, virtually reborn, in a Bangalore hospital, after a gruesome road accident. I distinctly remember one sweet incident of those months – meeting a young Rotarian in a new Rotary Club in that city. His voice came across the telephone the next morning with a concern that touched us. “Any help I can organise for you, Raja? Medicines? I work in a pharma company. What about the blood transfusion you mentioned!” By the grace of God, we didn’t need any help, But the face of the young friend stands out as the only sweet recollection of that bitter summer in Bangalore.
I guess this concern for each other is the essence of fellowship. There is the story that when the Buddha saw a disciple in meditation oblivious of the suffering of another monk down with dysentery in the next room, he served the suffering monk and said to the disciple “Go away; you have not understood my teaching. Give up your meditation when you see another in distress”. Indeed such profound human concern would be a truer transcendental experience than any form of worship.
I have had the pleasure of seeing Rotary clubs where fellowship goes far beyond socialising and socialising far beyond the spirit fuelled by spirits. To them, as indeed to many service organizations, bonding evolves from a common concern for each individual in the organization. Members rush to someone in distress. This is a twenty four hour service , given spontaneously and with serene joy.
Many business organizations have rituals, legends, heroes and other motivational measures to forge a culture of cohesiveness. I guess, at the heart of it all, is the spirit of service, the respect for the human being regardless of his or her status, income or education.