THIS IS A BOOK largely about Rotarians and the “paths” they are traveling toward world peace. Rotarians have no monopoly on the paths to peace – nor would they say there are only seven. There are other paths to peace than those discussed within these pages, but Rotarians in the more than 50 years of existence of Rotary clubs have developed through discussion and action several concrete statements about, and approaches to, peace.


Rotarians – more than a half million of them – belong to Rotary clubs in more than 100 lands and, although each club is an autonomous body, they have what might be loosely termed a world-wide “understanding” about certain things. In convention assembled, Rotarians have agreed that specific words express what they generally believe. The board of directors, representing all Rotarians, also has taken concerted action about Rotary aims on peace – often on the recommendation of committees or other Rotarians.


Rotary’s one object has four parts, or avenues:
To encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in
particular, to encourage and foster:

  • First. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
  • Second. High ethical standards in business and profession; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  • Third. The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to his personal,

business, and community life;

  • Fourth. The advancement of international understanding, good will, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional men united in the ideal of service.

Paragraph four is called “the avenue of international service”, but paragraph one implements the genius of Rotary in international service. “The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service” pinpoints the essential – how? There, at the simple heart of Rotary, is the impulse that brought together Paul Harris and his friends in Chicago in 1905. Acquaintance is Rotary’s special gift for the advancement of understanding, good will, and peace – and the simple formula of Rotary’s success in overcoming the isolation of men from each other. Acquaintance relaxes tensions in business, creates the kindling spark of selfless contribution to the community, and becomes the basic solvent which Rotary offers for problems which separate and divide mankind.

Seven Paths to Peace - Paul Harris (E-book in PDF 8 1/2 x 11" format)

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