Chris Wells on DOGOODERY | Rotary International Convention 2019

Chris Wells on DOGOODERY | Rotary International Convention 2019

right okay
hello my name is Chris Wells and I’m terrified right now
I mean hello my name is Christopher Wells founding past president of Market
Harborough Rotaract in the UK as well as the current DRR of District 1070 and I’m rather terrified right now this is easily in the top 5 scariest things I’ve ever done as you can see by
my chart this is next to skydiving meeting Barry Rassin and of course the
DARK but it’s been my dream to talk at
something like this actually wait right ladies and gentlemen we
interrupt my presentation to introduce the first of the call and response
sections of my speech today I’ve made special yellow slides to help us so you
can’t read it just follow my lead when I say woo you say ah woo woo ok
let’s flip it when I say are you say woo very good there’ll be a bit more of them
back to presentation mode it’s been my dream to talk at something like this to
stand in an impossibly large room and have loads of people say ah
when I say woo woo woo good going just testin so yes when mr. Rotary
International president b-dog bazzer the dangerous Rassin asked me to deliver a
keynote on the subject of fellowship in front of the largest gathering of Rotarians to say I was shocked would be an understatement
in fact I guess you could say I said.. AHHH I definitely didn’t say it like that
anyways a few months ago I was making that noise as I couldn’t quite work out
how to even begin such an endeavor so I did what most people do these days I ask
the internet and I just got a load of Lord of the Rings stuff so would be
internet failing me I went to the Internet of people I went to a Rotarian specifically Rotarian Jim Davis my introduction to this magical world of
DOGOODERY but first a small story from a market town in England let’s rush back
to 2015 when I look like this I was in a situation unfortunately quite common for
a lot of people in their 20s I was out of University and a job actually using
my media production degree in my hometown of Market Harborough but I was
feeling a bit lost it’s like on that railroad of life that track felt nearly
finished I was born then school now work next stop taxes and then death fortunately a colleague noticed that
angst and introduced me to a Rotarian my first Rotarian and you never forget your
first anyway I met Jim Davis and after
answering the first question everyone asks when they first meet a Rotarian
what is rotary actually do eventually we decided to form a Rotaract Club together
despite the fact I wasn’t really sure what one was and now I’m here the end
thank you no actually at the time in 2015
district 1070 only had about a dozen Rotaractors across three clubs in a
district that’s approximately 9,000 kilometers squared back in the 90s there
were thousands of Rotaractors in that district and now there were 12
unfortunately we’ve discovered that this was a fairly prevalent situation across
a lot but not all of the country in spite of this Market Harborough Rotaract was
born in November 2015 we started acquiring members by just
grabbing friends we started… beautiful…we were very
proud. to stuck it on the fridge and we started by just grabbing friends and
telling them you’re one of us now regardless of the fact we didn’t really
know what us was or what exactly we were doing but we met up anyway
and here’s our first picture together but then something magic happened we
started doing stuff lots of stuff tinned food collecting quizzes fundraisers
events other clubs started forming across the district growing a number with every
passing month we were doing good stuff for great causes and naturally we were
having fun doing it and that’s what I believe to be the core of everything
that the Rotary collective does something you see in every project and
person here putting more good into the world doing good or as I like to say DOGOODERY that’s right everybody it’s participation time once
again I’m going to count one two three and on three I want you to shout
DOGOODERY okay are you ready? good that sides ready are you ready are you ready
brilliant okay one two three well that was beautiful but it’s not
quite my dream yet one two three that was and we’re achieving far far
more despite the fact there are less of us because we’re working with Rotarians we’re on the same bike to the same
destination DOGOODERYTOWN we’re in constant communication and involving
each other because we’re moving towards the same DOGOODERY goals Side Story in Market Harborough we wanted to enhance our DOGOODERY with a proper service project something to help the community long term rather than
our usual fundraising I later found out a rotary you call that sustainability
anyways in our local Rotary Club just happened to be in contact with Different
Strokes. a charity supporting younger survivors of stroke. there wasn’t a local
support group in the area and it was suggested perhaps we could set one up. brilliant..BUT… how does one even start to set up a
support group? where do we find a room? how & who do we advertise to? what are
the health and safety risks like in a room full of chairs coffee and worst of
all biscuits? so we involved others and the answers to all of our non-googlable
questions came from Rotarians and now look at where we are our different strokes group has been
going on for just over a year now and is developing steadily and
beautifully so they’ve been some hiccups along the way DOGOODERY isn’t always
easy but the beauty of Rotary and Rotaract and Interact was that we all
learn together. we’re a team and we grow as one. just last Saturday we had a
meeting scheduled but almost all of the club involved is here having hamburgers
in Hamburg so who could cover us for the meeting to go on? Rotarians… DOGOODERY ACHIEVED plus it works both ways perhaps some Rotarians aren’t as familiar
with technology and want to use social media to advertise an event to open up
new doors of communication. or they’re just a bit “I don’t do technology” we all
know someone they’re only there was some tech savvy people nearby you can achieve and it’s that ability to work and
develop together that fellowship that can make all of this DOGOODERY bigger
than the sum of its parts where else could any of us meet the sheer variety
of people who want the same thing people of so many different ages and
backgrounds all coming together for that DOGOODERY that we all believe in I now
want to return to that time right before I met my first Rotarian in 2015 and
share the number-one scariest time in my life the idea of the railroad of
existence that apparent end of the train tracks was a particularly painful period
for me at the time I didn’t have many people to talk to about it either many
were still coming and going from university I felt alone and lost earlier
I called angst but it was beyond that it was depression all of the things you
hear about depression are true food lost its taste music its joy the world its
color and it’s really really really scary I felt like I was losing myself
and as I said before this is far too common for a lot of people in their
twenties I think it’s ironic in an age of near constant communication that
reports that even more widespread about people feeling isolated and that tricky
times like that it can be hard to find a reason to keep going or people to reach
out to now Rotary isn’t the cure for depression and people suffering from it
shouldn’t feel shy about seeking out medical and professional help
I did it can be so dangerous if left unattended but for me Rotaract truly
aided filling in some of those dark and empty spaces inside of me I was
fortunate. Market Harborough Rotaract happened and then DOGOODERY happened and now I’m here and while still terrified I know that I’m surrounded by
so many amazing people who only want good for everyone and if this is all a small story from a
market town in England imagine what we could achieve across the world there are
so many people waiting for something like Rotaract or Rotary to give their
lives direction to find that *fellowship* that will make all the difference
imagine if every member of the Rotary family Rotarian Rotaractor Interactor
alike combined for that single DOGOODERY purpose. imagined vastly vary
generations of people all working for one thing imagine the possibilities we
the people of action could achieve together so this year when I went to Jim
Davis, my first Rotarian, arms flailing about this speech what do I do what do I
do? it was because I knew he could and would help me and can you guess what he
advised me to talk about….? DOGOODERY!! okay one Tuesday
one two three one more… we’ll do it this way we’re
gonna start DOGOODERY here and we’re gonna end here okay
ready go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!DOGOODERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I think I did tell them Jim thank you very much SORRY IF THE SUBS AREN’T PERFECT I TRIED MY BEST BUT IT’S LATE AND I’M SLEEPY HAVE BEAUTIFUL DAY AND KEEP UP THE DOGOODERY

2 thoughts on “Chris Wells on DOGOODERY | Rotary International Convention 2019

  • Whenever you might come to our region (District 1930, the very southwest of Germany), give me a call and we will welcome you with open arms. Your presentation was amazing. This is how we should go on with Rotary, Rotaract and Interact.

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