We all know the story. Clark Kent finds his way to the North Pole where a mysterious green crystal shows him his destiny. It is at the North Pole where Clark finds out who he really is. He didn’t know it, but he has a mission on earth. He is about to become Superman, able to fly faster than a speeding bullet and, well, you know. Here is one version of the incredible revelation that awaits Clark at the North Pole.
For Rotary District Governors, apparently they don’t go to the North Pole to find out how to be the Super Hero they will ultimately become. Instead they go to….San Diego. That’s right. Five hundred DGE’s travel from more than 200 countries around the world to the International Assembly in order to do….something. I’m not sure yet. It apparently has nothing to do with green crystals, but apparently does have something to do with drinking copious amounts of Koolaid.
I have often written in this space of the superhuman abilities of District Governors. These super attributes only seem to last one magic year. But in that time DGs can make tough decisions, recruit new District Leaders, plan huge events called District Conferences, manage large budgets, settle any dispute, inspire multiple Rotary clubs, avoid making any mistakes, recruit, cajole, mediate, raise money, and be….well…..super! Did I mention that DGs can’t make mistakes? That’s what they tell me. And that’s what I’ve observed in my District. And that’s why I joined the District Leadership team. I’m tired of making mistakes and a trip to San Diego seems worth it to avoid them for a well-defined twelve-month period.
If you ask Past District Governors about going to the International Assembly in San Diego, a strange and unsettling transformation inevitably occurs. Without exception, the first thing they say is, “this will be a life changing event that is the best Rotary experience you will ever have.” This line is delivered while making direct eye contact and with a big smile on their face. However, once the “best experience ever” line is delivered, they begin to look at each other with a sort of amused expression on their faces. Soon thereafter they begin to have labored breathing and a flush comes over their face. With lowered voices they begin murmuring dark references to “they.”
For example, “if you aren’t in your seat on time, “they” will find you.” Or, “they” implant electronic homing devices in you so that “they” know where you are at every minute.” In training at three different Zone events and one Multi-District PETS I’ve spent more than five hours discussing the preparation for my Super Hero transformation in San Diego and “they” were mentioned dozens of times. I will let you know who “they” are as soon as I find out. I have to tell you, in my Rotary Club the Sergeant At Arms job is to make you laugh. I sure hope the SAR’s are nice to us in San Diego. Could they be “they”?
For me, my absolute Go-To reference for all information about Super Heroes, is the wonderful Pixar movie, The Incredibles. For example, there is a clear directive in the dress code for our San Diego trip (apparently you have to dress in business attire in order to properly transform to a Super Hero. Geez…even Clark Kent didn’t have to wear a tie) that DGE’s are clearly directed not to wear capes during their DGE term. Why? Here’s what happens to Super Heroes that wear capes:
I fully expect our training in San Diego to cover the DG dress code, which includes being ready to serve the public at all times by being perfectly dressed and looking like a Rotarian. Once again, I refer to the Incredibles for an example of what happens when a DG is not fully prepared for “service above self” without being properly attired:
I’ll admit to being a little nervous about meeting DGEs from 500 Rotary Districts and more than 200 countries around the world who are all there for the Rotary transformation that occurs under the watchful eye of “they.” While I’m enjoying the best Rotary experience of my life, I will make every effort to drink whatever kind of powdered sugar drinks are being served, and I will do whatever “they” tell me to do whenever “they” tell me to do it. I’m not sure about the electronic tracking devices, though.
I will be reporting back from the International Assembly with all the news fit to print. Right here, on the Ready, Fire, Aim Rotary blog.
“Drinking the Kool-Aid” is a figure of speech commonly used in the United States that refers to a person or group holding an unquestioned belief, argument, or philosophy without critical examination. It can also be used ironically or humorously to refer to accepting an idea or changing a preference due to popularity, peer pressure, or persuasion. – Wikipedia
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