By D. G. Harvey Hanson, District 5550

June 11, 2011

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from D G Harvey Hanson’s closing remarks at the District 5550 Convention “Party in the Parkland”.

When I started my journey a year ago as District Governor, I had hoped to make a difference in some small way.  I hope that I have achieved this.

The last goal I had was the World Peace Partners initiative.  I asked all of you to commit to this initiative, a few have not and I don’t know why.  Think about this:

If Peace is to be, it must first start with me.

I would like to leave you all with my hope for the future, and that is to really get excited about the World Peace Partners initiative.  I believe we in this District can do so much with this. I would like to quote from former   R.I. President Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, said, “If all the 17 year olds in the world could go on a youth exchange, there would be no wars”.   I also believe this.  We in District 5550 could help to make this possible with our summer courses. Remember one of the objects of Rotary is the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace.

Think, World Peace is possible; One mind at a time!  I know I am likely preaching to the choir as we are Rotarians, but you have to want it; you have to believe it is possible, and you have to play a role in making it happen.  You have heard me say this before, and I’ll say it again.  Peace is an inside job.  You have to believe in the seven principals to make peace an active part of your everyday life.

  1. Coexistence – means existing together in peace, at the same time, in the same place, despite cultural, economic, religious and social differences.
  2. Don’t be blind to other beliefs, it’s about identifying and challenging yourself to understand.
  3. Diversity – Don’t be afraid of diversity, but use it as a strength.
  4. If you think normal is good.  Think again.
  5. Remember Love is our journey, Building a more peaceful world begins with Love. Make the journey an adventure, don’t worry about how; focus on what.  Make it so vivid you can taste it.
  6. Be Optimistic – You have that choice – challenge the normal and embrace coexistence.  If you are filled with love; be ready for adventure.  You are beginning to create a better world from the inside out. We in the district can take a lead in this.

I believe with the agreement we have with the four Universities in Winnipeg, conducting a summer course for students, to study – World understanding and Conflict Resolutions we are taking a giant step forward.

So I ask you all to commit to this and to promote this to your members.

Remember Peace begins with you and as Peter Peters said this afternoon each of you are “The Power of One”.