Leigh McIntosh

Each month Rotary focuses on a different topic. August is membership and extension month. Wondering about the definition of extension in regard to Rotary, I looked it up and discovered it is about starting new clubs. There are currently nine clubs located in Gwinnett County, one of which is less than a year old.

I recently heard about a Rotary e-club for people who do not have time to go to a physical meeting but still want to be part of Rotary. On the one hand, I am intrigued by this innovative way to think outside the box. On the other hand, I wonder what people are missing as compared to the other clubs if they do not physically meet with each other, share meals, engage in casual conversation and fellowship, explore networking opportunities, or develop friendships while working on projects. I realize the world is changing and many people prefer managing their lives electronically. In fact, I am surprised that more people haven’t demanded additional online opportunities for public education due to the increased risk of violence happenings in schools. I just wonder about the wonderful opportunities that are missed when we stay safely in our cocoons at home, living our lives via our computers, rather than experiencing life in all of its glorious wonders.

The differences in seeing pictures of a place or visiting a place are vast and almost indescribable. How can I explain the sense of wonder I felt when I actually saw the pyramids I learned about in school? I was standing on the site of one of the ancient wonders of the world, thinking about thousands of years of history while feeling the heat of the desert, smelling the camels as I watched them snort and spit as they were whipped into doing the bidding of the Bedouins on their backs. I saw beige colored dogs blending into the desert sands, looking for handouts and the brightly colored robes worn by the Egyptian merchants. As I tasted the dry saltiness of the air, I later realized that every one of my senses was engaged. Every day, we trade part of our limited time on earth to do whatever we have chosen to do for the day because that is our right as free Americans. We are known and will be remembered for how we choose to trade the minutes of our lives away. It is within our power to leave the world better for having lived.

The Rotarians I know realize that they have gifts to share with humanity. They get out to meet people and help with worthwhile causes. They make a difference and inspire others to do so. They are kind and provide safe havens and luckily for all of us, they are found all over the world. I have no doubt the Rotarians in the e-clubs are the same as the rest of us and have figured out how to serve others. Rotary is a million strong and growing. If you are on a mission to make the world better, be part of the ones who are helping and join us at Rotary Club of Lawrenceville.

Leigh McIntosh is a proud Rotarian and CEO of Creative Enterprises, Inc., a not for profit, training, and employment, community rehabilitation program for adults with disabilities. A lifelong resident of Gwinnett County, Leigh divides her time between advocating for people with disabilities, enjoying her children, grandchildren, and friends, helping her doTerra essential oil customers, traveling, and focusing on her spiritual journey to appreciate how we are all connected.