Rotary Club of
We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies—
The Heroism we recite
Would be a daily thing,
Did not ourselves the Cubits warp
For fear to be a King—
—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
A Word from our President
To my Rotarian Friends and Family—
Even though Emily Dickinson is not one of my favorite poets, I find much inspiration from her words here. In short, Dickinson is referring to everyone’s potential for greatness, and how we do not truly know its depth until we are asked to do our best. Unfortunately (in the second stanza), she also indicates that we diminish our own goals, our own potential success, by the fear of being smaller, or weaker, than what we truly are. As Rotarians, we are asked to “rise” daily, and as your President, I am honored to rise with you, to grow with you, to continue to strengthen our community, and as Dickinson would have liked, for you all to be “Kings”—to become the best version of yourself.
I, like most of you, fell in love with the town of Franklin quickly. In early June of 2011 I came to Franklin to interview at Battle Ground Academy for a teaching position, and I distinctly remember getting a tour of “Downtown Franklin” before heading to campus. Between 1st and 5th avenue I knew this was the place I wanted to live, to continue my career as an educator, and serve my community. There is an energy Franklin possesses, an energy we all can admit we don’t find just anywhere. And as proud as I am of all the articles written on behalf of Franklin—praising its history, culture, and “livability,” how we have a perfect blend of modern and historic sites, and how we are nationally recognized as having a “Great American Main Street,” I know you will agree that it is the people who live here that foster such energies.
I am humbled to be your President throughout this Rotarian year, and I hope you know how grateful I am to serve alongside you. I will never find the right words to express my immense love for this town, for you all, or for Rotary International, and I can only hope my actions will speak louder than anything I can say here. Thank you for the opportunity to continue to move this club in a direction that will provide service to others and foster fellowship throughout the entirety of our wonderful town. I only ask that you try to step out of your comfort zone this year, do things you have never done before, and strive to be the best version of yourself. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes and hope you will continue to “shine your light” as Rotarians.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
—Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love