• There were lots of Happy Dollars
  • Our “Be the Inspiration” recipient today was Brad Kirscher!
Our speaker today were fellow Rotarians, Bruce Morland (Northfield Rotary Club) and DG Elect, Ed Marek (Saint Paul Sunrise Rotary Club).  They did a wonderful presentation and discussion of the Better Angels principals.  If this sounds familiar, it should, our club sponsored one of the district  wide training sites in the fall of 2018. Our presentation was based on the 4 Way test – the #1 item – Is it the truth?  That brought up a whole group of thoughtful points about how hard it is to decipher the “truth” in our 24/7 News and social media landscape presently.  Many of these messages are trying to pull us apart and promote discord and political tribalism.  We tend to focus on differences rather than common ground.  This has been happening since 1999 that we seem to be isolated in our own echo chamber instead of focusing on dignity, understanding and mutual respect. 
Better Angels sponsors Meet Up Groups to discuss and work to solve the divide, it all starts wit us personally.  There is a need for more civics in schools to promote the education of young people on how compromise can work effectively in a democracy.  There is a Problem Solvers Caucus in congress currently made up of those from both sides of the isle.  Better Angels has had National Conventions and is gaining traction as an important vehicle to help solve our nation’s big problem.  Interestingly this problem broadcasts out into many areas of discrimination and stifles other’s freedom and opportunities by closing off any interest in other opinions or other’s needs. 
Rotary has a great way to work with problems and look at the need and the way we can work together to solve the problem, not by choosing sides.  Rotary is depolarizing in our way of solving human needs, couldn’t our way of thinking help a lot of our elected folks? 
We need a level playing field and to get rid of labeling others, which can vilify the other side.  Alliances with both Red and Blue dedicated to asking questions and listening to the other side respectfully are key.  In closing we all need to remember to understand, engage and look for common ground.
After the presentation a lively round of questions and there were continued discussions among our members.
Thank you, Bruce and Ed, for opening the year with such a great presentation that stimulated a lot of discussion and thank you all for being in the family of Rotarians.  Today’s presentation was a good reminder to me how important it is that we support each other and continue to “Be the Inspiration”.
Next week we will have an update from the Roseville Chief of Police to report on how the Human Trafficking prevention measures we have supported with several other agencies are working in Roseville.