Posted by Franz Huber
“The best augury of a man’s success in his profession is that he thinks it the finest in the world” so wrote the renowned English novelist George Eliot in 1876…    So, what has changed? Today, 146 years later, her statement is still true. [No, Henrietta, George Eliot definitely was a lady… ☺]
The international monthly Rotary theme for January is what in the “good ol' days” used to be one of Rotary’s major Avenues of Service: Vocational Service. Since Eliot’s time, lots of changes relating to vocations have happened, and lots of prognoses have been made. 40 years ago it was the demise of the Industrial Age, which was replaced by the “Information Revolution”. Indeed, this has largely happened; in case you haven’t noticed:  We are right in it. Today’s plain vanilla mobile phone, with a measly 64 Gigabytes of memory, is roughly 250 times as powerful as the Commonwealth Bank’s mainframe computer of the mid-1970’s (it had 256 Megabytes of RAM). On top of this, it has access to unlimited information of the Internet. (Watch out: the next major disruptor is the combination of Artificial Intelligence and Biotechnology, which will have a far greater impact.) Yet, whilst the method by which we do things may change, the ethical principles as depicted in the Objects of Rotary have not changed. Click on this link for the complete set of Rotary’s Guiding Principles. For this article, it's the second object that is relevant:
“High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society.”