Hello Rotarians of District 7120!  I feel very proud and honored to take on the role of District Governor this year. 
We’ve had a roller coaster ride the last 2 years, and PDGs Dave Hannan and Linda Kohl performed brilliantly under difficult circumstances.  With any luck, this year will prove to be much less tumultuous, allowing us to return to a new normal, and the ability to meet once again in person.
Our new RI President, Shekhar Mehta, (pronounced Shaker) has presented us with the theme Serve to Change Lives.  What does that mean to you?  I think that there is a lot to work with here!  We each serve in our own way, and the lives that we change reflect back on us.  Maybe it’s our own lives that we change.  Maybe it’s our spouse’s, or our parents’, or our children.  Maybe it’s our next-door neighbor, or our best friend.  Maybe it’s someone in our community, or maybe it’s someone on the other side of the globe.  We don’t know whose lives we will change with our service.  The only thing we can be certain of is that if there is no service, there is no change.  One of Shekhar’s favorite quotes is:  “Service is the rent I pay for the space I occupy on this earth.”  I don’t know about you, but I really like this.  It’s how I want to live my life.  Our service can be as big or small as we like.   It’s an individual choice.  It goes along so well with one of Rotary’s main tenets – Service above Self.  Thinking about others before thinking of oneself.  It’s a huge concept. 
Another part of Shekhar’s message is also very simple:  Each One Bring One.  The idea there is that if every Rotarian just brought one person to an event, or a meeting, or a service project, we could increase our membership from 1.2 million to 1.3 million by the end of June 2022.  In my life, Rotary has been a gift.  Why wouldn’t we want others to receive that gift, too?  So invite your son or daughter, your best friend, or someone from church, or someone you rode the elevator with to join you and the movers and shakers of your community.  Give them the gift of Rotary.
Along that same line, the third part of Shekhar’s message is:  Grow More Do More.  The more our membership grows, the bigger the projects we can tackle.  Polio was a huge project.  We’re almost done!  We have just a little bit more to complete this one.  But there are so many more opportunities out there just waiting for us to open their doors.  Evidence of this showed up in April when so many Districts and Clubs joined together in the Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup Initiative.  Plan on doing that again next April, and make sure you invite everyone you know to help!
Shekhar’s final point of focus is to Empower Girls.    In most of the rest of the world, girls are at a big disadvantage, and Shekhar’s wish is for Rotarians to change the lives of girls.  Many girls stay home from school when they have their periods because there are no bathroom facilities, or they don’t have the supplies they need.  So just by providing sanitary supplies, they can stay in school and continue learning.  Perhaps by providing a goat that gives milk for drinking, or making cheese which they can sell, you are giving them a small income that assists the family with much needed income for other food or tuition.  It doesn’t have to be a huge project to make a difference in someone’s life.  But it is possible to change lives by our service.
During this coming year, I am not planning on any big, monumental goals.  My plan is to run with the things that DG Linda started and continue to build and strengthen those committees.  I don’t need to reinvent the wheel, I just want to keep it rolling.  Our jobs in the district are to support and strengthen our clubs.  We all learned a great deal of new technology this past year.  I plan to assist our clubs in utilizing that technology to the best of their abilities.  If they need help in setting up a hybrid meeting or event, I’ll be there.  I’d really like to see all the clubs in the district be able to host a hybrid meeting, allowing more of their members to participate no matter where they are.
And while we’re at it, let’s work on unifying the world around us.  I saw something while traveling a few weeks ago, and it resonated with me in a way that could make a difference in this splintered and toxic environment that seems to be overtaking sanity.  It’s called the ABC’s of life:
Accept differences.  Be kind.  Count your blessings.  Dream.  Express thanks.  Forgive.  Give freely.  Harm no one.  Imagine more.  Jettison anger.  Keep confidences.  Love truly.  Master something.  Nurture hope.  Open your mind.  Pat someone on the back.  Quell rumors.  Reciprocate.  Seek wisdom.  Touch hearts.  Understand.  Value truth.  Win graciously.  Be excellent to everyone.  Yearn for peace.  Zealously support a worthy cause. 
We have the power to be the agents of change.  Let us use it wisely.