Jennifer Jones
President 2022-23

March 2023

As we planned for this Rotary year, I could have never "imagined" the breadth of stories we would encounter nor the scope of the people we would meet.

I find oxygen in sharing time with our members — hearing their truths and learning about their personal journeys and their deepest desires for goodness.

And so it was that I encountered two very different men with very similar stories.

One-hundred-year-old Genshitsu Sen is a remarkable human being and a joyful soul. We greeted each other in Kyoto, during my trip to Japan in November, with a hug and an instant connection.

Not only is Sen a former grand master of the Urasenke tea tradition but he is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Kyoto, where he has served as club president. He assisted in the charter of the Rotary Club of Kyoto-South. And he has also served as governor of District 2650 and held leadership roles in Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.

During that same week, I had the great pleasure to record a birthday video for a 100-year-old World War II naval hero who is an exemplary leader and who served two terms as governor of District 5810 in Texas.

Both men are decorated World War II heroes in their respective countries and share unthinkable history. And although they served on opposing sides of the war, their stories are remarkably similar — and they are both honorable men who chose Rotary to carry on lives of peacemaking.

I have been reflecting so much lately that we are all on this planet simply trying to do our best, and we are much more similar than we are different.

I feel incredibly fortunate to share in these stories and to meet such incredible people.