By Prof. Waswa Balunya
Last night the Rotaract club of Nakawa MUBS gave me a vocational award in recognition of what they called my contribution to the community. I have been recognized by different Rotary groups and I have appreciated the Rotary club though I have never become a member.
Rotary is a wonderful organization that pulls together different people and creates synergy that enables people to do things that an individual would not have been able to do. Rotary has what is called the “Four-Way Tests”.
These are excellent questions in mentoring and guiding people in how to conduct themselves and behave. The questions include, is it the truth? is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? And will it be beneficial to all concerned?
If the world was to live on these principles, it would indeed be a better place. This world however lives largely on selective truth or outright lies. People do not give a damn about others, they do not care whether things are fair to at all, and there is acrimony all around us especially when greedy and arrogant people have their way. They never care about building friendships which brings peace and happiness around communities and people are largely selfish. I noted on Wikipedia that this Four-Way Test is displayed on billboards in court premises in Ghana. This is a wonderful thing for the Ghanaian court system.
Accepting the award, I thanked the young people for the thought that I deserved something. In this country, people in my position tend to be the ones to give so if a group of people think that you deserve something, it is a good gesture. Looking at the enthusiasm the young people had and the objectives of the club, I wished that there were more young people in these clubs.
Earlier on in the day, I had met guild leaders over the issue of the sex videos and the website which are causing discomfort among many people in the country who feel, sex is a personal thing that needs not to be paraded in public. In most cultures in Uganda, sex is not something to discuss in public and scantily dressed people are looked at in disdain. I thought that many aspects of Rotary do actually safeguard our cultural values.
I encourage more young people to join the Rotaract and I appeal to leadership in these clubs to encourage preservation of those cultural norms that define human dignity. I appeal to the young people to be the champions of cultural transformations while preserving those cultural aspects that define our society and make us live decently and with dignity.
I thank the Rotaract club of Nakawa MUBS for the award.
The writer, Prof. Waswa Balunya is the Principal of Makerere University Business School (MUBS)