silver bullets
A few months back during Spring Break, I was on a guided high school trip “Back East” with my two oldest sons.  It was stated that we would be passing through a lot of security checkpoints as we entered buildings, and, as a result, we should be prepared to remove our belts.  One of the fathers on the trip bragged openly that because he had a pure silver belt buckle, that he wouldn’t have to ever take his belt off to get through security, unlike the rest of us commoners.
Apparently, pure silver is not very magnetic, and so passing through security’s magnetic field would potentially not set off the alarm.  Alas, I never got to see if this information was correct, as every location required him to remove his belt before going through security, despite his assertions that he shouldn’t have to.  But, the idea of the power of silver did start to trigger some thoughts for me.
When I contemplated the idea of silver passing through security, I thought of the term Silver Bullet.  According to folklore, a bullet cast from silver is one of the few weapons powerful enough to have any discernible effect against a werewolf or a witch.  It has even entered our popular lexicon; the term Silver Bullet is defined by Merriam-Webster as “something that acts as a magical weapon; especially: one that instantly solves a long-standing problem.” And if I am being completely honest, if a Silver Bullet really can pass through the three horrible monsters we know as werewolves, witches, and airport security, it truly must be something powerful!
As we all know, the world is full of so many different challenges and struggles for people everywhere.  These struggles truly are an opportunity for us Rotarians to provide much needed help and assistance. If there ever truly was a Silver Bullet that could solve long-standing problems, it would be Rotary and Rotarians!  And through the new Seven Areas of Focus, Rotary Opens Opportunities for each of us to help create solutions to these problems by both giving and doing.
During my trip, I had the opportunity to stop at the Pentagon. The Pentagon is the headquarters for the United States Department of Defense, which is responsible for our military.
If there was ever a group of people looking for a Silver Bullet, it would probably be some of the individuals that work there. To my pleasant surprise, the Pentagon is surrounded by Rotary Road. And I definitely enjoyed seeing a One Way sign coming from the Pentagon and intersecting with Rotary!
If truly there ever existed “One Way” to change the world for good and provide a Silver Bullet to help solve life’s problems, it is Rotary.  From a personal standpoint, I know when I live the ideal of Service Above Self, my life gets better, almost as if Rotary turns me into a Silver Bullet that helps me better solve my own life problems!
As my term as your District Governor comes to an end on June 30th, I want to thank you, on behalf of Rotary International, for all the amazing doing and giving you have rendered during this past year.  I promise you that you are making a real difference for good.  Each of you has created a Silver Bullet through Rotary that have solved problems for so many people, whether it has been through giving to PolioPlus or the many other amazing programs that are supported by our giving to the Rotary Foundation.  I also know that the things you do in your own communities are making a huge difference.  Your goodness inspires me. I am so proud that I get to stand with you and say: I am a Rotarian!
Please don’t ever forget that Rotary Opens Opportunities for you to keep doing amazing things for yourself and others as you live the ideal of Service Above Self.
Thank you for letting me be your District Governor this year.  I love each of you so much!

Ben Nelson '20-'21 District 5400 Governor