(play The Sound of Silence as you read)

Pull-Quote-Policy-2.100The Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence

In December 2012, after the brutal tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, I wrote a piece for the 5550Opinions blog titled

Rotary, Peace Through Service, Families and Guns in America where I wrote “Rotarians worldwide, but especially Rotarian’s in the United States of America must rise up as one voice and condemn this violence within their own house.”

But Rotary International remained silent.

The darkness continued until 3 years later almost to the day I tried again. This time after the massacre at San Bernardino to get Rotary to take a stand in favour of peace and family with a piece titled: Shame on America’s Rotarians and their Silence on Guns

But Rotary International remained silent.


In restless dreams I walked alone

Narrow streets of cobblestone

‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp

I turned my collar to the cold and damp


When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light

That split the night

And touched the sound of silence

That’s when President Obama gave a passionate speech on “Common-Sense Gun Reform” and in January 2016, I asked What Can Rotarians Do to Help President Obama Achieve “Common Sense Gun Reform”?

And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand people, maybe more

People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening


People writing songs that voices never share

No one dare

Disturb the sound of silence

Not “maybe more” but 30,000 every year Obama cried, and now it appears that there were Rotarians, at least 17 of them plus General Secretary John Hewko who sat around a table on our behalf and pondered  the question of Rotary International’s silence.

 Meanwhile I went on thinking:

“Fools” said I, “You do not know

Silence like a cancer grows

Hear my words that I might teach you


Take my arms that I might reach you”

But my words like silent raindrops fell

And echoed in the wells of silence

Go and reread  the 188 comments generated HERE by Rotarians and now in response to Policy 2,100 they continue  HERE and HERE their homage to

And the people bowed and prayed

To the neon god they made

And the sign flashed out its warning

In the words that it was forming


And the sign said “The words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls

And tenement halls

And whispered in the sounds of silence”

So kudos to our fellow Rotarians: Germ, Riseley, Jones, Lin, Ahlberg, Alloneau, Aufranc, Desai, Dinca, Howaed, Mulkerrin, Offer, Rattanavich, Rohrs, Carreno, Siva, Trevaskis, Wentz and Hewko for being the “prophets” who wrote on Rotary’s wall that clubs and districts will no long glorify “guns, weapons and other armaments”

It is indeed a “whisper” but it is a start. Now let’s make it a chorus and shout it out and break the “Sound of Silence”.