Monday, February 4, 2008

Do Rotary Membership Caterpillars Exist?

From Chip Bell’s “Tackle Box”
Processionary caterpillars feed on pine needles. They move through the trees in a long procession, one leading and the others following--each with their eyes half-closed and their heads snugly fitted against the rear extremity of the predecessor.
Jean Fabre, the great French naturalist, after patiently experimenting with a group of the caterpillars, finally enticed them to the rim of a large flowerpot where he succeeded in getting the first one connected up with the last one, thus forming a complete circle which started moving around in a procession which had neither beginning nor end. The naturalist expected that after a while they would catch on to the joke--get tired of their useless march and start off in some new direction.
But not so…
Through sheer force of habit, the living, creeping circle kept moving around the rim of the pot--around and around, keeping the same relentless pace for seven days and seven nights--and would have continued longer had it not been for sheer exhaustion and ultimate starvation.
Incidentally, an ample supply of food was close at hand, and plainly visible, but it was outside the range of the circle so they continued along the beaten path.
They were following habit, custom, tradition, precedent, past experience, "standard practice"--whatever you may choose to call it, but they were following it blindly.

Is it possible that there are some caterpillar Rotary clubs and districts (and leaders of same) when it comes to developing membership?

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