Wow! What a meeting. The program was outstanding as our speaker Ferry Zandvliet recounted surviving the worst terrorist  attack in Europe’s history.  He had many of us Rotarians on the edge of their seats.  His message of forgiveness and friendship was very powerful.
His story of friendship and forgiveness reminded me of one of my hero’s in life and that was a 14 year old boy named Ryan White.  You may recall the name. Ryan was a hemophiliac that contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion. He endured so much hatred and nobody would be his friend because they thought he could give them AIDS. The community made up stories about this young boy of how he was “spitting on food” in the grocery stores to try to infect people. All complete lies. Why his story reminded me of our speaker today is how they both turned this horrible act against them into love and forgiveness.  Ryan never, ever got angry with the kids and adults that made his life horrible. Instead he educated them about his disease.  Our speaker today gave us all a lesson in forgiveness and friendship too. 
We had 15 members attend today and 5 guests. Our zoom capabilities did not work today.  Even with that hiccup our numbers are going up. 
Looking forward to seeing you all at our next meeting on August 19th when our very own Paul Jaconette will be our speaker. He will talk about the state of healthcare in the USA. 
Michael Baker
Rotary Club of Santa Barbara
Club President