Occasionally there is a temptation to criticize the laws, customs and traditions of another country that may seem strange or contrary to our own. In some instances illegal practices or customs of one nation are completely lawful and acceptable in another.
As members of an international organization dedicated to world understanding and peace, it behoves Rotarians to exercise restraint in judging our Rotary friends and citizens from other countries when their behavior seems unusual to us.
A Rotary policy has existed for more than half a century relating to this dilemma of international relationships. The statement, adopted in 1933, says that because it is recognized that some activities and local customs may be legal and customary in some countries and not in others, Rotarians should be guided by this admonition of tolerance:
"Rotarians in all countries should recognize these facts and there should be a thoughtful avoidance of criticism of the laws and customs of one country by the Rotarians of another country." The policy also cautions against" any effort on the part of Rotarians of one country to interfere with the laws or customs of another country."
As we strive to strengthen the bonds of understanding, goodwill and friendship, these policies still provide good advice and guidance.