Sharing Norman Vincent Peale's Legacy

Goodwill and friendship is exchanged between Peale's beloved Rotary Club and his granddaughter.

Posted in , Sep 7, 2015

Norman Vincent Peale

My grandfather Norman Vincent Peale was a lifelong, devoted Rotary member. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Pawling, New York, where he and Grandma had a country home. Attending all 48 Rotary Club meetings a year was important to him. When his speaking engagements took him out of town, Grandpa would make sure to attend Rotary meeting wherever he was visiting.

Just as important to him was adhering to The Four-Way Test, a guide for Rotarians to use in both personal and professional relationships:

1)  Is it the TRUTH?

2)  Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4)  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

I was invited to speak about Guideposts at last week’s Pawling Rotary Club meeting. What an honor to be asked! I spoke about the history of Guideposts and the Guideposts Foundation and the history of Sermon Publications, the entity that transcribed Grandpa’s sermons to a booklet form known as Plus.

Grandpa spoke without notes, in both his speeches and his sermons, hence a team of transcribers was necessary. I’m proud to say the messages within his sermons have proven to be timeless, and Plus is still available today.


I also shared with the Rotary members how honored I am to be a part of Grandpa and Grandpa’s legacy and to assist with the Guideposts Foundation, its donors and outreach programs wherever and whenever it might be helpful.

The Rotary members were gracious in their listening and in their questions. I so appreciated their interest and their kindness. Selfishly, I feel like I was the one who benefitted that day. How often are we welcomed into a group of good, gracious, engaged, civic-minded people who believe deeply in the history of an organization?

I learned about what Pawling Rotary does in their meetings and in the community. The tone of the meeting, start to finish, was that of positivity, recognizing the accomplishments of others, the goodwill and friendships within the room and within the community. I could picture Grandpa in meetings like these, and I know he was so grateful to be part of a group that’s such a pillar of the Pawling community and the nation. I only wished Grandpa could have been there too.

At the closing of my remarks, I read an uplifting quote that I’d received that morning from the Guideposts OurPrayer website:

“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is the get the message.” 
—Malcolm Muggeridge, journalist

Attending that Rotary meeting was an opportunity for God to speak to me through the goodness and commitment of the Pawling Rotary Club members. I am grateful to have gotten the message that day.

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