Tonight, I feel like I’m becoming a Lion for the second time.
As you can imagine, this is an opportunity to think of my commitment
I became a Lions Club member 9 years ago. One of my friends was founding a new Club. He needed 20 members. I’ve never been completely sure about that, but I think I was member… number… 20…
To be honest, before that, I was not having a clear idea of what the Lions Club was. And I would probably never had the idea to join.
So, it’s not before, but after having joined the Club, that I discovered the aim of the Lions Club. And I began to love it. I was involved in all the activities of my Club : working for the food bank collection, taking calls during hours and hours for the Telethon TV show, trying to sell some little stuff under the rain in order to raise funds. Then, taking different charges in my Club, secretary and president. And then, taking different charges in my district : responsible for the food bank collection for 70 clubs, member of the Leadership team. The Lions Club gave me the opportunity to participate in several trainings in France and abroad. And I keep a special memory from a Leadership training in Istanbul with wonderful friends from all over Europe.
As Lions, we serve. And, in order to serve, we act. I think that’s what I love the most about being a Lion : acting rather than talking.
But there is something else : I truly believe in Freedom. Very often, people think a free society would be an egoist society, in which the weakest would be left behind. But the Lions prove the opposite, day after day, from 1917. Free women and free men act for other women and men, give their own time, without being forced to do it. The existence of the Lions Club International proves that humanism would exist in a free society. The 45000 Lions Clubs all over the world are as many expressions of the civil society that organises itself and take care of its own. Demonstrating by their action and their creativity that a society of free women and free men is possible. The Lions Clubs exist in all countries of the world, except non democratic countries : it is not a coincidence.
“Pure altruism doesn’t exit, you’ll tell me. So, if you are a Lions Club member, it means you get something from it”. My answer is : “yes”. Yes, if I’m a Lion, it’s also a way of taking care of… myself. In two ways. First, because in the Lions Club I find some friends. Friendship is a value of our organisation, and we can live it for true. And I know you’re welcoming me in Dublin’s Club as true friends. On the other hand, because the Lions Club is a “space for improvement”. A “space for improvement” because you can take new charges, and you can act, in a kind and sympathetic structure. And obviously, we are developing our social skills, which is a way of developing our humanity.
Some people will tell you : the Lions Club is not a perfect organisation by all its aspects. That’s true. There is no perfect human organisation. If you are waiting to meet the perfect organisation before committing yourself and acting, you will never commit yourself and you will never act.
And if your are waiting for the World to be perfect before acting, your action won’t make sense.
The Lions would be useless in a perfect world.
Thank you very much.
A French version of the present post, and it’s a little bit longer in French…