There is an old prescription for keeping a happy home: “Treat your guests like family and treat your family like guests.” That may seem a bit impractical in daily life but I think it contains a central truth. It means that warm compassion and respectful courtesy are due in equal measure to those who are closest to us as well as to those we wish to know better.
I believe we can apply this lesson to the way we behave as Lions. Let us not forget that the members of our own club deserve the same compassion as those we hope to serve. They too, are our neighbors, members of our community and merit — in a special way — our service. They are our Lions family.
- Just as we would not ignore a request from a family in need, we should remain open and responsive to ideas and suggestions from new members.
- Just as it would be rude to expect a visitor to our homes to know our family history and customs, we owe an effective orientation to those who join our clubs.
- Just as we wish to serve our guests the best possible food and drink, it is our task as Lion leaders to ensure that our members have the highest quality experience possible. That might mean taking your club through the Club Excellence Process (pdf).
Lions Clubs International has developed many tools and programs to help clubs become more family oriented. They are summarized in a new publication, My Club, My Family (pdf), which I hope you will view on the LCI Web site.
I thank you for being a part of our Lions family. I know we share a common belief that we can change the world through service.
Lions often focus on changing the world by direct service to people in need. But making the world a better place starts with changing the world itself.
Trees play an important part in making our planet a healthy, beautiful habitat for the human race. In addition to renewing the atmosphere, trees conserve soil and water, control avalanches, prevent desertification, protect coastal areas and stabilize sand dunes. They support nearly 90 percent of terrestrial life on Earth.
Yet trees are disappearing at an alarming rate. Latin America, Africa and Asia are losing millions of acres of forested land each year. That’s why it is important for your club and district to help Lions reach our goal of planting one million trees worldwide this year. For more information view available tree planting resources.
Volunteering together makes your family stronger and helps make the Lions family stronger.
When you invite family members to take part in your club’s projects, you increase quality family time and have the opportunity to serve as a good role model for your children and allow them to experience the joy of serving others. You will also have fun!
In addition, you also bring new hands and vital energy to help your Lions club better serve the people of your community and the world.