Dear Lions of the World,
Paris, France; Brussels, Belgium; Orlando, Florida, USA; Dallas, Texas, USA; Istanbul, Turkey; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Nice, France; racial tension in many parts of the world.
Why is it happening? When will it stop? How much is enough? These are questions all of us are asking ourselves, and no one is providing any answers.
As the global leader in humanitarian service, a central focus is on providing for those less fortunate through a variety of service programs at the international and local level. Over the past two years, as part of our centennial service challenge, we have served 100 million people around the world. We are proud of our selfless service to others.
But as much as service is our focus, it doesn’t completely define who we are and what we stand for in the world community. One need only review excerpts from Lions Clubs International Purposes to gain a true understanding of our focus beyond service:
- To create and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.
- To promote the principles of good government and good citizenship.
In my inaugural address delivered June 28 in Fukuoka, Japan, I spoke the following words:
“As we look at our future, there is another new large mountain which is arising for our world to conquer, and Lions International is the one to help the world climb this new mountain – and that is international relations. The Lions of the world are one family, focused on the goal of providing for others, and creating peace and understanding among the people of the world. We must strive to leave a legacy of world peace, world health, world safety, and world happiness”.
In February 1945, Lions’ founder Melvin Jones gathered with leaders of other national groups to meet with Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affiars, Archibald MacLeish, to discuss forming a United Nations. In April of that year Lions headquarters asked clubs to hold a United Nations week to show support for the initiative.
In that spirit, and as we approach our 100th year of humanitarian service, I ask Lions around the world to hold a day of reflection during the week of July 25th. Set aside this day to reflect on how your club can work with local community leaders to nurture peace, lessen violence that has affected so many of our communities, and foster understanding among all peoples.
As we pause to reflect, please keep the victims and families of the recent tragedy in Nice, France in your thoughts and prayers.
Let us be the example of how people of different races, cultures, religions and diverse backgrounds can come together for a common cause.
Chancellor Bob Corlew