As we approach Thanksgiving this month, I was reflecting on my 36 visits to the clubs of our district, thinking about what I could be thankful for on those encounters.
One is that I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of Lions that I haven’t met before and starting up new friendships. The conversations and fellowship have been, as they put it in that credit card commercial, “priceless”.
Another one of the pleasures of my visits is I have to drive a lot to get to the clubs, so I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the most beautiful country in the world right here in east Tennessee.
I have learned a lot about the history of Lions in our area and the history of Tennessee, too. I didn’t know that Tennessee was about to become two different states during a time in our early history. The numerous battlefields from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars are right here in our backyard.
I have seen in the faces of our Lions history of days gone by and of new things to come. We must remember our past to build a stronger future and it isn’t any different in Lionism. We learn from our failures and build on them and as we do with our triumphs. Even when we have a not so productive project but we gain two new members because of it, was it really a bad outing? I would say “No”.
Positive attitude is a real key in building clubs. We can go a long way with a positive attitude and just as far in reverse with a negative one.
I am thankful for an organization that helps people. I have seen it in the past year with the floods in central Tennessee and Kids Sight here at home. Lions Volunteer Blind Industries helping those who couldn’t earn a living a few year s or months ago to gain steady employment and gain that self respect that comes with a job well done.
Hearing the positive news of gains in our White Cane project this year, even in a time of a downturn economy, is heartwarming. Even as the pilgrims were thankful for the corn and meat that was provided by the Indians, we can be thankful to our communities and neighbors for the help they have provided in donations of time and money during this year in assisting us so that we could make gains with our projects and fundraisers.
We have lost a number of Lions from our Pride this year through death and I ask that we please remember their families in our prayers and thoughts.
I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to serve you this year and look forward to great gains in Lionism in 2011 and beyond.
DG Bill McDonald