Greetings fellow Lions!
We are deep into another holiday season as I write this letter. Our Christmas party was a success, due in large part to the Country Club’s efforts and the wonderful children’s chorus that we heard. There is something about the traditional music, the traditional gathering, and the traditional stories we hear that produces deep relaxation, comfort, and satisfaction. It produces joy for many, including me.
As Lions, we rely on many traditions to draw us closer together. In our club meetings we pray, sing, commiserate, gamble, laugh, talk and eat. (Not necessarily in that order.). The way we sing, especially because the songs have a common theme of patriotism, draws us closer. The way we sing “Happy Birthday” never fails to amuse me and please me on a deep level. The Pledge of Allegiance reminds us where we belong and why it is free. Our silly raffle wouldn’t be half as much fun if the prizes were really worth the price of entry. And, giving thanks through prayer brings my mind away from the problems of the day and back to where it needs to be, firmly focused on gratitude and love. Our traditions are valuable and worthy of the effort we make to continue them.
We share many other traditions as a club. Just to list them all would take more space than this letter should use. I will list a few:
We have a tradition of earning our own keep.
We have a tradition of helping the community in many ways.
We have a tradition of helping each other, and caring about each other.
We have a tradition of making fun of one another.
We have a tradition of welcoming every invited guest so heartily that we make a startlingly good impression.
All of this forms a culture of belonging, helpfulness, good work, comradery, fun, and accomplishment. There is a healthy dose of humility thrown in for spice. I have never in my life enjoyed a group of people more, not even when I was a little kid.
A while back, in the effort to conform to a more politically correct ideal, another club I belonged to stopped saying the Pledge of Allegiance, because it was thought that some new members of the club might feel uncomfortable when it was said, even though they were not required to participate. I say that tolerance means putting up with things you don’t agree with, not the abolishment of things that might offend others. That club was not made stronger by the change made.
Let’s hang onto our traditions and embrace them. Guests appreciate them and so do our members. The traditions make us who we are, and what we are. In large part they are about why we are a group as well.
I know that we will need to adapt in the future to new circumstances and new technology and new needs in our community. We will need to quite often be flexible enough to overcome obstacles. All of this we will do. Let’s do it proudly, as Lions. As Fort Collins Lions, with all that that entails. It is a good way to do things, and I am proud to be a part of the club that could serve as the model for Lions clubs who really want to make a difference in the lives of people in need.
Finally, I encourage you to be proud of our club, and to invite others to come experience some of our traditions for themselves. Our type of gathering is rare in today’s world. Rare and wonderful. Many who experience our club will hunger for more. Some of those will join to continue our traditions for decades to come.
Merry Christmas and may God bless you,
The Chevron Monarch Award recognizes Lions for their long-term service, beginning at 10 years and continuing in five year increments until 75 years of service. This year, District Governor Bob Kitchell presented service awards to three club members. Thank you, Joe, Alan, and Ron for your continued service to our club!