Dear Lions of District 4-C4,

My fellow Lions, I trust that you all had a blessed and happy Easter in the company of your loved ones. As for myself, I am spending Easter week in Southern California at Disneyland with the family. It is, as my good friend reminded me this morning, “the happiest place on Earth!” And it is the happiest place….
Except when it isn’t.
Long lines, long walks, aching feet, hot weather, cold weather, grumpy little ones, waiting for parades in the baking sun. You get the idea. It’s a great place but it has its challenges, too. Disneyland is tiring; it’s no vacation but I keep going back.
And so it is with being a member of the Lions Club. Generally, Lions are a happy lot. We do our community service work. We’re eager to help others. We cooperate and, for the most part, we are genuinely pleased to see our fellow members. Except when we aren’t.
I think we’ve all been there:
• the decision made at the meeting that didn’t meet with one member’s expectation followed by said member storming out, “I’m not coming back!” (Fortunately, most of the time, they do.);
• the misinterpreted email or text
• “he’s too bossy”;
• “Look at him, didn’t lift a finger and now he’s taking all the bows”;
• “I’m tired of this bs. It’s too political.”
• “I don’t like that guy and I’m not helping.”
• “he’s in it for himself”
I apologize to anyone who might recognize themselves in the examples above. Believe me, I love you and I don’t wish to belittle your valid complaints.
Seinfeld fans might remember an episode where Jerry has a girlfriend who appears gorgeous in certain lights while in others, she appears hideous. My fellow Lions, please look at each other in the best possible light. Start with the fact that we are all Lions and our only reason for belonging is to help others. No one profits from community service. There are so many other, easier ways to make a profit. Please evaluate each other in this light.
I’m not immune, either. Not everyone is my cup of tea all the time. And, Lord knows, I’m nobody’s bargain, either. Thank you for overlooking my shortcomings. We’re all just doing our best.
I recognize that sometimes we might get tired or cranky. It’s hard work that we do. We might even, on occasion, wish to chuck it all. Don’t forget that the greatest recognition comes from within and from the One who sees all. Count to ten, smile, do your best and accept the joy that comes from making the world a better place.
So I’m here in Disneyland, tired of walking and my dogs are barking. I’ve got my Lions baseball cap on and I am so proud to wear it because I know what it represents and I know what you represent and all the good that you do. I am extremely happy to be a Lion and may God bless you always for your service.
In Lionism,
Lion Mario Benavente,
2nd VDG