Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada 2015-08-12 22:35:20
Our Diversity is Our Strength In Japan, our society owes a lot to bushido, the code of conduct of the samurai. Samurai have positive and negative sides, but samurai uphold stability and ensure peace. Other positive traditional values of the bushido are respecting one’s elders, protecting the weak and valuing fairness and honor. Every culture has its own wonderful virtues, and each of the 210 nations and geographic areas that are part of Lions Clubs International contributes to the strength and vitality of the association. The multicolored fabric of Lions owes its durability and flexibility to its disparate individual strands. In other words, our diversity is our strength. We are not a cookie-cutter association. One size does not fit all. Clubs are free to choose their own projects and recruit their own members. The more we value diversity and model that in our clubs the more we will prosper. So this year I urge clubs to continue to reach out to women, younger people and middle-aged people to diversify our ranks. A club gains new perspectives and renewed energy with a diverse membership. By the same token, don’t hesitate to try new projects. We can’t grow stale. We don't eat stale bread or rice and we don’t want a stale club. We must have the courage to turn our clubs into fresh, young and vibrant ones. We also must work together. An ancient story illustrates the power of teamwork. A powerful samurai lord, Mori Motonari, took aside his three sons and easily snapped a single arrow. But when he held three arrows together the well-muscled man could not break the bunch. The moral is clear. Americans even have their own saying for it: united we stand, divided we fall. When the 1.4 million Lions family is united, we can deliver the light of service throughout the world. So this year let’s embody the samurai spirit. Lions, be samurai. But when you go on your service activities, please keep your sharp swords at home and carry with you only the samurai spirit! Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada Lions Clubs International President
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