I just didn’t really know, and I am embarrassed.
I had lunch with a very good friend this week, but one that I had not seen in far too long. Larry Locklear and I met years ago, when I was 26, at a dynamic community personal development class called Spectrum Trainings. Larry is one of the hardest working, most honest guys I have ever met. We were fast friends. I didn’t know Larry was Lion, or I just wasn’t paying attention.
(Larry is on the Left)
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization. They have 1.35+ million members in more than 46,000 clubs worldwide. Lions are everywhere. They’re men and women who are active in community projects in more than 207 countries and geographic areas. Lions have a dynamic history. Founded in 1917, they are best known for fighting blindness – it’s part of their history as well as their work today. But they also perform volunteer work for many different kinds of community projects – including caring for the environment, feeding the hungry, and aiding seniors and the disabled.
So Larry and I are eating at Chili’s, having a great time, and he asks me about speaking at an upcoming Lions meeting. As I ask him questions to better understand the Lions, Larry is sharing stories, about the blind who now can see because of this group. About a family with kids who had NOTHING, and the Lion’s brought Christmas to their door. The tree, food, presents, and the love…the Lion’s delivered all of this. I don’t know every Lion, but I can speak for Larry. He doesn’t do it for the applause, and they rarely receive that. He doesn’t do it for an ego boost, or the networking that the Lions are also widely known for. (after all, where big hearts and big wallets meet, there are some incredible connections to be made)
With tears in his eyes, Larry chokes out, that those service experiences forever change him, each and every time. He does it with all joy, knowing that he is giving back what he can. He is giving back what he deeply feels is his responsibility, since he has been blessed.
He isn’t a millionaire. He isn’t so different than you and I, really. He works full time and has a family. But Larry is one stand up guy. He intentionally blocks out time to help the ones in the most need, one situation at a time, as often as possible.
That’s it, I thought. No one I know “has the time” anymore, for anything else, do they? Right now, we probably have more money available than time, if we really think about our jam-packed days. There is no more time left over. It is then truly a choice; to designate some of our time and talents, to give back to the needy, since we are blessed.
If you choose, consider blocking out an hour to visit a local Lion’s Club group for lunch. Or go to lunch with a friend who is a member, and see what they are really about. Maybe you will find, like Larry, that in the giving of yourself to one in need, that you are forever changed, immeasurably.
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