Why I am a Lion – In a Word “Ubuntu”

Ubuntu….is about the essence of being human……It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being willing to go that extra mile for the sake of another

As I look back over the last 18 months the thing that really jumps out at me is that the reasons why I became a Lion are quite different to the reasons why I am still a Lion. People join Lions for many reasons, but at the essence of most of these reasons is a desire to put a smile on someone’s face by helping to alleviate some of the difficulties faced in life. For me, the opportunity to join Lions came at a time when I was looking to do something different. I had resigned from various positions that I’d held and felt a need to do something new. At the same time, I didn’t want the responsibility of having to do everything by myself and from scratch. In this respect, joining the Lions seemed to offer what I was looking for. But, the main reason I joined was because my husband was considering joining and he thought it was something we could do together. Being a Lion has lived up to all these expectations, but it has also given me some gifts I was not expecting to receive.

My introduction to Lions followed a particularly difficult episode in my life. If I’m honest I was feeling dehumanised. I’d been through some experiences where I was being stifled and expected to conform to other people’s expectations of what I should be and how I should approach things. I felt that my individuality, my thoughts, my very being were being trampled over, criticised and ridiculed. My “deficits” were repeatedly pointed out to me and I had reached a point where I felt a need to hide away. It is perhaps for this reason that my husband encouraged me to join Lions with him. Somewhat reluctantly I explored the possibility and to my surprise, I found a group of people who were prepared to accept me and welcome me as me. Today I am a Lion because the members of Castle Bromwich Lions Club and the other Lions I have met over the past 18 months have shown me that being a Lion is about “Ubuntu.”

Archbishop Desmon Tutu said, “Ubuntu….is about the essence of being human……It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being willing to go that extra mile for the sake of another. We believe that a person is a person through other persons; that my humanity is caught up and bound up in yours. When I dehumanise you, I inexorably dehumanise myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms, and therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in community, in belonging.”

I joined Lions to serve in the community. I expected nothing in return, but I have been given the gift of acceptance and friendship. Looking past prejudice and differences is part of what being a Lion is about and the Lions with whom I serve have shown me that considerate, selfless people do exist. I am grateful to be part of an organisation which changes lives for the better.

If you would like to know more about Castle Bromwich Lions, please visit their website.

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Categories: Castle Bromwich Lions, Membership

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