Plymouth Lions Club President Charlie Calabrese welcomes me as a member. My plan is to celebrate – and join – as many of these important community organizations as I can, both to emphasize their important role in every community, and to help me spread the word about my walk across the country.
I’m a Lion. I went to speak to the Plymouth Lions Club the other night because, somewhat selfishly, I know that they are a national organization that could help spread the word about my walk to other Lions Clubs across the country (and along the route of my walk). My plan is to speak to every charitable group in town, for the same reason. But while I waited to speak at their meeting (held in the function room at the second floor of Mama Mias on Water Street) I was reminded of what motivated me to take this walk in the first place. The Lions, and dozens of other similar organizations in town, are the foundation of true community: while most have a particular charitable focus (for the Lions it is supporting research into conditions effecting sight) their real value is in focusing our natural charitable instincts into effective action. They raise over $100,000 a year for various causes, help vision-impaired people live fuller lives, and support other worthy causes – including I am thankful, my own. This is the story I want to tell as I walk across the country: the story of human nature, and how it can be translated into caring, ultimately into community. I rambled about a bit when I first began speaking to the Lions the other night (I was a bit nervous, not realizing I was the designated “guest speaker” for the evening) but then I remembered that frosty morning 3 1/2 years ago at Plimoth Plantation. That morning that 500 people showed up to stand in the cold at 6:15 a.m. What motivated these people to show up that morning, and hold one of my 365 sunrise pictures from the preceding year? It was, I now believe, that they felt they were about to be part of a unique community event, something that celebrated the place that they had come to call home. When home calls we can’t refuse. Without home, we are just blowin in the wind. Thank you Lions, for making me feel ‘right at home.’