We’re Different, We’re the Same

Dr. Jung-Yul ChoiGreetings, Lions.

We talk a lot about serving our community as Lions. Service is best when it is personal and close to home, and when it enriches our relationship with our neighbors.

But now, as the world becomes smaller, the space between our communities grows smaller, too. Sometimes we focus on how different another culture is. How their food is flavored, how they dress, how they celebrate, how they mourn.

But while the diversity of cultures across the world is truly astounding, what I’ve learned from my years as a Lion is how much we are all the same. We all want the same things. We want to have safe, warm homes. We want to feed and clothe our families, and have good schools for our children. We want healthcare when we’re sick. And at some point, all of us need a helping hand of some kind.

This is why I say we need to be ready to look at our global community to see if there is work to be done. Unfortunately, there are areas with great need that do not have Lions clubs. Or, if they do have clubs, the clubs do not have the resources required to address the great need. This is where Lions can truly make a difference. We can stand together and reach out to our neighbor countries, our neighbor continents, our brothers and sisters on other sides of the world, to give help where it’s needed most.

Lions in Korea have partnered with Lions in Japan to build schools in needy areas of Nairobi. Scandinavian and European Lions have banded together to provide aid to refugees in Turkey. These communities of Lions, and many more like them, have looked beyond their borders to see how they can serve.

When we treat the world as one global community, the differences between us seem less important than what makes us the same. We are different, and we are also the same.


Dr. Jung-Yul Choi

Dr. Jung-Yul Choi

International President, Lions Clubs International


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