These Japanese words mean “I am honored to serve as international president.”
素晴らしい奉仕の1年となることを楽しみにしています。That means “I look forward to a year of great service.”
So how do Lions in Japan say “We Serve”? Well, it’s “We Serve.” Our motto is not translated. Lions throughout the world proudly proclaim “We Serve.” The universality of our motto underscores that despite language and cultural differences we Lions share a common purpose. And although I am the 99th international president, each of my predecessors having had their own priorities and approaches, international presidents have shared a common commitment to service.
So I hope my year as president is like any other as Lions continue to serve with tremendous enthusiasm and impact. Yet I also hope to make a difference in how we serve. My theme is Bringing Dignity to Others Through Humanitarian Service. That’s something that has been inherent in Lions’ service since Melvin Jones first gathered Lions together. But by intentionally focusing on my theme and keeping it in the forefront we can be sure to maintain and even improve our commitment to service.
As a doctor, I have always been dedicated to healing and to do so while treating patients in a dignified manner. A good doctor not only treats illness but pays attention to the entire person—their worries, their concerns, their struggles. If you had asked me after many years as a doctor if I treated the whole person, I would have said, “Of course.” But it took a serious illness for me to re-evaluate my approach as a doctor. Likewise, as Lions we are dedicated to service, but reassessing our approach and focusing on the dignity of others in all we do will take our service to a new level.
I ask each of you this year especially to bring dignity to children. Through a project or program I ask you to make their lives better. Working together, 1.4 million Lions can help the next generation prosper and secure good health, find opportunity and achieve happiness.
Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada
Lions Clubs International President