No. 196



The English Poet William Blake (1757-1827) once said, Inspiration is to see a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower; hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour. If you have ever truly been inspired by something, you will more fully comprehend what I am going to share here. On June 29th of this past year I completed my term as President of the Conway Noon Lions Club. I have been privileged to serve with some of the finest men and women I have ever known and they have been a great inspiration to me. From the standpoint of community service, this has been the most rewarding year of my entire life. At the conclusion of our Installation Banquet, the club presented me with a plaque as a Melvin Jones Fellow, the highest award in Lionism. I shall forever be grateful to them for honoring me in this way.

My greatest inspiration came a few months earlier however, when I viewed a video titled, The Future Is Ours...So Now What that was produced by Lions International as a way to get more young people involved in volunteerism. The setting for this video was in the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, Baltimore and Chicago. Because of all the negative things we hear about inner city youth, it was such a thrill to see young men and young women performing various acts of love and kindness. From meals on wheels to hospital visits, interaction with senior citizens and even a project to clean up the environment.

One young man truly inspired me when he said, During our lives we have the choice to perform positive acts or negative acts and I want to perform as many positive acts as I can. When I heard this I said to myself, Thats it. Thats the key to solving many of our massive social and economic problems. If the vast majority of our citizens would consistently perform positive acts most of our problems, over time would be solved. The reason this is possible is because the human mind cannot exist in a vaccum.

Now permit me to to digress for just a moment. In my mind I can see an army of volunteers all across our great country who are committed to performing positive acts for their own benefit as well as others. While we all have the power to change for the better, what we need is people who have excellent character, high moral standards and a genuine love and concern for their fellow human beings. Please understand these positive acts can be carried out in any forum. I have a deep respect for all civic and humanitarian organizations who are involved in projects to help the less fortunate and those who really need our help.

If you agree with what Im saying I want to ask you to drop me a note and let me know that you are committed to being a part of this great volunteer army that can make a real difference in the future of our nation. Certainly your note will encourage me but it will also crystallize your thinking and be a reminder in the months and years to come. If you will take time and do this I will promise you three things. First, I will never ask you for money. Next, I will never try to sell you anything and lastly. I will never (I repeat never) give your name to someone for a mailing list.

My only motive is to leave behind a better country in the future for my kids and grandkids and for those you love as well. In the future when you see someone who is a living example of what Im saying, send me their story and Ill share some of these in a future column. In the final analysis, We The People still have the power, and if enough of us are committed, we can make a difference. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)