Lions International Convention
Cedar Point, Ohio
June 30, 1925
Dear Lions and Ladies, I suppose you have heard the
legend that represents opportunity as a capricious lady who knocks at every door but once,
and if the door isn't opened quickly, she passes on, never to return. And that is how it
should be, lovely desirable ladies won't wait. You have to go out and grab 'em.
I am your opportunity. I am knocking at your door. I want
to be adopted. The legend doesn't say what you are to do when several beautiful
opportunities present themselves at the same door. I guess you have to choose the one you
love best. I hope you will adopt me. I am the youngest here, and what I have to offer you
is full of splendid opportunities for service.
Try to imagine how you would feel if you were suddenly
stricken blind today. Picture yourself stumbling and groping at noonday as in the night,
your work, independence, gone! In that dark world wouldn't you be glad if a friend took
you by the hand and said "come with me and I will teach you how to do some of the
things you used to do when you could see"?
You have heard how through a little word dropped from the
fingers of another, a ray of light from another soul touched the darkness of my mind and I
found myself, found the world, found God. It is because my teacher learned about me and
broke through the dark, silent, imprisonment which held me that I am able to work for
myself and for others. It is the caring
we want more than money. The gift without the sympathy and
interest of the giver is empty. If you care, if we can make the people of this great
country care, the blind will indeed triumph over blindness!
Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be
no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind children untaught; no blind man or woman
unaided? I appeal to you Lions, you who have your sight and hearing, you who are strong
and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this
crusade against darkness?