One of the things we try to do at The Forgotten International is to search for people around the world who unselfishly decide to give of themselves to others, who are truly honest, hardworking and committed to a mission that is not only sustainable in practice but also sustains them through life. Miguel Rodriguez, who runs La Comunidad de Niños Sagrada Familia in Lima, Peru is just that kind of individual, and all who have met him have said that he is truly a saint. Read more »
Message from the President
From time to time I plan to drop an occasional thought or two on this continuing blog - like pages of our website. I may also just wish to share a story about someone we have recently met or comment on something that I have heard that struck me. All, I believe, will have relevance to our work, work that involves the giving and caring of others. I hope you derive some pleasure from what I will be sharing with you, and hopefully you will share it with others. Thank you for your interest.
The idea for and the work of The Forgotten International first began in 2006 and was the result of several discussions I had with the 14th Dalai Lama in India about compassion. He told me that there at least two levels of compassion, the first is the kindness that people should ordinarily show others regardless of their status in life, their differences of opinions, or some historical events that may have somehow affected their feelings towards each other. His Holiness said that having an open heart towards others and showing them kindness is so important to bringing peace to the world as well as to yourself. Read more »
In my continuing efforts to try to communicate with those of you who care about some of the work I do, I thought I would show you a video of a talk I gave some years ago at the University of San Francisco’s School of Law. I was asked to give a lecture as if this was going to be the last lecture of my life. You may have heard of these series of lectures that were made famous by a professor who was told he was dying of cancer, and decided to create his own last lecture. Read more »
Sometimes in the work I do, I have to pause and think a little about what we have seen and what we have done. For example, upon viewing a photo of one of our staff members playing with children in Africa who were playing with her long hair, it reminded me of a poem I once read, which was also a favorite poem of Audrey Hepburn, and one she read to her children about true beauty. I hope you enjoy it. Read more »
The words of the late Steve Jobs, taken from his graduation address at Stanford University, Spring 2005:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Read more »
- Give yourself permission to be human: Remember we all make mistakes, and we cannot be all things to all people. You must forgive yourself as you forgive others. To not forgive only forces you to harbor anger or ill feelings, none of which leads to happiness.
- Pleasure and meaning: It has been said that happiness lies at the intersection of pleasure and meaning. There is some truth to this. Think of the times when you did something that was both pleasurable and meaningful, for example, having a great day with someone you love, the birth of a child, your graduation from college, or that day you helped someone in desperate need and but for you a tragedy was averted. Read more »
About two years ago I took a moment to stop and read President Clinton’s book called “Giving”, and although I liked many parts of it, the one page I remember most was the page where President Clinton talked about a question he posed to Warren Buffett. In short, the President asked Mr. Buffett why and how he came to the decision to give away $30 Billion of his fortune to the Gates Foundation (the single largest personal gift ever made). To the question Mr. Read more »
I commute in my car quite a bit and often spend time listening to National Public Radio. Although they have come under attack lately, over the years I have found them to be relatively balanced in their reporting and in their effort to educate the public. Sometimes too, they tell stories that you would not hear elsewhere and get you to think or remind you of an experience you once had. Since I spend a lot of time traveling and visiting with the poor, particularly in India there was a story they told about a year ago that brought to mind so many things I have seen over the years. Read more »
About a dozen years ago, I was allowed to sit in the corner of a room in the home of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, a room where day after day he opens his home to receive guests from all over the world. On this particular day, I observed His Holiness welcome a wealthy Indian gentleman and his family from Bombay. After forty five minutes had passed and all had talked and laughed about, both the little and big questions of life, the patriarch of this well-dressed family asked the Dalai Lama if he would be so kind as to bless him and his family before they went on their way. Read more »
Sometime ago, I was asked to give a talk to a group of undergraduates on “How to Create a Meaningful Life.” The talk itsef went on for about an hour, too long to encapsulate here, nevertheless below please find the key points I tried to make for the students:
- It’s never too early or too late to begin constructing a meaningful life for yourself.
- The first step is learning more about yourself and identifying your unique talents, interests, resources and passions. Read more »