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. He also stated that there is a second and higher level of compassion, a level whereby people not only are kind to others but also act in some affirmative way to help relieve their suffering. Hence, he gave me the impression that it was not enough to only think and act kindly towards others, but that people who are truly compassionate should do something to help.