Friday, September 19, 2008 - Luncheon Awards
I am pleased to have attended the Women Soar recognition luncheon this afternoon. The award luncheon is about celebrating , and recognizing amazing women who've reached extraordinary professional and personal success. It is about the journey of the women. It is about empowering and inspiring one to reach new heights and soar! Brilliantly you is about each one teaching one. Details are at: http://www.womenthatsoar.com/
It was my privilege to introduce Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk, one of the honorees. Here is what I shared about her:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my privilege to introduce someone whom I admire for her genuine desire to create a better world. I want to share few things about Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk, who is making a difference in the world we live; she is a leader, Philanthropist, a humanitarian and an Artist.
I first met Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk in 2005 when she organized a conference with forty spiritual leaders representing different faiths. It was her persistent efforts to include every tradition that inspired me. She had that genuine desire to bring communities together, to include every one for the common good of humanity.
When Jesus said “follow me” I believe he meant for us to acquire his qualities and attitudes, that is respect to all creation; life and matter and loving each one of us. Mary Ann has followed that principle, and is blessed with a genuine desire to value each individual. She inspires one to think beyond the box and she has freed herself from any bias towards fellow beings.
Mary Ann believes that unless we consciously create the world we dream of, and work for accomplishing it, we will continue to remain the same. Mahatma Gandhi had said something very similar “you have to become the change that you want to be”
All good things in the world have happened with a vision and have started with a dream, and Mary Ann had a dream where she saw that people from all walks of life come together and share the knowledge with each other, it was the world marked by co-existence for the benefit of peace and prosperity of the human kind.
Mary Ann was fascinated by what the ancient Native Indians had achieved, they would come from all over the continents from South America to Alaska and every place in between, stay in the Pyramids of learning for a couple of months, learn and share the knowledge about Health, Medicine, culture, spirituality and science with each other for the benefit of the human kind.
Mary Ann took a conscious step to materialize her dream and she took that first step in the year 2005, where she brought together over 40 spiritual leaders from western, eastern, indigenous, and new age traditions. They discussed the spiritual and physical human experience, the commonality of beliefs, the environment, and how mankind can establish harmonious goals to progress in unity while respecting valuable differences. The essence of this is captured in the documentary, “Many paths, one source” (http://www.manypathsonesource.org/ )
Mary Ann was quoted in Dallas Morning News “We live in a time when there is so much distrust between those who are different from us. Racism, religious intolerance, homophobia - are symptoms of a lack of vision. I pray for the day we will be judged not by our skin color, gender or how we praise God, but by our integrity and contribution to our fellow man."
Mary Ann has served on 14 different nonprofit boards, (both in the USA and international), and with her husband, Joshua Raymond Frenk, has sponsored many programs promoting human rights, the arts, and a clean environment.
I am mighty pleased that she is being recognized today for her work. Artist, Philanthropist and a humanitarian Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk strives to form alliances to bring the world closer together philosophically and environmentally by celebrating diversity and promoting collaboration.
She is indeed making the difference. Please visit http://www.memnosynefoundation.org/ to witness her leadership in this important work.