In 1999, during a private audience with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, Dick Grace of Grace Family Foundation shared the kernel of an idea he was formulating: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do a better job of transforming our contemplative practice into compassionate action. His Holiness enthusiastically embraced the idea replying, “We have to work hard on that.”
As anyone who has met him knows, the phrase “work hard” is music to Dick’s ears, particularly when the aim of that work is to alleviate the suffering of our disenfranchised brothers and sisters around the globe. Dick sprang into action, gathering friends and philanthropic “angels” willing to help him shine a light on the healing power of compassion in action. From this inspiration, the first Unsung Heroes of Compassion event was created in 2001, with subsequent events held in 2005, 2009 and 2014.
A non profit organization called Wisdom in Action was also created at that time to help encourage and advance the work of our Unsung Heroes of Compassion around the world.