Twenty-five years ago, the United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) created the Tocqueville Society, to honor major donors who have shown exemplary generosity in their annual giving. Several times a year, Tocqueville Society members gather over breakfast for In Their Own Words, a series featuring eminent speakers from all walks of life – business, government, medicine, philanthropy, and law, among others.
At the most recent Tocqueville Society breakfast, on November 28th, the keynote speaker was Chet Burrell, President and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, whose health plans insure millions of subscribers in the region. The audience, full of top-level executives, listened with rapt attention as Burrell shared his thoughts on the future of health care reform, discussing how changes wrought by the Affordable Care Act will affect individuals, families, and businesses, large and small.
The event was co-sponsored by the Murthy Law Firm, and the firm’s founder and president, Sheela Murthy, delivered the closing remarks. Murthy has a long history with the UWCM, serving on its board of directors and chairing the Leadership Council for India, of United Way Worldwide. She thanked Mr. Burrell for his insightful analysis, then rallied her fellow Tocqueville Society members with a rousing plea for year-end donations. Murthy asked them to remember all those who are not fortunate enough to have health insurance, food on the table, or a roof overhead – things we too often take for granted.
Murthy shared a story from the physician and spiritual thinker, Deepak Chopra, who once observed that people share 65 percent of their DNA with a banana, 80 percent with a mouse, and 98 percent with a chimpanzee. Yet our DNA is virtually identical with that of our fellow human beings, Murthy noted, and we need to recognize this common humanity and act on it. This means giving generously to help those who cannot help themselves, Sheela said. It was an upbeat and energetic speech about caring for others, and sharing with those in need – a timely message that’s very much in the spirit of the season!
Copyright © 2012, SHEELA MURTHY. All Rights Reserved