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Thứ Sáu, tháng 9 29, 2006

No. 1157 ( Upekha dịch)

Dalai Lama encourages women's compassion
Big names come out for conference hosted by governor, first lady
By LAURA MECOY
SACRAMENTO BEE

LONG BEACH - The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, made his first appearance at a women's conference Tuesday to urge the crowd to help change the world by creating happy, peaceful and compassionate families.

Maria Shriver, struggling to accept the end of her network news career and embrace her role as the state's first lady, recounted her angst at being labeled a "housewife" by her 13-year-old son, Patrick.

"My son's words that day made me feel like the ride I had been on had come to a screeching halt, and that really bothered me," she said. "And worst, I was bothered that I was bothered by that."

Each offered his or her advice and personal stories at the 20th governor's conference on women, an annual gathering that is no longer so much about the governor as it is about the celebrity speakers, the state's first lady and inspiring the nearly 11,000 women who come each year.

Begun in 1985 by former Gov. George Deukmejian as a networking opportunity for businesswomen, Shriver has turned it into a star-studded showcase featuring her beliefs and causes, from volunteerism to helping California's military families.

This year, the California Governor and First Lady's Conference on Women featured a "Volunteer Village" of more than 40 organizations signing up volunteers.

The focus of the daylong talkfest was the eclectic crowd of speakers, ranging from financial guru Suze Orman to the once-nearly-bankrupt Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson.

"Meet the Press" television host Tim Russert told the mostly female crowd, "I must be in heaven."

Columnist Anna Quindlen declared women had "changed the world over our lifetimes."

The first American woman in space, former astronaut Sally Ride, urged the crowd to "inspire the next generation of girls to reach for the stars and achieve their dreams."

Amid the hoopla, the governor - despite his own celebrity credentials - barely got six minutes on the stage at a morning session where many seats were empty.

Introduced by daughters Katherine and Christina Schwarzenegger, he welcomed the crowd, praised his wife and the other "amazing and strong" women in his life - and then left.

"While I would love to stay here all day, one of the best things I have learned along the way is that when a lot of women on a mission get together, smart men stay out of the way," the governor said. "That is exactly what I am going to do today."

The exiled Tibetan leader said he'd accepted Shriver's invitation to his first women's conference because he believed women were the source of compassion in society.

He urged women to play more prominent roles in government, politics and the military in the belief they could create a more compassionate society.

"It could be, if we had more compassionate female leadership in many parts of the world, I think the problems (could be) solved on the human level," he said.

http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060927/NEWS/609270312/1033/NEWS01