Chairman and CEO of Libra Group George Logothetis delivered a truly inspiring speech recently at the 2022 One To World Fulbright Awards Dinner in New York.
Logothetis, who leads the international business group whose subsidiaries own and operate assets in more than fifty countries, told an audience of international students and esteemed guests at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan that they should choose to live their lives in hope rather than despair.
As he received the Fulbright Award given to individuals who have furthered Senator J. William Fulbright’s vision of peace through international education and exchange, George Logothetis revealed his own personal struggle due to an accident and the lessons he drew from the health crisis he went through for four years.
“By any stretch of logical imagination, I should not be standing here. A freak accident five years ago led to a four-year health crisis. I nearly lost my life on four separate occasions. So, when I say I am glad to be here, please appreciate deeply, and truly, profoundly how glad I am to be here tonight,” he said.
Logothetis invoked ancient Greek Aeschylus, the father of tragedy who said:
Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart
until, in our own despair, against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.
Logothetis and lessons in life
“What I have learned these last five years, is that the last vestige of human freedom is how you choose to react to what can be an unjust world,” Logothetis noted.
“You cannot escape conflict, injustice, suffering, and pain,” Logothetis said, “But, you can elect how to respond to it and what you take from it. The path of betterness or the path of bitterness.”
“I learned that it is easier to be fearful than hopeful,” added Logothetis. “But, hope is free. It is an option. So is despair. It is an option too. They are both different sides of the same coin. I pray you choose the path of hope because the happiest people I know are also the most hopeful people I know.”
Libra Group’s social footprint
Logothetis, who has been publicly active in outreach and philanthropy, particularly in the wake of the Greek financial crisis added: “I also learned that injustice is immediate, and justice takes time. Nothing of value in this world is attained quickly, nor without resolve and resilience. True progress is rarely immediate. It is painstaking.”
“Having tasted death several times what I earned is gratitude for life,” he admitted.
These programs, including internships; educational fellowships; and support for entrepreneurs, charitable institutions, and other non-profit organizations, reflect the Group’s values.
The Greek entrepreneur and philanthropist was honored at the One To World’s Fulbright Awards alongside: Ram Jagannath, the Senior Managing Director of Blackstone; Morgan Radford, Anchor and Correspondent of NBC News; and Toni G. Verstandig, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Verstandig Family Foundation.
“After three years, we are so excited to welcome back our international community of change-makers and thought-leaders to the annual One To World Fulbright Awards Dinner to celebrate this year’s honorees,” said One To World Executive Director Jen E. Clarke.
“The news headlines of cultural divides both overseas and on our own soil prove the importance of Senator Fulbright’s vision of a more peaceful and empathetic world, through international education and cultural exchange,” he added. “The honorees we will celebrate during the event embody the best of this mission. We look forward to sharing their stories.”
One to World
One To World brings local residents together with international students and Fulbright grantees, creating face-to-face experiences to foster intercultural understanding and build relationships that last a lifetime.
Annually, it provides over one hundred programs for the more than 90,000 international students and Fulbright grantees who study at New York-area institutions.
One To World engages these young global leaders, who come from more than 140 countries, in American life in building cooperation and respect between cultures internationally.