Framingham Lomonosov Association for Mutual Exchange
There's a story about the young boy walking along the seashore with his father. Periodically the boy would bend over and retrieve a starfish which had been washed ashore and placed it back into the water.
After having observed his son do this several times, the father remarked to his son, "It is a righteous deed which you do, but in the overall picture, it barely makes a difference when you consider the multitudes of starfish which are washed ashore."
The young boy stopped in his tracks, looked up into his father's eyes and replied, "But it makes a heck of a difference to those that I do put back."
This story is analogous to the mission and accomplishments of FLAME. We do not touch the lives of multitudes. We certainly make a difference in the lives that we do touch.
Periodic summit meetings by heads of state to have discussions, create treaties, and deactivate nuclear arsenals do not result in harmony and understanding between people.
Our relationship with Lomonosov is a people to people relationship. We at FLAME do address this issue. We impact lives at the grass roots level. We do make a difference........a significant difference.......a most positive difference!
We undo the entanglements of fear, suspicion, misunderstanding, and propaganda at a person to person level. Through our actions and interactions, we teach and we learn, we talk and we listen, we observe and are observed. We interact on all levels with our sister city counterparts, whether in Framingham or in Lomonosov.
Nothing brings people closer together than experiencing day to day contact and existence in each other's homes. We observe and discuss the differences and similarities of each other's cultures. It is the greatest of all learning tools.
To witness children from our sister cities locking arms while singing and listening to music and the words of, "That's What Friends Are For", is to observe first hand a miracle which fills one's entire being.
To witness the tears of hope and faith on the faces of our Russian friends while our students once again sing, "The Power Of A Dream", and watch lifetime friendships being forged is to realize our very own dreams.
To be told that FLAME has brought more happiness to Lomonosov than they have known since the end of the Second World War is to know that we have succeeded.
Our success is not the end but merely the beginning. My sincere gratitude to the members of FLAME, and the other members of the community who have helped to establish our reputation as an organization which serves as an asset to our town of Framingham.