Dalai Lama

Yesterday, I had the chance to hear his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, speak. I went to see him with my mom and my sister. I’m glad we went together. Something this special needs to be shared with special people.

Nerd that I am, I brought my notebook with me to record interesting things, so I wouldn’t forget them. After 15 minutes, I realized this would not work, as almost everything he said was interesting and insightful. There to introduce him was Richard Gere, which made my mom very happy!

The publicity for the event said “His words speak to you. After April 28th, they will speak through you.” This is very true.

He spoke of the oneness of humanity. He said he was no different from the 7 billion other humans in the world. He urged us to take care of each other. If I take care of the world, I take care of myself.

He talked about the previous century being one of war and about how we need to demilitarize to build a healthy world. He believes this century can be one of peace. It is the younger generation’s turn to build this healthy world. For my generation, it is time to relax! And by relax, I mean “bye, bye!”

Most of all, he spoke of compassion. He told the stroy of a Tibetian monk who was held prisonner by the Chinese for 80 years. This monk told him he was in danger. The Dalai Lama told us he thought the monk meant his life was in danger, but the monk said “I am in danger of losing compassion for the Chinese.” My mind did not even go there. I would never think to feel compassion for those we deem “the bad guys” in a situation. However, these bad guys need compassion. They need to be reminded that compassion is universal. No matter how wonderful a religion, it will never be universal. Believer or not, rich or poor, educated or not, compassion is necessary.

He talked about our negative and positive attitudes. When something appears negative, 90% of it is your own perception.

There were people demonstrating in front of the event with banners that read “Tibet is a part of China. No to seperation.” He said it was good for them to be there, they were enjoying Canada’s freedom of speech, something we sometimes take for granted.

He answered questions and one was about how to raise a kind child. He said that what children need most of all is affection. You need to spend time with your children. When they are old enough, you must teach them about the value of human qualities. Then he said he did not have all the answers, as he does not have children. He said maybe, even if he’s 77, he should get married and have a child so he would know more!

Everything he said, people already know. Be kind to each other, take care of the world, respect all living beings. But so often, people seem to forget the importance of these things in favour of money, power and greed. I can’t help the homeless, but I will buy a new car. I don’t have time to read my child a story, but I will stay late at work.

I can read his books or watch videos, but being there, hearing him talk about the importance of compassion and humanity, was incredible. It is not likely to be an experience I will ever have again. Also, he was really funny! He told jokes and laughed at them. He really is a great human being.