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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Adapting to change: Dalai Lama suggests two people take his two roles

June 23, 2009

June 22, 2009

Dr. Deb Brown - Miami Interfaith Spirituality Examiner


Revered by many around the world, the 73-year-old Dalai Lama recently gave a speech suggesting that two people should succeed him instead of just one: one spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, and one political leader of Tibet who would be elected through a free democratic process.


The Dalai Lama said, "The Dalai Lamas held temporal and spiritual leadership over the last 400 to 500 years. It may have been quite useful. But that period is over. Today, it is clear to the whole world that democracy is the best system despite its minor negativities. That is why it is important that Tibetans also move with the larger world community."


It is unknown whether the Dalai Lama’s recommendation will ultimately be supported by the Tibetan people, but it is a beautiful expression of the courage to change. The Dalai Lama has already shown enormous adaptability by leaving Tibet as a child, bravely living in exile, and quickly responding to rapidly changing conditions while fighting to free Tibet for decades. His latest speech is yet another reflection of his ability to assess and respond to the situation as it is today – not as he imagines or hopes the situation to be, not as the situation was yesterday or 500 years ago, but as it is today. We could learn from his example:


    * “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” - Stephen Hawking


    * “The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.” - Ellen Glasgow


    * “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

       – Commonly attributed to Charles Darwin


    * "Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." – H.G. Wells


    * "I found out that if you are going to win games, you had better be ready to adapt." – Scotty Bowman, Hockey Coach



We too can let go of the past and embrace each completely new, vibrant present moment. We too can avoid getting stuck in a rut, and keep going, keep flowing, keep adapting to change.

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