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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Words to Live By -- The Dalai Lama

July 9, 2010

Japan Times
July 8, 2010

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso,
75, is respected by the Tibetan people as their
temporal and spiritual leader. At age 2, he was
recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai
Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are
believed to be manifestations of the Bodhisattva
of Compassion and they embody wisdom,
contentment, forgiveness and self-discipline.
There's plenty to forgive: the brutal Chinese
invasion of Tibet by Mao Zedong's People's
Liberation Army in 1949 and the continuing
oppression of the Tibetan people. So far over 1.2
million Tibetans have been killed and 6,000
monasteries destroyed. The violence is still
ongoing. Forced to flee the mayhem in 1959, the
Dalai Lama has been living in exile in
Dharamsala, India. For his message of peace and
compassion, he has been presented with countless
awards, including the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for
his nonviolent campaign for the liberation of Tibet.

We're all the same mentally, emotionally and
physically. I consider myself just one of 6
billion human beings. Prime ministers and street
children — we are the same. Everybody has the
desire to achieve a happy life and everyone has
every right to achieve a happy life.

All major religions have the same potential to
bring inner peace. These different religions have
different practices, but the main message is the same: compassion.

Happiness very much depends on trust. Money and
power may provide you with some satisfaction, but
now scientists, many in the medical field, agree
that the ultimate source of a happy life depends
on a healthy mind. Even a healthy body depends on a healthy mind.

History has many versions. You must investigate
the truth for yourself! For example, the Chinese
prime minister said: "China has never invaded a
country.” That's the Chinese official version of
Tibetan history. But there are three versions:
The second version is by the Tibetans and the third is the Western viewpoint.

In order to contribute to the world, Japanese
must learn English. The reality is that the
universal language is English. Due to the
language problem, Japanese people can't
contribute enough. It doesn't have to be perfect
English! My English is broken but I can still communicate!

If you have genuine concern for the wellbeing of
others, there's no space for violence. Religious
harmony is viable. India has had a tradition of
nonviolence called Ahimsa for thousands of years.
Sure, occasionally there are some problems, but
basically it's all very good. I describe myself
as a messenger of India and I bring the idea of
religious harmony with me everywhere I go.

Tragically, one can never be too young or too old
for prison. I found the reincarnation of the
Panchen Lama in Tibet, a boy named Gedhun Choekyi
Nyima, but the Chinese government abducted him.
Since May 14, 1995, when he was 6 years old, he's
been imprisoned and his whereabouts and
well-being are still not known. China has
installed their own Panchen Lama, which is a
gross violation of religious freedom.

The issue of U.S. bases in Okinawa can be seen
from two levels. One is on the national level:
Military bases of a foreign power in another
country are unacceptable. On a global level,
however, Japan is indeed a free country, but both
North Korea and China have nuclear weapons and
are unpredictable nations, so the U.S. military
bases are relevant. In the face of the North
Korean threat, the United States must support
Japan. Of course, if all of Asia is free, the U.S. bases should be removed.

The definition of superpower must be based on
human values. China is becoming more open and
free and the rule of law is more respected.
That's why, not only the Tibetan issue but also
the trust between China and all countries, will
improve. Eventually China will become a
superpower. But a superpower should not base its
power on military weapons, as those can only bring fear.

Wars increase problems. Violence increases
problems. Once the method is violent, it always
has unexpected consequences; for example, terrorism.

It's most helpful to look at a problem from
various angles. This analytical process is
central to Buddhism. We debate, we develop the
mind and this creates a peaceful heart. Buddha
said: “All my followers should not accept my
teachings out of respect, but through their own
investigations.” Analyze everything by yourself!

We're social animals so we need cooperation and
friendship. I love this watch, I could kiss it,
mmmwahh!, but this watch can't show me affection.
A dog or a cat is able to show affection. Our
life is based on affection. We survive thanks to
our mothers' care. Those individuals who received
deep affection at a young age are much happier.
Those who suffered fear as children, even if
wealthy now, have a sense of insecurity.

Too much attachment to one's own nation's
interests is not fit for the 21st century's
holistic approach. The problem of global warming
is that it's not a problem for some nations.
Those nations only care about their country and
not about others. But we are interconnected more than ever before.

The gap between "us and them" must be lessened.
The entire human race is part of "us." Race is
not important. "We" are six billion humans. The
gap between the rich and the poor is huge in many
countries. This is wrong not only morally, but also technically.

Government leaders should have a long-term vision
and a open mind. In ancient times, each nation
could survive on its own, but now we are much
more interdependent. That's the reality, but some
people's thinking is old-fashioned; they think
about “me, my nation.” This kind of insularity creates problems.

The 21st century should be the century of dialog
and peace, based on compassion. My generation
belongs to the 20th century, a century of
violence. Two hundred million people were killed.
Even though we have wars now, we mustn't lose the
confidence and courage to believe that peace is
achievable. There's a Tibetan saying: “Fail nine
times; make nine times the effort.”

Judit Kawaguchi loves to listen. She is a
volunteer counselor and a TV reporter on NHK's
"journeys in japan" Learn more at: Twitter: judittokyo
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