Ten thoughts from His Holiness the Dalai Lama while at SMU

Remarks by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at SMU’s 10th Hart Global Leaders Forum on Monday, May 9.

  1. The Dalai Lama wearing an SMU baseball cap.Basically we are the same human being – different faith, different race, different language, even different culture. These are secondary. When we come from mother’s womb - no difference of religion, no difference of nationality, no difference of culture. This is fundamental. This is reality. We are the same human being – mentally, emotionally, physically same. And more important, everybody has a sense of self and experience of pleasure, pain, suffering, happiness. Everyone has the right to achieve happiness.
  2. We are social animals. Anyone who receives affections, warm feelings from others, you get a tremendous joy. So here, when I received your degree, it was a certain sort of warm feeling that really gives me real inspiration – very happy, thank you. And particularly, when an individual who is passing through a difficult period, with some sort of heavy responsibility and facing many difficulties, this kind of human encouragement is very useful. So thank you very much.
  3. Ideologically, I often tell people, the world belongs to humanity, not kings or spiritual leaders. Each country belongs to the people of that country. The United States belongs to over 300 million Americans, not this party or that party. The best way is through election, the leadership to choose, and the leadership has – since people choose them, they have accountability. I’m totally dedicated for democracy. 
  4. Now we must look at entire world as a part of you, a part of me. Naturally, you have to take serious concern about rest of the world. Time is gone when America remains a little bit isolated. Now you yourself enjoy fully democracy, freedom; therefore you have to take serious concern about other parts of the world, where there’s no democracy, no freedom. You, America, greatest democratic country, you should take more sense of concern, responsibility, look at rest of world not to bring American dominance, but to bring democracy, individual freedom and also religious freedom.
  5. Sometimes I jokingly share with the audience that our generation, the 20th-century generation, has created a lot of mess which needs to be solved by you. So the responsibility put on your shoulder. Now I jokingly told students, now my generation will eventually go either to heaven or to hell. But anyway from hell or from heaven we will watch what you are really carrying.
  6. Firstly, you need education, more holistic education, because the very purpose of education is supposed to reduce the gap between appearance and reality. In order to know the reality, in order to reduce the gap, your education must be broad, holistic. That’s important.
  7. Then second, when you look at reality, when you investigate the reality, your mind must be very calm. Too much emotion, you can’t see the reality, because too much emotion, your mind is biased. Then you can’t see the thing objectively. In order to calm the mind, the thousand-year tradition’s emphasis: love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, these are the basis of a calm mind. Very easy.
  8. Live together, live in friendship, the key factor is trust. Fear brings just the opposite of trust. Fear and trust are just two opposites. So a more compassionate attitude, fear goes away. Please don’t think of such things as compassion, forgiveness as a religious matter. Don’t think that way. Whether an individual believes in religion or not, it is an individual business. But being a warmhearted person - nearly 7 billion human beings need that, irrespective of whether believer or nonbeliever.
  9. I must make clear, when I use the word secularism, it does not mean disrespect to religion or distance from religion. According to India, thousand years’ secularism there, that is respect all religions, no preference this religion or that religion, and also nonbeliever. So secularism is something completely neutral. 
  10. Please be serious, and keep warmheartedness with full enthusiasm, no matter how difficult  - that’s very important. If you keep optimism, even difficulties you can solve, you can overcome. Due to some problems, a demoralized, pessimistic attitude – that’s the real source of failure.

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