The Dalai Lama, long an advocate of peace and reconciliation among various faith traditions, recently declared that once a person or a group decides to indulge in violence they are no longer being true to their supposed beliefs. He pointed out that the Koran even states that once one commits bloodshed that person can no longer be called a follower of Allah.
Christians need to take a lesson from the Dalai Lama. In a time when so many are promoting divisiveness, here is one spiritual leader who continues to seek reconciliation. As followers of the Prince of Peace, we are called to be “ambassadors of peace and agents of reconciliation.”
There is no room in Christianity for hate speech, xenophobia, and divisive rhetoric. Faithfulness to Christ means we love and accept each other even as we have been loved and accepted. Violence, even in response to violence, is not part of the Gospel.
Faithfulness to Christ demands more. The faithful Christian response to terrorism is love. The faithful Christian response to terrorism is forgiveness. Anything less, as the Dalai Lama would say, is to be untrue to what we proclaim we believe.
How easy it is to forget that business, work, recreation and all our social interaction isn’t the real purpose of our lives. We get caught up in the details and forget that to truly live we need to give ourselves for others.
The Dalai Lama is right. All of us have a thousand opportunities every day to make a real difference in the lives of those most in need, Each of us has the time to make another’s life a little bit better and maybe even a lot better.
We can end hunger in our lifetime. We can change the world forever. It just takes the recognition that we are called to help others, and that despite our superficial differences, we are truly one family.
Success, at least to me, is like gun control. Success simply means you hit your target. You accomplish what you’re aiming to do.
And like gun control, success says nothing about aiming at the correct target. What is needed, desperately needed, according to the Dalai Lama, is better target acquisition. The world needs folks who want to have lives of true significance. That means people who choose to aim at the right target.
The Dali Lama’s list is a damned good place to start.
Every single one of us is important in the fight to end hunger in our lifetime. Nothing we do is too small to make a difference in the life of a hungry child.
Working together we can change the world. Be a part of the global movement to end hunger forever.
Whether people are beautiful or plain, friendly or cruel, ultimately they are human beings, just like oneself. Like oneself, they want happiness and do not want suffering. Furthermore, their right to overcome suffering and be happy is equal to one’s own. Now, when you recognize that…you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them. Through accustoming your mind to this sense of universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems. This wish is not selective; it applies equally to all. – the Dalai Lama
Ending hunger in our lifetime is possible. We all know it is the right thing to do. My prayer is that we recognize that we are all human beings, we are all one family, and we all have a right to life in all its fullness. Once we recognize that, the feeling of responsibility will lead us to do whatever is necessary to make sure each of us has bread.
Nowdays, we are confronted by a huge gap between the rich and the poor. This is not only morally wrong, but practically a mistake. It leads to the rich living in anxity and the poor living in frustration, which has the potential to lead to more violence. We have to work to reduce this gap. It’s truly unfair that some people should have so much while others go hungry. — The Dalai Lama
The gap between the rich and the poor is huge. But that gap is not only between those of us who have and those of us who have not. That gap is the gap between us and being good. That is the gap between us and a moral lifestyle, the gap between us and living justly. The gap between us who have and those of our family who have not is the gap between us and walking humbly with our Creator.
The huge gap between the rich and the poor confronts us with a daily choice. How should we live in a hungry world? Do we respond to the cries of the hungry, or do we refuse to hear and look the other way?
It is truly unfair, writes the Dalai Lama, that some have so much while others lack their daily bread. It’s unjust, and we all know it. What are we going to do about it?
“The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share.” – 14th Dalai Lama
Every major faith tradition agrees that we are one human family. And every major faith tradition understands the necessity of treating each other as we would want to be treated. There’s a lot to be said for just living by the “Golden Rule.”
The Dalai Lama is right. Once we can come to the place where we realize our deep connectedness to one another and the earth that sustains us, we will have taken a giant leap toward healing the brokenness of the world in which we live.