Dharamshala — “My generation is nearing it's end, but you who belong to the 21st century are just at the start of your lives. You have the chance to bring about change and see a happier humanity in a more peaceful world. Don’t think just of Ladakh, think of India and the wider world,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama said to over 1600 students of Ladakh Public School on July 8, 2017.
Addressing the students and audience, His Holiness began, “In the context of the development humanity has made over the last 3000 years or so, education is very important. I’ve been coming to Ladakh since the 60s and over that time the region has seen great development, not least in education.
“It’s short-sighted to think only of your own country’s interests without considering the whole of humanity. We see violence in the name of religious faith and a growing gap between rich and poor. While some people in some places are well off, in other parts of the world there are people facing starvation. We shouldn’t think the way of life we’ve become accustomed too will continue to be acceptable, we have to reassess it. We need to consider how to build a happier, more peaceful world.
“The world today seems to be plagued with so many problems and the youth belonging to this generation today will be responsible for resolving and preventing most of such problems. Our future rests in your hands.”
Addressing the students, His Holiness asked, "do you prefer people smiling at you or frowning in anger?” To which, the students all replied in unison, “Smiliing.” His Holiness continued, “There’s nothing religious about this. It’s a reflection of our nature, our natural appreciation of love and compassion. As social animals we need affection. Although anger is part of our map of emotions, it’s very destructive. Love and affection on the other hand make for happier individuals, families and communities.”
“The time has come,” His Holiness declared, “for education to bring our human nature, our inner values, to maturity. To do this we can rely on common sense, our common experience and scientific findings. My generation is nearing it's end, but you who belong to the 21st century are just at the start of your lives. You have the chance to bring about change and see a happier humanity in a more peaceful world. Don’t think just of Ladakh, think of India and the wider world. Think about ahimsa, which is about peaceful action motivated by karuna or compassion. These are part of the treasure of India’s heritage.
He mentioned that to be physically well we need to be mentally at peace. He reported that constant anger and fear undermine our health. For social animals like us, he said, friendship is important. Friendship develops on the basis of trust and trust comes about when we show genuine concern for others’ well being. This is why training in basic human values and understanding of the workings of our minds and emotions need to be part of our general education.
The spiritual leader concluded by reminding the students once again that their generation has both an opportunity and a responsibility to build a happier, more peaceful world by understanding the oneness of humanity and thanked the groups of students presented an energetic debate.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is currently on a six-week trip to Ladakh in northern India.