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30september20091Sharing the stage with Sarah McLachlan, Mia Farrow, Jane Goodall, and other celebrity musicians, actors, and activists, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was greeted by 16,000 cheering Canadian youths at yesterday's We Day celebration in Vancouver, an event sponsored by Free the Children charity.

With a simple message of hope for the new century, His Holiness asked young people to take responsibility for improving the conditions of the world. "The future of the century is in your hands. Please, take care of it," he said, and went on to note that "there are still 91 years left." He asserted that the younger generation has the opportunity to treat the world better than his generation did. With over 200 million people killed over the past hundred years, "the 21st century, should be the century of peace."

Noticing the front row of the audience composed largely of girls, His Holiness spoke directly to them about the need for more female compassion and caring in the world. "Females should take a more active role for the promotion of human compassion," he said, and went on to mention how kind his mother had been to him. Compassion, he believes, is spread from mother to child.

Though women are often "more sensitive to suffering" than men, His Holiness noted, "We all have the seed of compassion," and went on to discuss the importance of indiscriminate empathy. He spoke of his own compassion for Communists. "They, too, are part of the world's six billion human beings. We must respect them and have concern for their well-being. That is what having a sense of compassion means. It's for everyone." The event concluded with a Q&A session followed by a standing ovation from the audience.

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