The human approaches to world peace


“What is the greatest challenge that faces our world?” asked Free the Children’s Craig Kielburger, addressing an audience at the Rogers Centre on Oct. 22 to honour the arrival of the 14th Dalai Lama to Toronto.

Kielburger explained that this is a concept he has struggled with his entire life. Easily discounting famine, poverty or even war from the long list of items ailing the world today, he affirmed that “the greatest challenge is that we’re raising a generation of passive bystanders.”

Despite the great struggle that exists in the world today with world peace, “he helps us believe change is possible,” Kielburger concluded.

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The Dalai Lama’s public talk, which marked his third visit to the city in the past decade, addressed the issues of world peace and the approaches best suited to engage in an amicable human existence.

Taking into account the challenges that humanity faces today, the Dalai Lama affirmed that “basic human nature needs more compassionate attitudes and the genuine consideration of others as your brother and sister. Through that way, we can solve any problem.”

Considered one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time, the Dalai Lama has been especially vocal on the preservation of human rights and global harmony. As he emerged, a sea of yellow, red and blue Tibetan flags waved to greet the exiled Tibetan leader.

“In my mind, I feel a number of problems which we face are manmade problems,” the Dalai Lama explained.

“In order to make a more peaceful world, we must have vision of our past experiences.”

The Dalai Lama explained that conflicts involving the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, problematic states like Iran and North Korea and even the recent economic crisis are all “due to negligence in the past century.” The Dalai Lama challenged the youth of the world to embrace this new century and promote the teachings of peace and co-operation to end all conflict.
“For a healthy, peaceful century, we must promote the concept of dialogue,” he said.

Drawing on his own experiences, the Dalai Lama explained that “at 16 I lost my freedom, at 24 I lost my country. At 70, what I learned is the power of truth and sincerity.”

Invited to Toronto by the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre (TCCC), during his stay, he has been featured in three events leading up to the inauguration of the “Three Bodies of the Buddha” statues that are displayed at the TCCC.

The statues stand 14 feet tall and serve to complement the renovations which are soon to be completed at the centre.

A champion of the TCCC, the Dalai Lama has stated that the preservation of the Tibetan culture has devolved to the shoulders of those outside of Tibet. He has vowed to return to Toronto to revisit the TCCC once construction has been completed.

“Only ten years have passed [in this century], 90 to come,” he advised. “The beginning of the 21st century has not been very healthy, but it is very hopeful.” Passion and optimism are among the qualities that the Dalai Lama believes will elicit great change over the next 90 years.

“Everyone has the right to a happy life [but only] through realistic goals can we achieve our goals for world peace,” he concluded.

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