His Holiness the Dalai Lama is presented with Amnesty International’s “Shine a Light” award in Long Beach, California, on May 4, 2011. It is often said that His Holiness is a symbol, a symbol of the power of truth, and non violent action but he is much more than a symbol. He is an example, an example from which all peoples can learn.
During the meeting His Holiness answered a few questions submitted by the audience, one of the questions was “what would be one change he would choose if he had the capability”? (His Holiness responded that this was unrealistic) to best way to promote inter-religious harmony.
His Holiness talked about four ways to do this;
- by encouraging discussions among scholars so that they can think about commonality in purpose of all religions;
- by having meetings among practitioners such as the one he had with the late Trappist monk Thomas Merton that enabled him to have good understanding of Christianity;
- by having summits of religious leaders like the one convened by the former Pope in Assisi;
- by going on group pilgrimages to sacred places of the different religions.
His Holiness then went to address a youth summit that involved bringing together youth for positive service to the community. The session began with a special music titled Diversity composed in honor of His Holiness by a nine-year old piano prodigy Emily Bear.
In his remarks, His Holiness said he was happy to see young boys and girls actively involved in compassionate activities. His Holiness talked about the youth being those who will direct where the 21st century heads as he and some of the others gathered belonged to the 20th century.
His Holiness said much of the tragedy in today’s world is on account of emphasis on secondary values like nation and religion instead of having a global outlook. He called for the need to inculcate a feeling of global responsibility and to incorporate teachings in moral ethics in the education system.
There is no more powerful voice for human rights, for peace, and for non violence than the unique voice of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. For over a half a century he has, with boundless energy, tirelessly and peacefully defended the rights of people everywhere, while leading the peaceful struggle to defend the right of the Tibetan people to enjoy their own culture, language and religion.”