Mcleodganj: The world has witnessed dramatic changes and progress in technology over the last few decades and humans have ascended to new heights of development and growth but at what cost if you may ask? Even in this modern time, we are dealing with the same if not more humanitarian problems that existed centuries ago. The very technology meant to solve human problems is changing what it means to be human. Modernity has replaced ethics.
One could argue and say no need for material development at the cost of a division of humanity but at the same time, we cannot dismiss the fair share of material benefits it has brought to our lives. That is when Dalai Lama’s message of developing inner peace comes in the picture. His Holiness has always spoken of “striking a balance between material developments on the one hand and the development of spiritual, human values on the other”. His emphasis on reviving inner human values has been a great inspiration to millions particularly the youth among them. His Holiness has always believed in the potential and competence of youth in building a peaceful world. It is for this very reason many youth leaders of the world especially ones from the conflict-affected countries come to seek His Holiness advice and guidance every year through partnering with the United States Institute of Peace.
This year marks the 4th annual dialogue of youth peace leaders with His Holiness. A total of 26 youth leaders led by Nancy Lindborg, President of USIP have hailed from countries across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia to engage in a dialogue with His Holiness the very icon of peace about wide-ranging topics such as building bridges in the divided community; inclusive peace in divided society; peace education and resilience after displacement. The hour-long dialogue deliberated on embracing the oneness of humanity, imbibing teaching of inner values as an academic subject, and transforming destructive emotions through holistic education.
“We are all same human beings having similar physical, mental, and emotion attributes. Our ultimate goal is to achieve happiness and free from suffering,” said His the Dalai Lama after the initial greeting. He reiterated that compassion is the most innate nature of human beings which needs constant nurturing through holistic education by using gifted human intelligence. He said that while education on the hygiene of physical exists in academic curriculums, the hygiene of emotion is the one that heavily lacks in the existing education system. He suggested that the ideal education system is one that has both ancient Indian knowledge of ahimsa and Karuna combined with modern education. While His Holiness pointed out the loopholes in the existing education system which he said is more or less focused on material development, he also mentioned that the different religious traditions also need buckling up.
“Promoting world peace is also the responsibility of different religious traditions, the ultimate universal message being that of love and compassion,” His Holiness remarked. He cautioned against indulging in the egocentric concept of ‘us’ and ‘them’ that only widens the existing gaps between different communities. Pressing the youth and thought leaders, His Holiness asserted that all 7 billion human beings must learn to coexist harmoniously above the secondary differences of nationalities, religion, and race among others. He once again reaffirmed his solid faith in the intelligence and capability of the youth of the 21st century. “Patience and forgiveness are what you must have to practice when dealing with hate and criticisms,” said His Holiness before he went on to answer the questions from the young delegates. The annual dialogue series is a collaboration between USIP and His Holiness the Dalai Lama which aims to strengthen the abilities of young leaders working to build peace in the world’s most conflict regions.